How to save both plantings?

2ajsmamaJuly 14, 2013

My great-uncle has a large blueberry patch that until this year had been mantained by his DD's fiance. A number of years ago, uncle had planted raspberries in there too, but fiance always mowed them down in May/June. Now fiance is soon-to-be ex, blueberry patch is overgrown, my dad has cut chest-high weeds down between bushes and raspberries are bearing, great-uncle has enjoyed a couple pints. But they're growing in with the BB, hard to pick either, and I know if we don't cut them down they're going to take over.

So how do we manage this? I was thinking if I cut floricanes down to the ground after fruiting (as normal) and then this fall dug up as many primocanes as possible and moved them to new location, prune BBs more severely in that area this winter so we can access RB next year, repeat picking/cutting/transplanting, that maybe we can eventually get the RB cleared out of the BB patch and moved to another location so uncle will be happy?

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We have both raspberries and blueberries, but not in the same spot. They really don't belong growing together, raspberries are too invasive for this. I would prune just enough to harvest some fruit this summer, and dig out all of the raspberries in the fall. They can be relocated in a new spot, at least 5 feet away from the blueberries. Any raspberries that come up in the blueberry patch next spring would be pulled or dug out, as weeds.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 10:19AM
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Thanks - DH took the weed whacker out this weekend and I found some primocanes whacked off farther down the row. Will they fruit next year if 3/4 of the cane has been lopped off?

Uncle says RB used to be outside the BB enclosure but got pulled out long ago, but popped up inside (a long way inside!). I figured we could move them in the fall rather than waiting until spring, just didn't know how to do it when both berries have shallow roots.

I figured after the BB went dormant and lost their leaves it would be easier to see the RB, but might be too cold to transplant the RB by then?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 9:51PM
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If it were my garden, I would do the uprooting and transplanting between September 15 and October 1. I would think that the roots are intertwined, and that the blueberry shrubs will be disturbed, but they should recover from this, and do well with no competition from raspberry canes. It is not hard to tell the difference between blueberry canes and raspberry canes, as there are no thorns on blueberry canes. We have everbearing red raspberries, and these will flower and yield fruit in the same year that they are transplanted, if it is done in the early spring. My experience with raspberries is that they transplant very easily in the early spring, and also in the fall.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 9:58PM
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It's not a problem telling the difference, just everything is so dense with leaves on the BBs that it's hard to see or get access to anything. I'll do what I can in the fall to transplant some RB, hope not to disturb the BB roots too much (he'll never forgive me if I kill any BBs), then maybe when we winter-prune the BB I can get in there and pull more RB out so they don't come back next year. Cut them or dig them in March? Don't know if digging then too risky for BB, plus the ground might still be frozen ;-)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 10:04PM
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If it becomes necessary, meaning there is no other way, it is possible to dig up a mature blueberry shrub, when it is dormant, typically around March 15. The shrub can be dug up, removed from the ground, and planted in a new spot, successfully. So that would be one way to separate blueberry roots from invasive raspberry roots, if you have no other way to get all the raspberry out of there.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 10:35AM
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A couple years ago they used a backhoe to dig out and transplant a whole row (a dozen?) bushes so it can be done but we will have to do everything by hand now. I'm actually hoping he'll let me take some bushes for my place if he has some shoots coming up and we can cut the roots, rather than just cutting the shoots off at the ground so the BB don't get too thick. I'm going to be learning how to prune them too, since both of them are pretty limited mobility. Cousin was hinting at having someone whack the 6-ft tall grass in the garden and till it in so they could plant beets and carrots now but they can't bend over to plant, weed, pick so I'd just as soon buy them some (those veggies are cheap) and maybe next year we can make them some raised planters, gotta give up on growing in the ground.

Thanks for the advice

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 10:59AM
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