Christor
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Raspberries and blackberries

Ive Recently bought a Raspberry and blackberry bush from homebase (only place ive seen them available) and their still in their potting as my garden isnt ready and really id like them to go in it than at my own house

The raspberry plant is a "polka" so curious as to whether it needs different requirements, says the plants 2 year old on the labelling but its roughly 40-50cm high, should I plant it in a bigger pot and if so what soil or conditions roughly or any fertiliser? also watering im hopeless at, I know they need quite a bit but like well drained soil though mine shows zero sign of flowers atm

the Blackberry bush is much smaller, barely 30cm high and unsure its age, it is a "waldo" variety, again wondering the same requirements or what I should be doing with it like the raspberry bush, especially watering as im aware that can kill a plant faster than not watering enough

Both plants have zero sign of bearing fruit this year, but both seem healthy enough a few torn leaves but nothing that seems to be eaten or disease, more so tearing.

The idea of pruning scares me incase i take away too much, also from reading its done later in the year, basically im looking a little guidance on keeping them healthy until their new home is ready

thank you in advance, Chris
Gardening requires lots of water - most of it in the form of perspiration.

JONA878
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First your blackberry Chris.
Waldo is a fairly new variety. Thornless with moderate vigour.
The growth on them can be rather brittle so when it gets going and grows any real length of cane you should get it tied into some form of support fairly early on so that it does not get damaged by accident nor wind blown.

Polka...your raspberry is again a fairly new introduction from Poland.
It is a Primocane raspberry. which means it crops on the cane that is produced in the year of growth and then at the end of the season the whole plant is cut down to ground level ready for the next season.
It crops from late July onwards until the first frosts.

Both of them should be ok in the pots that they are in for now...but I would try and get them planted into their growing sites by the Autumn.
The Raspberry should then be cut down to ground level for the winter and the blackberry canes tied onto wire supports ready for cropping next year.

Good luck.
:)
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

Christor
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Location: Northern Ireland

Ahh thank you very much, yeh I was wondering why the plant was so well developed yet no fruit growth, maybe next year then I suppose, hard to tell though which are growths or are they the little stems coming from the bottom? the pots themselves arent very big, so an upgrade could be in order

unfortunately I cant see the garden being ready and id hate for them to be removed or trampled in the process

by cutting to ground level you mean cut the main cane totally off?

yeh my little blackberry bush is growing to one side so ill try and support it and promote growth upwards, its new home should have plenty of space too

what do you recommend a good temporary soil and watering regime? im afraid watering them everyday is bad for them?
Gardening requires lots of water - most of it in the form of perspiration.

JONA878
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Yes...on the Raspberry you cut the cane right down to just a couple of buds above ground level as soon as it has lost its leaves for the winter.
The new cane will grow next year from the roots....not from the old cane.
If you are re-potting then any good loam soil will be fine.
Watering just enough to keep the soil moist.

Blackberries are pretty tolerant to wet/dry soils but raspberries like their feet in the damp but not in standing water.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

Christor
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Location: Northern Ireland

ah thank you again, always good hearing from someone who knows, still getting used to the idea of having to cut whole bits off after trying to grow it ha

bigger pot and search for some decent soil around here is the next on my agenda...sorry last question for now, would you add any fertiliser and which? i could get some fresh manure easily, decomposed possibly depends when they were last in the field :P
Gardening requires lots of water - most of it in the form of perspiration.

JONA878
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When you re-pot just add a litlle bone meal but not any fresh manure
...never.
Manure should be well rotted before you ever use it as it can burn plants very easily when its fresh.

Good idea to dig some well rotted into the soil pre-planting though. Gets the plants off to a good start.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

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!potatoes!
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...get a pile of the fresh now, it'll be well-rotted next year...

Christor
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Location: Northern Ireland

ah thanks, im guessing you can just buy bone meal from garden centres as such, anothe handy thing is my family are butchers so bones are easily gotten but of course are a little fresher and would need pulverised, maybe buying would be easier :P

Ill have a wee look on composting and tips as with my project ive got at least a foot and a half of decades and decades of built up leaf litter and organic material, which i presume would make awesome compost mixed with manure? or keep seperate...ill have a wee research
Gardening requires lots of water - most of it in the form of perspiration.

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Gary350
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I have a blackberry patch about 4 ft wide 20 ft long. Nice thing about blackberries they will grow anywhere, they don't seem to care how bad the soil is. They send out runners that come up in other places so it spreads about 2 to 3 ft in all directions every year. They are easy to keep under control just mow around the plants with your lawn mower new plants are easy to cut down. First year canes make no fruit. Second year canes make fruit. Third year canes die. The amazing thing about blackberries is, if you pick every berry it will keep making berries until frost. If you miss one berry it signals the plant to stop making berries. I keep my patch about 4 ft wide so I can pick from both side. If there is a berry I can not reach I knock it off with a stick. I can pick about 1 quart of berries every day for a few weeks then they slow down after that I get about 1 cup a day for several months. I pick 5 gallons of blackberries every summer. I am usually tired of picking about October and quit.

After a few years my blackberry patch gets full of dead canes. I know some people work hard to cut those dead canes out by hand but that is a very hard all day job so I let the whole blackberry patch migrate to the West. I do not mow down new growth on the west side after 2 years when the new patch is making berries I set the old patch on fire and it burns up. It is a pretty amazing fire 25 ft flames in the sky for about 2 minutes then it is gone. I water the new patch for 20 minutes with the garden hose before I burn the old patch. I keep the water spraying during the fire too.

In about 6 or 7 years the new patch is full of dead canes so I let the blackberry patch migrate back to the East and burn it.

Blackberries can be a lot of work the correct way to grow them seems to be grow them in a long straight row about 1 ft wide this makes it easy to cut out dead canes and pick the ripe berries. For me the 2 minute bond fire is more fun and less work.

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