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Name: Devin LoveGreen
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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lovegreen
Mar 25, 2014 3:30 PM CST
I just got two new berry bushes to plant and I have no idea what do to with them other than simply plant them. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you all so much and God Bless!
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Devin LoveGreen
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Mar 25, 2014 4:12 PM CST
Just like when a person brings a new pet home or new livestock, they need to have the cage/housing, fencing/enclosure, food, accessories, etc. before they buy the pet, likewise one should ask questions and research before they buy the plants, especially something as long-term as berries.

We are gonna need a crash course on your garden, soil, climate, micro-climates, what kind of berries did you buy (can't really tell from the pic), did the plants come with a guarantee, etc. Does each require a cross-pollinator, etc.

Or, you could just stick them in the ground and pray; that works too.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
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chelle
Mar 25, 2014 4:20 PM CST
If I were to plant those, I'd think about ease of harvesting and put up a fence for them first. I'd want to be able to train/tie it to something to keep most of those thorns out of me. Whistling I'd also site them carefully; for most of the year they might be a hindrance if they were near a heavily-traveled walkway or an outdoor gathering area.

In order for them to quickly become self-sufficient in your yard, I'd suggest mixing compost with native soil (from the planting hole), about 50/50. Plant and back-fill, then slowly add water until the area is soggy, top it off with dry native soil, then pretty much leave them be until they settle in. Once summer comes around, if there's low or no rainfall give 'em a good, slow drink so the water goes deep -maybe once every two weeks. A top-dressing of compost might be all the food they require, but on that point I'm inexperienced since all of our fruiting brambles were inherited with the property and are growing wild and willy-nilly amid the weed willows along the lakeshore. Rolling my eyes. It's pretty tough to harvest those without getting ripped to shreds.

Hopefully, someone will be along soon to address the feeding schedule, if any is required. Smiling
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Mar 25, 2014 4:51 PM CST
Well . . . it works sometimes, right greene?! Lots of us learned by trial and Error (yes, with a capital E)

Devin, it looks like you bought red raspberries and black raspberries, is that right? I live in FL now, but used to live in BC, then Utah and grew them there. So, I've made my back hurt already today and am relaxing at the keyboard, so I'll give this a shot at a little 'mini tutorial' for you.

As greene says, they are a long term commitment so some soil prep would be a good idea. A good top-dressing of compost dug into your planting area is always a good idea. Think about where you want to plant them since they might get as tall as 5ft. before the summer's over. So against a fence on the north side of your property might be a great spot where they won't shade other shorter plants. Don't plant near trees, the roots of large trees extend well beyond where the ends of the branches are, and those roots will LOVE to come and steal water and nutrients from your raspberry patch. Also make sure they will get at least 6 hours of unimpeded sun in the summer - think about the sun being a LOT higher at noon than it is right now, right? Anything that makes fruit (except maybe pineapples) needs full sun to make sugar in the fruit.

Rasps are normally planted in rows for ease of harvesting. Btw, did you buy more than one plant of each type? Unless it's just you, and all you want is a handful of berries occasionally, most people start with a row of plants, maybe 6 to 10 separate canes. (I can't tell, but each of those packages in your picture might have several plants in it, check what the label says) I used to grow about a 10ft. row for our family of 4. Can't remember for sure but I think we started with the canes about a foot apart.

Next thing to think about is how much longer are you going to have freezing temps at night? You don't want to plant your new rasps until it will most likely stay above freezing at night. As soon as you plant them, they will start to put up new shoots that will be quite tender to cold weather, and it would be discouraging to you to lose those new plants. IF you need to hold them for a week or two, keep them cool and in the dark. So prep your bed, get some slow-release fert to put in the planting area before you plant and wait until the weather forecast looks good. IF it does get a freak cold night after you plant, you can cover them with something like cardboard boxes or old sheets. Don't use plastic!

