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grass overtaking raspberries help

I need some advise. I have an established ever-bearing raspberry patch that has grass overtaking it. What is the best thing for me to do to help restore the patch? Can I do a controlled burn that would take care of the grass, but would it hurt the raspberries? Should I just dig out the parts where the grass has taken over, and replant whatever canes I find? Am I better off hoeing the grass parts out instead of digging it out? Is there a herbicide I can use (my husband is not in favor of this option)? Are there other options I am unaware of? Thanks for all the replies.

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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I think mulching would be the best way. Not too heavy at first so new raspberry shoots can come up, then go heavy. I use straw and grass clippings. Beyond where you want the raspberry shoots to grow, you can put down cardboard and mulch on top to completely smother grass and weeds.

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Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:14 am
Location: SUSSEX

As Star says smothering is about the only option as regards control without using weedkillers or constant hoeing.
It will depend a lot on the type of grass that is the problem though.
Ordinary Rye types will have fairly shallow roots and will be controlled quickly , whereas the Couch types could be a real devil.
I'm not sure of the availability of some weedkillers over your side of the pond but one that works really effectively on Rasps is the chemical Bromacil.
Over here one of its commercial names is Hyvar X.
It's used in the dormant period in early spring before the canes have broken bud.
I would suggest caution though.
It is damaging to any other crop and requiers a two year period between its use and the planting of any other type of crop.

The only other one that I know of is Paraquat in its various forms.
This will burn off the surface growth giving you a two to three month respite, but will take many applications before real control is established. In its slight favour is that it becomes inert on soil contact.....BUT...is highly poisonous in undiluted form.

So unless you are really desperate I guess you husband is on the correct lines wuith his reluctance.

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Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

Use six to eight sheet thicknesses of newspaper and cover with a suitable mulch. Raspberries are pretty vigorous. The newspaper barrier with mulch on top should be all that the plants need to dominate the bed.

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Ozark Lady
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

I am amazed! Raspberries take over everywhere and everything here. The only things to compete with them are trees, or shrubs. For me, raspberries, and blackberries are invasive nuisances, and they pop up everywhere, you chop them down, and bingo, you just made 20 more!

The only thing about chopping down the raspberries and blackberries, they fruit on last years wood. So, don't destroy it! If you burn the patch, you won't get fruits until it grows some new wood.

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