Planting raspberries in the winter... need advice
Hello everyone. I had a few questions about bare-root raspberry plants (and also blueberry plants, if they are grown in similar conditions).
So my local Big Lots store already has a wide variety of fruits and vegetables for sale at the fraction of the cost of buying it from places like Lowes or a local nursery. My wife and I are super frugal, so we decided to pick up a few of the bare-root raspberry and blueberry plants before they all got sold. Discount plants fly off the shelves in my area for some reason.
Anyway, I haven't had the time (until just now) to research how to optimally grow these little guys, and I just found out that they really should be planted till March/April in my zone. Unfortunately, after a careful examination of the plants, it looks like the raspberry is already starting to come out of dormancy... no doubt from sitting in a heated building for days. There is a small green stem growing out of the dormant woody part of the plant.
After doing some searching on the forums, it seems like most everyone recommends just planting them in the ground and mulching well to help keep the roots from freezing. However, I did come across a post that kind of freaked me out a little bit. The poster claims that if the plant has already start to show signs of life, a freeze will potentially destroy a whole season's crop. This was about the only information I could find on the situation I am currently in. I also understand that I should cut the main stem down to about 4-6" to the ground after planting... the green stem coming out of the plant is well above this area.
So I need advice from more experienced gardeners on what to do. My "instinct" is telling me to just go ahead and plant it anyway and chop it down to the ground, but I don't want it to adversely affect my crop (my main goal in all my gardening projects is generally to obtain food from my plants--don't care about about aesthetics).
The forecast for my area is a few more weeks in the upper 40s/low 50s daytime, mid/upper 20s at night. Should I just go ahead and risk it or is there another option I should be considering?
Thanks in advance for any responses!
PS - Love gardenweb.com. One of the few sites people still have worthwhile discussions about gardening over the web. Wish someone would upgrade the forum software, though.