Last thing I can think of for right now is that you do NOT want to plant the red rasps too close to the black rasps or they will cross and you might get berries you wouldn't like too well after a year or two.

You won't get a lot of berries the first year, but in coming years your raspberry patch will grow and canes will multiply. You will need to remove the old, spent canes each fall after the first couple of years, and give them some fertilizer in the spring when you see them beginning to leaf out. That and make sure they are well watered especially while the berries are coming! You will have a wonderful harvest for years to come.

In addition to the great advice you'll find here, there's lots of good information specifically for your area at your County Extension service. They'll have great info on your soil, climate, wind, and other things like what pests to watch out for, from insects to rabbits to squirrels and birds! First thing I'd do is give them a call and find out if the county makes compost, ours is free here and we just have to go get it. Many great books are around on growing fruit and veggies. Get one that's written by somebody in your general area - they're usually available at the local library. Good luck!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Mar 25, 2014 5:02 PM CST
Give your raspberries a place they can spread out, as most (all?) send out runners. You can eventually end up with a whole row of berries from a single plant if you are diligent and patient. I have no idea about blackberries, my property is over-run with the escaped Himalayans so have never even thought of planting one. All berries like lots of water, though, particularly after they've set fruit. And sun.

P.S. Warm welcome from the Pacific NW.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Mar 25, 2014 5:05 PM CST
Welcome Devin! Welcome!
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Mar 25, 2014 5:22 PM CST
Welcome, Devin! Welcome!

I don't grow blackberries but this is what I found on the Ebony King:

This variety has earned its royal name by proving itself. Large, delicious purple berries are perfect for many a baking treat. Upright mostly thornless canes bear fruit in summer before hot days set in. Produces fruit in second year. Picking is easy and fun! No. 1 sized plants.

Furnish ample moisture during the growing period and cultivate frequently. After the first fruiting season, prune to the ground to allow room for new canes. Additional pruning should be done each spring to keep plants from becoming tangled and to improve their ability to bear. Successful growing depends on pruning the plant to 5-6 canes, along with training new canes to stand erect.

(Edited to add: it looks like these do not need fencing)

For the red raspberries, the only thing I will add it, they are EVERBEARING, so you don't want to prune in the fall but in the late winter. They will produce their heaviest in the fall. If you mow them down completely they will not really produce for spring but you will get a heavier crop in the fall. I only cut out dead wood and then trim the other canes to about 2-3 ft because I prefer to get a small spring/summer crop and then a heavier fall crop.

[Last edited by abhege - Mar 25, 2014 5:28 PM (+)]
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Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Forum moderator
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KentPfeiffer
Mar 25, 2014 7:04 PM CST

Plants Admin

dyzzypyxxy said:

Last thing I can think of for right now is that you do NOT want to plant the red rasps too close to the black rasps or they will cross and you might get berries you wouldn't like too well after a year or two.



The recommendation to not plant black raspberries near red raspberries is because black raspberries are highly susceptible to viral diseases that red raspberries are largely unaffected by, but often carry. Sexual reproduction by commercial berry cultivars is pretty rare in garden situations. Not that it matters in this case, because 'Ebony King' is a blackberry cultivar.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is that raspberries and blackberries have very different fruiting habits. Many raspberries, including 'Heritage', produce fruit on both the first-year canes (primocanes) and the second year canes (floricanes). Most blackberries, including 'Ebony King', only produce fruit on the floricanes. Consequently, they need to be pruned very differently. 'Heritage' raspberries, in particular, are famous for the fact that you can simply mow down the whole patch each spring and still get a heavy crop of raspberries in the late summer/fall. With blackberries, on the other hand, you have to be careful to prune out the previous year's floricanes each spring while retaining the previous year's primocanes (which will become the floricanes in the current year).

Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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greene
Mar 25, 2014 7:38 PM CST
Still checking facts:

If the raspberries are planted in soil which previously had tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, or eggplant in the past 4 years, they can get Verticillium.

