Cane Berries produce well in sunny locations
We have selected thornless varieties of blackberries and boysenberries which produce well in sunny locations. (Rubus ursinus). They are trailing berries and are more manageable when trellised.
Raspberries (Rubus idaeus) are mainly grown in the relatively cool, marine climates. In valley climates, most varieties grow best with some afternoon shade. Red raspberries have invasive roots and will spread unless contained by borders or hoed in the spring.
If soil does not drain well, use raised beds
Plant raspberries in the ground in rows or in containers, space plants 3' apart. For best results, plant berries in full sun (or afternoon shade in hot climates) in rich, well drained soil using a trellis or fence for support. Most are ever-bearing, producing 2 crops per year: the heaviest crop in the fall and a lighter crop in June. Prune out and remove older canes during the dormant season (after the second crop) or to control size.
Amend soil with well composed organic matter. If undecomposed material is used such as leaves or manure, do not plant for 2 months to allow it to break down. Buried pockets of organic matter may become toxic to roots. Mulching with organic matter is a good option.
All the Cane Berries are shallow rooted and will fill a space 3 to 4 feet wide. Beds should be at least that wide and 1 to 2 feet deep. If soil does not drain well, use raised beds.
Cane Berries like moist but not overly wet soil
Cane Berries like moist but not overly wet soil. Soil type will dictate water use. Irrigate with soaker hoses or drip lines rather than overhead watering, because it can cause fruit rot.
If plants are growing and fruiting well, it is not necessary to fertilize
If leaf color is good and the plants are growing and fruiting well, it is not necessary to fertilize. If fertilizer is needed, rake back mulch, spread fertilizer on top of the soil and recover with mulch. In early spring or at first bloom, apply a 20-20-20 formula at a rate of 4 lbs per lOO ft of row. Organic fertilizers such as blood meal, cottonseed meal, fish meal or alfalfa meal are an alternative application.
Cane Berries are manageable in a garden if they are trellised
Cane Berries are manageable in a garden if they are trellised and pruned correctly. End posts should be strong (4 to 6 inches in diameter) with intermediate posts at least 2x2 inches, spaced no more than 20 ft apart. Strong galvanized wire (No. 10-12) should be used for durability.
Blackberries and boysenberries are commonly grown on 3 wire trellis or double 3 wire trellis. A good technique for raspberries is to have a permanent wire at 4 ft and a detachable wire at 21/2 ft. The detachable wires are used to bring the newly grown canes into the rows. Double wires can also be used and provide more air circulation.
Blackberries: After the summer harvest, the old canes that fruited are cut back
Blackberries: After the summer harvest, the old canes that fruited are cut back to the ground. Leave 5 to 8 new canes per plant and all the other new canes are cut back to the ground. In the winter, cut the new canes back to 5 to 6 ft long and spread them across the trellis. Side branches can be cut back to 12 inches. In spring and summer, watch for thorny “suckers” and cut them off at the ground level.
Raspberries: Hoe out canes that extend into pathways. After late spring harvest, remove the old fruiting canes, select and tie the strongest well-spaced new canes (8-12 per plant) to the trellis wire and cut off the remaining canes at the ground level.
Everbearing varieties bear mostly on current season's growth in the fall (from September through November), so they are usually completely cut back to the ground each winter. If a small June crop is desired, the canes are instead cut below the autumn fruiting region rather than cutting the entire cane back to the ground.
Summer bearing varieties bear fruit in June on over-wintered canes while new vegetative shoots grow from the ground to become the next year's fruiting canes. No canes are removed in winter (except for weak, damaged or broken canes) Instead the canes are shortened to 6 ft. All fruiting canes are cut back to the ground after harvest allowing new canes to grow.