|I have Columbia Red Raspberries that bear the end of July. What should I fertilize them with and what can I use to kill the weeds around them without killing the berry bushes?
|At planting, raspberries should be given about 2 ounces of a balanced granular fertilizer such as 12-12-12, being careful to keep it a few inches away from the canes. The next year the rate can be increased to 4 or 5 pounds per 1000 square feet of bed area, after that apply about 8 or 9 pounds per 1000 square feet each spring.
Most gardeners find that a mulch serves two purposes, one being to keep down weeds and the other to feed the soil as it decomposes over time. You could use straw or bark mulch or any similar organic material. If weeds are already a problem, you might be able to smother them over time by using cardboard or several thicknesses of newspaper under a thick layer of mulch. Alternatively you could pull or dig them out prior to mulching, or you could use glyphosate according to the label instructions. Be dareful if you use this as it will damage the desirable plants, too, if it contacts them. You can use cardboard or plastic to shield the berry plants, also some gardeners find the wipe-on application method easier to control than the spray application.
After the last cultivation a cover crop may be sown.
Any annual crop, such as oats or sudan grass, which dies
during the winter may be used.
Raspberries use much water, especially when
fruiting. They need about 1 inch of water per week and
perhaps more during hot windy weather. A lack of water
is a serious problem during the time from just before
fruiting through the fruiting period.