The Q&A Archives: Best Raspberry, Blackberry

Question: We are considering ordering some raspberry, blackberry and blueberry plants from your catalog. I live in a small town in western NC in the mountains. I have several questions: (1) Which variety of each would you suggest for our area? (2) How long before each would most likely start producing? (3) How long is the normal life span of each? (4) Can I plant them in a place other than the garden What is best time of year to plant? What about fertilizer, water, pruning? Thanks much. Floyd Phillips Hayesville, NC

Answer: 'Cumberland' raspberry, 'Arapaho' blackberry and 'Bluejay' and 'Blueray' blueberries are the best Burpee varieties for your area. Plant them in spring as soon as the ground can be worked and frost isn't a threat. The raspberry and blackberrieswill start producing next year. The blueberries may take 3 years or so. Once bearing all these can last for 10-20 years in the garden if well tended. The bluberries like an acid soil, so lower the pH by adding sulfur or ammonium sulfate before planting. Also use peat moss and keep them well watered. The raspberries and blackberries like a moist, organic soil, so mulch them with composted manures and sawdust to keep them happy, applying a complete fertilizer such as 10-10-10 once every spring. Check with your local Extension Office for more information on growing these plants in your area.

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