And you apparently have to destroy all wild raspberry/blackberry plants within 600 feet to avoid getting diseased from those. (That's one I missed when I planted mine, oops.)
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Mar 25, 2014 8:18 PM CST
Ok, you've convinced me .. Madam X's Rule # 46 - Never EVER plant berries!
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

Unknown

Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Mar 25, 2014 9:03 PM CST
The birds plant these for me. The birds scoff at Madam X.
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Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hybridizer Birds Seed Starter Cat Lover
Pollen collector Morning Glories Greenhouse Bookworm Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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Xeramtheum
Mar 25, 2014 9:20 PM CST
Lol ...
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

Unknown

Name: Devin LoveGreen
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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lovegreen
Mar 26, 2014 7:41 AM CST
You all are too awesome! I can't thank you enough for all your advice! I tend to shoot from the hip and blast away and then ask questions later. I tend to plant a lot and see what grows best and then cultivate what does, as with my cattle back home and my chickens now, I don't want weak genes in my area (and no I'm not cruel about it lol). I can't thank you enough for all your help, I look up online and read a lot and I'm a huge Joel Salatin fan and own all his books. I do tend to geek out and read textbooks and listen to podcasts and lectures. I just love learning, that could be because I'm a year out of college too. I look forward to sharing all my ups and downs and my triumphs and my defeats with all of you and I hope I can help any way I can as well! I do have some compost I can get a hold of and it's from a local dairy around here to takes food waste and uses dairy manure and makes compost and then sells local milk to producers. They only use manure and compost on their fields so I love working with their compost.
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Devin LoveGreen
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Mar 26, 2014 8:22 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Your enthusiasm is highly contagious, Devin!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Mar 26, 2014 8:41 AM CST
I agree I'll second that comment, for sure. If you love learning, you're going to be a gardener for a lifetime. There's always new stuff to learn! Plus stuff to "re-learn" - thanks Kent for the correction about black and red rasps. It's been 10 years at least, what can I say? I knew there was a reason for not planting them adjacent. I also learned about 'Ebony King' being a thornless ! ! blackberry today.

You surely did geek out with the analysis of the local dairy's compost there Devin. Big Grin It's absolutely fabulous stuff. You just can't do anything better for your plants than adding as much compost as you can lay hands on. Or in the case of us old people, as much compost as you can shovel . . . ! I would think you could top dress your berry patch every spring - once it's established - with that dairy compost, and it would pay you back in spades, so to speak.

Just be a bit careful on putting it on your new plants - manure can release at different rates, for example if you get a heavy rain right after you plant in a bed with it, it could burn seedlings or new growth with too much nitrogen all at once. That's why a pelleted slow-release fertilizer is safer for new plantings. It releases the nutrients at a controlled rate.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Mar 26, 2014 9:07 AM (+)]
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Mar 26, 2014 8:47 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

We generally pile up our cow manure in one place and then let it sit for a year before we use it.
Name: Devin LoveGreen
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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lovegreen
Mar 26, 2014 8:51 AM CST
That's the nice thing I like about their manure is that they compost it first, and it has old popcorn from the theater, scraps from the local schools, you name it they do it! You can get a whole pickup bed full for $30 or a yard for $22. They even sell their compost to the local nurseries and they use it too and package it themselves.
Devin LoveGreen
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Mar 26, 2014 8:52 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

If I had that available here, I'd send my local dumptruck hauling company over to bring me a full load.
Name: Devin LoveGreen
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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lovegreen
Mar 26, 2014 8:54 AM CST
I know a lot of folks who use them and they said they get so much fruit and biomass that it's unreal! I work with them in my job as well and they are great to deal with.
Devin LoveGreen
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Mar 26, 2014 10:25 AM CST
Back when I lived in Ann Arbor you could go pick up fabulous compost from the materials recycling dept. It was crazy cheap! We would take my roommates pick up truck. They would fill it for $28 and we would low ride it all the way back home. Sometimes even go back for a second trip.

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