Day to Day Adventures

Transplanting Raspberry plants for a berry patch

2017Kim Brush1 Comment

Love berries?  Me too!  I’m so glad that we have a berry patch.  When we moved to our little spot in the country one of my dreams was to grow enough organic berries that I don’t have to buy any at the store!  Last year we did that for raspberries and strawberries!  I’m still working on the blueberry situation.  One of the consequences of having a berry patch is that you get more and more plants!  So this year we HAD to remove some plants or it would become a jungle.

Honestly, we are doing this berry growing thing totally in the dark. 

It's a new experiment since we've never grown berries before.  Here is what we have learned in 3 years about how to grow raspberries and now we are adding “thinning” the plants to that list.

This is the ugliness I was dealing with in the berry patch.  Seriously.  Luckily it was just extra plants and grass.  Taking care of it just took time and outdoor time which I LOVE!!!

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Advice for transplanting raspberry plants

  • Decide it’s okay to lose some plants.  We had so many that I know I stepped on some and chopped up others as I dug up the ones that I chose to transplant.  You can’t save them all!
  • Dig up more than you want to move.  Some won’t make it through the transplant.
  • The faster you get them in the ground the better.  They survive the transplant better if they aren’t given a chance to get dry.
  • WATER!  If you can plant them right away do it! Then water them every day that it doesn’t rain.  If they dry out it is harder to keep them alive.
  • If you can’t plant them right away then make sure that the roots are covered with wet dirt.  Or you can stick the roots in a bucket of water to “hydrate” them until you get them in the ground.  Don’t leave them there too long though.
  • When you transplant them make sure that you leave plenty of room between plants (4-5 feet) so they have room to grow and get plenty of sunshine.
  • We are trying a trellis this year so that the plants don’t all lay on the ground when they are heavy with berries.  Ours is basic with just t-posts and wire(see pictures below).  I won't know how well this works until the canes are taller.

We've had CRAZY amount of rain in the last two weeks so we had to pause the transplanting and weeding. This weekend we got a bunch more done and I think you can see how much better the berry patch looks now.

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Deep Mulch helps keep weeds out of a berry patch

To keep on top of the weeds, we will need to keep putting down clipped grass. This is called deep mulching which I learned about in Ruth Stout's book, Gardening without Work. Excellent book! We actually cover our vegetable garden with grass/hay as well.

I plan to dig up any dandelions that develop and keep the outer edge clipped with our weed eater. (Please don't tell me that the bees need the dandelions because we have 4 acres of grass that has tons of dandelions. I just don't wan them to choke out my berries!)

There are just a few more plants to dig up that are in the path between my rows and then I will call this garden adventure DONE!

Do you have raspberries to transplant this year?  Or do you just let them grow wild? I'd love to hear about your berry patch in the comments!!

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