Raspberries, planted too close?

Ann_02(6B)May 21, 2012

A few questions from a novice gardener:

1. How important is it that raspberry rootstock are planted 4 feet apart? My sister helped me dig some holes today for the plants I had ordered from Park Seed, but after she left I realized I had three rootstock tied together, not just one plant. So my hole was not the proper size for spacing three plants. Feeling anxious, I went ahead and planted them in the hole anyway, about 6 in apart. How serious of a problem is this?

2. I once read that different varieties of raspberries should not be planted closer than 300 feet from each other. The two types I ordered were "Heritage" and "Anne." We don't have that kind of space in our yard, so I planted them about 100 feet apart. Why is this spacing important? Does it have to do with cross-pollination?

I know this is all after the fact, and I'm sure I'm learning lessons the hard way. I just want to know if anyone has some expert advice. What kind of problems am I up against? Are my raspberries going to be too close to thrive? Is it too late to transplant? Thanks.

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franktank232(z5 WI)

I doubt it matters. Raspberries fill in so fast and spread so far, you could plant them a foot apart or 20ft apart and in a few years you'll have a whole yard full of them. I'm at the point where I'm trying to smother them out because they are invading distant plant beds. Amazing how "invasive" raspberries are if given the space.

#2 make no sense to me. I planted all kinds over types right by each other...yellows, blacks, reds, you name it... ? Maybe some one else can chime in the reason. Maybe something to do with pollination? I'm not worrying about it.

Don't worry. You can't kill these things!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 12:33AM
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calliope(6)

It is helpful when asking raspberry questions to specify what varieties (or at least types) of raspberries you are growing because the culture of the red and black raspberries are different. Thanks.

Yes, I can tell you why it's recommended to space red raspberries away from other varieties of raspberries. There are several viruses raspberries are quite susceptible to and they can impact the quantity of fruit produced and the quality of that fruit. Red raspberries can carry these viruses(and commonly do) and not be symptomatic, IOW more resistant to the effects of those viruses, yet they can spread it to varieties who aren't. That's why it's also recommended you place your bramble beds away from any wild stands of berries. Yellow raspberries have the same culture as red ones and are considered a variant, so it may be OK to interplant those. I only grow red and black ones and am not familiar with yellow varieties.

That being said, I do have my black raspberry patch in proximity to my red patch for several years now and both are near my woodlot where wild ones are growing and I've not had a problem. But.................you are taking a chance when you do it.

Here is a link that might be useful: viruses raspberries.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 7:24AM
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georgeneschreiner(5a)

I have only red raspberries and they have slowly marched in a northerly direction filling up our raised bed. So far I have not had any problems with a virus. However, I did learn that if you add an extra layer of soil on top of the raspberry bed, the raspberries don't like it. Mine are still recovering from the shock 2 years later. All the new plants are fine because they are at the correct level, but the older plants are still not happy.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 9:26AM
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georgeneschreiner(5a)

I have only red raspberries and they have slowly marched in a northerly direction filling up our raised bed. So far I have not had any problems with a virus. However, I did learn that if you add an extra layer of soil on top of the raspberry bed, the raspberries don't like it. Mine are still recovering from the shock 2 years later. All the new plants are fine because they are at the correct level, but the older plants are still not happy.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 9:27AM
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birdgardner(NJ/ 6b)

Even if you don't have the space to keep berries far apart from each other, don't let them share a row. Our gold ones got pushed out by the red, and then the red by the black, and then the black took over the vegetable garden, and it took me two years to tame it into pickable, disciplined rows. The most vigorous variety wins.

I'm going to order red and gold again but they'll have their own rows this time.

We've got a wild (non-native) wineberry thicket on the wood's edge and it's nearly as productive as the black raspberries - I'm all for plants that look after themselves, and whichever resists any viruses best is the one that's going to be let alone.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 3:28PM
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