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Rasberry crop failure again

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Dune, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Sorry to hear about the failed crop. Are the flowers getting pollinated by bees?

    Some raspberry plant varieties only bear fruit on last year's canes so too much pruning is not good. If the new growth is too lush and green, the balance of nutrient could be off with too much nitrogen. It seams that they thrive on neglect. I like to mulch them with wood chips. There is something about rotting wood that they really like.

    I don't seem to have much of a bird problem. My problem is when the hornets find them they will pick them clean in short order.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Bummer. Can you post some pictures dune? I am wondering if this is botrytis? Do you thin out the canes?

    You might try a small patch of a different variety in another location. Some varieties are much stronger than others. We have had great luck with Meeker (early summer) and Autumn Bliss (late summer) in our climate.
  3. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    The thing they like about the rotting wood is that it makes the soil acidic. I'm guessing the ph of the soil is to high for the raspbarries. I have some I planted 5 years ago that I never got 1 barry from. they had lots of blossems and bees. I sprayed them with roundup a few weeks ago. the wild ones around here were very plentiful, but not the same as those yummy red ones. You can add granuler sulfer to lower the ph but it takes years to work..
  4. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, neglect is something I am good at. Doesn't seem to be helping in this case. I will certainly mulch them with wood chips.
  5. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I will try to put some pictures up. Haven't had much luck posting pics so far, so the practice can't hurt. I looked up botrytis, seems like a likely suspect for sure. My parrents had a patch at the farm for many decades without ever a hint of trouble, till kudzo or some such thing took over. The old man mowed em down without thinking twice.
  6. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Usualy here on Cape Cod the soil is plenty acid, from the pine and oak. Maybe I will do a soil test. It is pretty much sand with a hint of rotted turf. Thanks for the ideas.
  7. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    Our raspberries this year turned orange and died off. We got some berries, but I think its a possibility of rust. Its a shame because the vines were beautiful earlier in the season. As far as the slugs go, we had a billion of them this year. I was worried they were going to get my pickle patch. We had alot of rain, but I still treated the garden with sluggo despite the rain. Then when it would dry out some more sluggo would go in the garden. I now only see a few and there is no damage. Without sluggo they would have destroyed everything. I was skeptical but it works great.
  8. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

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    Till em up and start over somewhere else.

    I grow fall bearing rasberries, which I mow off some time after they bear and before they grow in the spring, no other pruning. They will decline eventually from viruses and other diseases.

    You may want to kill off all rasberries around and wait a year to start over if you're not in a rush.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If you are going to start a new bed, start prepping it now. If the soil is mostly sand, it is going to need a lot of organic matter added to build up its tilth.
  10. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Thankyou gentlemen. I asume from your comments that there is no cure?
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    You can try thoroughly cleaning up the patch, open it up by removing crowded canes. Pull any diseases sections, cut off bad tops and be sure to leave no debris that can reinfect the crop. Then try a spray with a neem oil and sulphur mixed according to directions for each ingredient. (For the products I have that is about 4 oz of lime sulphur liquid + 1 oz of neem oil + 1 gallon water)
  12. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    You know, it is otherwise such a healthy looking patch, I am inclined to try your cure. Thankyou again.
  13. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

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    You want to know if they are summer bearing or everbearing/fall bearing. Summer bearing are a pain to prune because you have to prune out the ones that grew last year right now or soon. The fall bearers can be mowed off in the fall once they've stopped producing.

    With either one you want to try to keep the row narrow so the berries are bigger and much easier to pick, and give them plenty of organic matter. You've got nothing to lose but time and effort by trying to rejuvenate them.
  14. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Ben. I've done no pruning ever. I suppose that's not good huh?
  15. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I've done no pruning ever and have great raspberries. Just grow wild.
  16. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

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    If it works for you, that's good enough for me.

    I've been assuming that you have red summer or everbearing raspberries. Which can really thrive if you take minimal care of them. I ordered some new ones this spring from St Lawrence Nursery in upstate NY, for around $10+shipping and a whole lot of work I'll have a new row of a different variety that should bear well for at least several years until they start to decline. For all of the work it takes to pick raspberries I think it's worth it to get them started right and pruned, at least they don't have any significant pests or even weed competition.
  17. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I've pruned and not pruned.
    Pruning can keep the vines from reaching 6 to 8 feet and being unmanageable. theoretically pruning will get you more fruit and clustered making them easier to pick.


    Sounds like you've got healthy plants and a fungus or something is doing the fruit in.

    I have a cherry tree I'm fighting a fungus or rot with Captan. Thought I had it licked last year and this year I lost all but a handful of cherries. I'm ready to cut the tree down for firewood. :)


    I had one very dry year a few years back and the berries just didn't swell and ended up with these grey hard pits.

    This year a lot of my berries have a top patch with no color, so the tops are white. It's not a fungus, there's just no color in the top 1/4 of the berry. Weird.
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    For cherry blossom rot (quite prevalent out here) I am having best success with a simple copper spray = dormant oil. The critical time to spray is just before and after the tree blossoms. This disease also affects our apricot trees. Copper spray has really helped the trees recover. If your trees have high leaf loss, spread some high nitrogen, general purpose fertilizer around their roots (to just outside of the leaf drip line) now to encourage new leaf growth.
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    What variety of raspberries are you growing Dune? Ben?
  20. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

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    Polana, which does great but the berries are "zesty", a little on the tart side.

    Caroline, the flavor is described as a balance of sugar and acid, and I agree it's the best tasting.

    Autumn Britten which is almost as good as Caroline. Polana, Caroline and Autumn Britten I bought from Jungs.

    I just planted Red Wing from St Lawrence Nursery but can't comment on the berries yet. The plants arrived in great shape and took right off so I've got my fingers crossed to get some this fall.

    These are all everbearing, which means you can cut them down to the ground after they're done in the fall and you won't have a summer crop, but the fall crop will be better.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We leave a few of the strongest young canes cut to about 18" high instead of mowing them all down. Usually this is thinned to about one cane stub every 2 feet. These canes will sprout early and will deliver a July crop of berries, while the new canes develop and start kicking in during August. Autumn Britten sounds very much like our Autumn Bliss. They are a really nice berry. Summer berry favorite here is Meeker.
  22. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I could'nt guess. A neighbor planted them for me years ago.
  23. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

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    According to the Jungs seed catalog Autumn Britten is an improved strain of Autumn Bliss. I had some Autumn Bliss but they came from a friend who said that his had petered out and that's what mine did also.

    They also say that leaving any canes for a summer crop will make the fall crop later and smaller. I can't tell the difference but that's what they say.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Thanks, that's good to know. We get a huge amount of berries from a couple 20' rows, even with the mod mentioned.
  25. kelleybean

    kelleybean Member

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    Dune, my Mom lives in Yarmouth and is having the same problem with hers this year. My Grandmother passed away last year and my Mom is now living in the house and tending to the patch. Outside of weather my only other thought was the need for fertilizer. The plants use up so much energy growing and flowering that if not regularly fertilized they run out of energy to produce fruit. Cape Cod soil is very sandy and thus doesn't hold fertilizer like more dense soil does.

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