Keeping raspberry plants in bounds?

linnea56(z5 IL)May 12, 2012

A friend just shared some of his everbearing Raspberry bushes. My parents grew raspberries; and I remember them being pretty invasive. But then, they lived in the country, and let them grow where they would. They were laissez faire gardeners. Picking the berries was difficult because it was hard to penetrate the thorny tangle.

But I really love raspberries. I live in a suburban yard, only a quarter acre. In what way can I plant these, and keep a handle on them spreading everywhere? I thought of planting them in a row, and not letting them spread beyond it. But having never tried to keep any in check, I don't know how hard this might be. Planting them along one wooden fence would be an ideal location: as long as they didn't march into my neighbor's yard.

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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

I have them in rows and let them grow up between two wires so they don't topple over, between the rows I go with the rototiller, this keeps them fairly manageable.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 12:48AM
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I have some 30 bushes in 7-gallon pots half buried in ground. Only one variety has roots gone through bottom holes with shoots appearing by the side of the pots otherwise well contained.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 1:52AM
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If you plant them along a fenceline, they will send up shoots on the other side of the fence and depending on how much the folks next door like or don't like raspberries, you may make a new enemy. LOL

I think you can grow them just fine if you pay attention to keeping them in bounds. I live in the country and they can spread wild, but I still hold them in tight and keep them in bounds. It makes for much easier picking. We just take the belly mower down between the rows. Depending on the variety you are growing, you can actually mow the cane down annually and get a fall crop on stubbier bushes, some varieties you can't do that. There are various ways to address it, as shared above. The point to make however is to start doing the taming quickly and not let them get out of hand. Then it's gruesome to get them under control again.

Hey..........if you look at the astronomical prices on bramble fruit at the markets, it's a crop well worth growing.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 10:00AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Thanks for your help. Though the fence would make staking them up easier, that seems risky for shots coming up on the neighbors side. It;s one thing for me to mow them down when they come up through the grass, it's another for me to ask them to do it. Though we get along well, my neighbors are not the kind of people to pick or enjoy any fruit on their side. I told them years back to help themselves to any peaches on branches overhanging their yard, and they never did. I just go over to their yard to pick up the fallen ones on their grass before they rot too badly.

With my small yard I don't have a tiller. Mowing escapees would be the route I would take. I think I will try planting them in a narrow line, and use stakes. Konrad, tell me more, if you don't mind, about the two wires system. Would that be four stakes? And how far apart? What kind is adequate for the weight? Or just wrap the wire around, then coax the canes between the wires?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 1:24PM
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Most brambles only go a few inches deep & can be controlled by boards, cement blocks or metal flashing work well.
Bury 6-8 inches & leave 2-4 standing up out of the bed.
Wish I had known this 10 years ago, I have hundreds of raspberries in my back your.
Some in the orchard on the farm, but I use a lawnmower to keep them in small beds between other fruit.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 3:36PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Is mowing enough to keep them down? The flashing makes sense, but I am going to find it hard enough to dig up the sod, much less insert flashing. (I have carpal tunnel syndrome, and have to space out digging tasks). Unless it can be hammered in or something.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 5:07PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

they probably are not for your small yard ...

try growing them in 25 gallon pots ... and i bet they will still grow out the bottom ...

bramble.. probably by definition.. is not something that stays in one spot.. hence the name ...


    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 7:48PM
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I am no expert. But I've had a raspberry patch for a few years with no escapees so far. I dug down and created a coral for my patch using roof flashing. I did have to dig. But it gave me an opportunity to the ammend the soil. And so far it has worked.
I did NOT put any kind of bottom under the plants. I created a rectangle below the ground to keep the plants from escaping outwards. I used 20" roof flashing. That means I had to dig down 20" to install it.
Here's a picture of roof flashing:

Here is a link that might be useful: generic picture of roof flashing

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 8:09PM
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birdgardner(NJ/ 6b)

It took two years for me to get the raspberries under control after I'd let them grow into a giant thicket.

1)Plant them in a row where you can mow on both sides.

2) If you plant them in parallel rows the rows should be 8' to 10' apart, and you should be able to mow in between rows.

3) The canes are allowed to grow only out of a strip of ground 18 inches wide. Get rid of any that cross that line, without mercy. The upper part of the canes will be maybe 3 feet wide.

4) Depending on your variety and pruning you may not need any support. The farm where I picked everbearing reds didn't have any support, and my blacks don't have any support. I prune the canes to 3 or 4 feet tall in early spring, and any extra growth they make across the paths, or long and floppy, I just weave back into the row, just arch it and tuck the end in among the other canes.

5) Production is going to be so so much higher this year. Many more flower clusters with sun exposure to ripen, and I can reach them all.

6) If my neighbor planted raspberries along the fence, I would be happy, unless I had a garden bed on my side. But I'd like to be asked.

7) Never plant them next to your vegetable garden. Mine ate my vegetable garden and that is why there are now three rows instead of one, and the vegetable garden is moved to a new spot.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 11:39PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Perhaps grow some what don't sucker, the purple royalty is one.
Linn,..for one row, lets say 10 yards long, you have 3 post, one in the middle and on the ends. On each post I screwed a 2x4 about 16" long horizontal and about 2 foot off the ground. Then I attached heavy galvanized wire, the one's used for chain link fencing on ends of the horizontal 2x4. Now when the canes grow through/between the wire they don't flop over from heavy wind when theyr'e full of berries. My canes are not that tall, so about 2 foot up the ground works for me. You'll have to figure out what works for you, I know some canes can get pretty tall and you might have to string a double row of wires.

This gives me a pretty good guideline growing them and tilling between.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 12:58AM
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