I know you have addressed this before but could you tell me when and where is the best place to plant raspberry canes? My friend has a bunch that she would like to get rid of. Is fall a good time to move them? And while on the subject, can I get both a summer harvest and a fall harvest from the same plant?
Raspberry canes can be dug and transplanted at any time of the year but do much better when transplanted in the early spring. Now would be a good time to prepare the bed for them. Whether you plant fall-bearing raspberries or summer-bearing ones, choose a location that gets full sunshine and has good drainage. Raspberry roots don’t like wet feet. Enrich your bed well as raspberries will produce for years. Red or yellow berry plants should be set about 2 feet apart with the crown just under the soil surface. Once planted, prune the top of the plant to several inches high to encourage new growth. The plants tend to roam at will and can become quite invasive, so bear that in mind when choosing your site. You’ll want a place that you can control by mowing if you don’t want them to run amok.
Purple raspberries, a hybrid combination of blackberries and red raspberries, grow differently and are best planted in hills, with 3-5 feet between plants. Bury their crowns several inches below the soil line. This variety spreads by tip-rooting, the graceful canes arching downwards to root in the earth and create new plants. Stop this rooting by cutting 3-4 inches off the top of each new cane mid-summer. This encourages the development of lateral branches and produces more fruit.
Conventional wisdom says that you get a better fall harvest if you cut the canes to the ground each spring. That’s not been my experience. Between early frosts and Japanese beetle damage, I find I get a larger harvest by encouraging summer production as well as a fall crop. As for getting both a summer and a fall harvest, that is only possible if you plant what are called “fall-bearing” raspberries. This type will produce a crop in their first year of life. If you set out new plants in early spring, by the fall, berries will develop on the tips of the new canes. Come July of the following year, fruits will form lower on the canes and result in a summer harvest. For the best summer production, in the spring following a fall harvest, prune out only the dead or diseased canes and nip off the top one-third of the remaining canes. Summer fruit will then develop on the lower part of the same plants that produced the fall crop. After these plants produce, this 2-year old wood can be cut to the ground. Because raspberry plants continue to send up new shoots all season long, some of the canes will be new and will thus produce fruit in the fall. Take care when pruning out the summer-producing branches to leave these new ones alone for a new fall crop.
Raspberries do not store well and are expensive to buy. Why not grow your own? For a good primer on growing raspberries in Wisconsin, see http://learningstore.uwex.edu/Assets/pdfs/A1610.pdf
Is it too late to plant garlic? A friend gave me garlic “seeds.” Do they work as well as planting garlic cloves?
Now is the perfect time to plant garlic. Opt for cloves instead of seeds as the seeds from garlic scapes can take several years to produce an edible clove.
Beverly Carney can be reached at email@example.com.