Blackberry & Raspberry: The Advantages Are Endless

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Adding Raspberry and blackberries to outdoor landscaping brings a vibrant array of colors that breathe life into any garden or landscape design. Incorporating this element into a design scheme begins by selecting the ideal location for planting. Look for areas of a garden or yard landscape that receives direct sunlight for most of the day. Ensure that a healthy water irrigation system is available as well. Accomplish this by not selecting low lying areas where water may collect and pool for extended periods of time. This can damage the base of the plants and the roots. Instead opt for a location with sufficient drainage to promote healthy plant growth and berry development.

When looking for areas suitable for planting, be aware that there are also a few areas to avoid. Start by avoiding areas where potatoes, tomatoes, pepper and eggplants have been planted within a four year time period prior to new planting of raspberry or Blackberry bushes. Each of these plants is carriers of Verticillium which is a root destroyer disease. Although these plants are immune to the disease, newly planted berry bushes in the general area would be in immediate risk of contracting the disease. Also avoid planting new raspberries or blackberries within 600 feet of wild berry bushes. It is virtually impossible to contain the potential diseases wild bushes may have making newly planted bushes susceptible as well.

A considerable amount of time should be spent on soil preparation prior to the first planting of raspberries or blackberries. Start by conducting a soil test to check the current ph levels. Ideal levels for these types of plants are within 5.6 to 6.2 ph balance range. To increase the amount of ph found in the soil, make several applications of ground limestone. Test the soil after each application to check whether or not the ph levels are increasing. Once the ph levels are stable it is time to start applying fertilizer to maintain soil quality and provide plant nutrition. Fertilizer options include organic items such as compost or rock phosphate, animal manure or traditional fertilizers found in a local Garden Store.

With the soil prepared and ready to go it is time to plant the berry bushes. Ideal times for planting are mid spring once the threat of winter frost has been removed from the forecast. Start by placing the roots at a similar depth level to what the Nursery had in place. Raspberries grow extremely well when the trellis system is utilized. For this place two posts in either a �T� formation or �V� formation at each end of the planting area. Enclose the area by running wiring down both sides of the trellis. Place raspberry plants inside approximately two feet apart. Create additional raspberry trellis systems eight to twelve feet apart from one another. Blackberries flourish in a hill system of planting. Here individual berry plants are wrapped to a sturdy post with wire. Additional wiring can be placed across a span of hill posts if desired. This system promotes individual blackberry plant growth.

On a routine basis inspect the plants for signs of insect infestation or disease growth. Any new canes that appear outside of an intended growth area should be removed and discarded to prevent the spread of disease. Additionally remove any blackberry canes that bear fruit once harvesting has been completed. Properly maintained berry plants can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. This makes maintenance and care equally as vital to the equation as preparation and planting.

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