Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Preparing Raspberries for the Fall Harvest

~ raspberry patch ready for the next crop ~
I'm glad I have 2 raspberry patches that have slightly different growing habits. This patch is on slightly poorer soil, which is being amended heavily 2 or 3 times a year with mulch, manure & compost, so it will eventually become as rich as the other patch.

The harvest ended last week & I went in & cut down the canes that had just finished producing this year's crop. What is left is what grew this spring & will produce a crop later on in September. I thinned out the weak canes & made sure there were no weeds or other competing plants growing around the roots. I chopped up the removed canes & am using them as mulch. They'll break down over the course of the next year & help with improving the soil.

Since I have ducks to like to dig for insects in this mulch, I will not use my regular berry food at this time. I would normally throw down a good handful of berry food to encourage the plants to grow stronger. This time, I'm using the bedding material from the duck house - pine chips & fresh duck manure. I might make up a couple pails of compost tea from my compost tumbler as I see that it is cooking along nicely right now too.

That's it - now I just wait for these canes to start producing their first crop of fruit in September - this harvest is much slower & longer than the summer crop. I could find myself picking fruit right up til November! Then these canes will overwinter & give me my harvest next spring. A wonderful cycle.

Time to get back outside & continue to harvest the wild berries out along the roadsides.

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