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After all the helpful advice re successfully growing blueberries I'm now asking for help with my raspberries.
I have a chalky soil [but as yet haven't carried out a ph test altho' have just bought a test kit] & have grown a few raspberry canes for 2/3 years. They are in a sunny site, by a fence & seem to be growing quite happily but produce little fruit. I'm lucky if I get a cereal bowl full. I think they're summer fruiting & have pruned them annually after fruiting.
Would really be grateful for any advice suggesting ways in which I can increaase my crop.
Many thanks in hopeful anticipation.
They do prefer a slightly acid soil Cherry3, so you do need to get that test done.
Have you been feeding them with anything? Raspberries are quite hungry plants and need something high in phosphates to fruit well. I would recommend mulching them with 2-3 inches of well rotted farmyard manure in early spring but if that's not available, use fish, blood and bone and a layer of multi-purpose compost as a mulch.
If your soil turns out to be alkaline, you could also try feeding them with an ericaceous feed such as one meant for rhododendrons and azaleas which would also be a good feed for your blueberries. You'll need to keep using this permanently though as chalky soils will always revert to becoming alkaline over time, even if you dig a big hole and fill it with ericaceous compost!
Raspberries also need quite a bit of water when they're fruiting - I watered my autumn fruiting ones last year whenever I watered my runner beans, which was quite a lot in last year's dry summer and autumn
many thanks guys for the above information--will now get on to my soil test asap.
Cherry - as they are summer fruiting ones I hope you didn't chop all the stems down. Only cut down the brown ones that have fruited and leave the green ones which will fruit the following year. You probably know this already but just in case......
I'd like to grow autumn fruiting raspberries. So can't asnswer your Q Cherry3 but by contributing to the tread it will come up in followed threads
Well---- have now carried out my soil test & to my surprise have discovered that whole of veg plot is 7.0-7.2 ie neutral & not alkaline as I'd thought----I tested 4 different parts of plot. So having read earlier advice to me re blueberries & raspberries, I'm thinking that I need to make the soil round the raspberries more acidic by adding fish blood & bone plus a mulch of multi purpose compost; & to grow my blueberries in separate pots with ericaceous compost---then I'll have cracked it!!!! Roll on summer!!!!!
And yes Forester2 I did only prune the brown canes that had fruited---thanks for concern!
Well done Cherry, I think you have now definitely cracked it and this summer you should have a bumper crop. Good luck.