Now might be the time to fertilize your raspberry plants

When early spring hits, raspberries are some of the first plants to "leaf out." When this happens, they have come out of dormancy and have started actively growing (above and below ground). This is the perfect time to apply fertilizer.

I fertilize my berries with a fish emulsion and they have flourished! If you are going to reach for a conventional fertilizer - choose one made for tomatoes or one with a higher percentage of K (the last number). This will allow your plant to make more flowers. And more flowers mean more berries!

Nitrogen is great for keeping it green and Phosphorous helps it develop roots and spread new suckers. It doesn't take a lot for raspberries to do both of these. But you DO want a high percentage of flowers (aka berries.)

After this initial feed, you shouldn't have to feed them again until next spring. I occasionally give them a little fish when I'm feeding other plants (usually toward the end of the first fruiting - to gear up for the second harvest.)

Either way, if you are itching to get out there and garden, you may be able to get your fix in the berry patch. Feed them, cut out any dead or broken stems, then wait.....


drmomof2 said...

I assume that this applies for all berries? Also, last year I planted blackberries and raspberries that I thought would be in a shrub form, but they are actually vines. Any advice on how to prune them or stake them? They seem to have become an overgrown mess after being planted last fall.

Angela said...

This applies to blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. :)

Pruning the brambles depends on which type of berry you have (summer or ever bearing.)

If they only produce berries in the summer (around July in zone 4) then prune the "vines" that produced fruit down to the ground as soon as they are done making berries. Leave the "new vines" to make berries next year.

If they make berries in summer and fall - then prune down ONLY the vines that made berries in the summer. The new vines will make fruit in the fall and the following summer.

The pruning is essentially the same - prune toward the end of summer (august zone 4) but your "new vines" will act very different depending on the type of berries you have. Either way, leave those alone.

If your plants need staking - run a line between two vertical poles (you can even use sticks) and pull it tight. You only need to keep them up off the ground and potentially protect them from breaking after a heavy snowfall.

Good luck with your berries!

Anonymous said...

Thank you this is really helpful

drmomof2 said...

Thanks so much for the info!

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!


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