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What is your thought on what determines the size of a raspberry? Is it the moisture the plant receives or a nutritional element or ???? I have a gazillion very small berries on my bushes that I deeply watered once a week while they were setting berries and ripening. What can I do to increase the size of the berries? Thanks!
 

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Moisture is a major requirement but only if the plants can find it. Raspberries have shallow root systems and benefit greatly from being mulched and the best mulch turns out to be maple leaves, either whole or shredded. The leaves hold the moisture near the surface where the roots have easy access to it and apparently are the proper pH for the plants.

Martin
 

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Paquebot said:
Moisture is a major requirement but only if the plants can find it. Raspberries have shallow root systems and benefit greatly from being mulched and the best mulch turns out to be maple leaves, either whole or shredded. The leaves hold the moisture near the surface where the roots have easy access to it and apparently are the proper pH for the plants.

Martin
Thanks, I can cross that question off my list.
 

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The secret to large raspberries is lots and lots of beans!

sorry couldn't resist
 

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OK, I have a question on wild black raspberries. I have a volunteer bush in my meadow, and it had two huge stalks from last year that produced lots of berries this year, but most of them are small and hard, and the leaves are all turning yellow. The new shoots are vibrant and green, but won't produce berries till next year. When I find these in the wild, sometimes they are like this (yellowed and small berries) and sometimes they are greener with bigger berries. And I thought maybe it was because they are more shaded and don't dry out as much. I was wondering if wild black raspberries need to be in the shade, rather than full sun?

I don't want to cut back the suckers because I want more plants...but once I get enough plants, would it be better to keep the new shoots pruned off, to redirect the moisture to the older producing stalks?

I have lots of maple here, so will mulch with maple leaves from now on (thanks Martin)...but don't know if the new shoots are partly what's drying out the older stalks with berries? Or, am I just not watering them often enough? I didn't realize they had a shallow root system. I also need to tie them up, because a wind storm snapped off one of the older stalks and took half my berries with it.
 

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naturewoman said:
OK, I have a question on wild black raspberries. I have a volunteer bush in my meadow, and it had two huge stalks from last year that produced lots of berries this year, but most of them are small and hard, and the leaves are all turning yellow. The new shoots are vibrant and green, but won't produce berries till next year. When I find these in the wild, sometimes they are like this (yellowed and small berries) and sometimes they are greener with bigger berries. And I thought maybe it was because they are more shaded and don't dry out as much. I was wondering if wild black raspberries need to be in the shade, rather than full sun?
Wild black raspberries are always small, perhaps a third the size of domesticated hybrid varieties. They are also the only raspberries native to the Americas and their seeds will produce true to their parents. They normally are a plant of the forest edges or clearings since their seeds do need sunlight to germinate. However, once established, they can stand nearly full shade. I have both wild and tame growing side-by-side directly under a black walnut and silver maple tree with none ever getting a direct ray of sunlight. They are now done for the year and the leaves on the old canes are yellow and dying. No problem as they've all nicely produced 2 new canes to replace each old one. The original tame patch is in almost full sun and the only difference is that they ripen about a week ahead of those in the shade.

Martin
 

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Thanks Martin...I think I'll move mine to a shadier spot...I have lots of that here and nothing much grows there. I'll save the sun spots for the plants that need it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have mine deeply mulched with first a nice thick layer of sawdust with a bit of rotted manure to help with the nirtogen loss, and a THICK layer of old rotted straw. I poke my finger down there and there is moisture....but, sigh, and alas! small, but tasty berries!
 

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naturewoman said:
I don't want to cut back the suckers because I want more plants...but once I get enough plants, would it be better to keep the new shoots pruned off, to redirect the moisture to the older producing stalks?
Forgot to answer this question! Do not cut off any shoots of black raspberries. Those are the canes which will produce berries next year. The canes which had berries this year now must die. They are 100% finished. They only live to produce that one crop. Also, black raspberries expand their range by tip rooting, not underground runners like red raspberries. The long cane will bow from the weight of the leaves and flower buds in the spring. Where the tip meets the ground, roots will form and immediately a new plant will start from there. Although that original cane will be dead within several months, the new plant will no longer be dependent upon it for anything. They can be snipped off the old cane and easily transplanted while still young. That's how so many of mine ended up in the full shade.

Martin
 

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Thanks again Martin...but I'm confused. I thought you could start new plants as you describe...what I thought was called caning...where you weight down a branch with a rock and it roots. I did that to one of my old branches, but I'm not sure it's rooted. Someone just broke it off the plant (probably one of my dogs) and I will wait till fall to dig it up and see if it has roots. But...I have a ton of new shoots coming up from underground from this plant. One of them is almost two feet away. Aren't these viable shoots that could be dug up and transplanted?
 

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naturewoman said:
Thanks again Martin...but I'm confused. I thought you could start new plants as you describe...what I thought was called caning...where you weight down a branch with a rock and it roots. I did that to one of my old branches, but I'm not sure it's rooted. Someone just broke it off the plant (probably one of my dogs) and I will wait till fall to dig it up and see if it has roots. But...I have a ton of new shoots coming up from underground from this plant. One of them is almost two feet away. Aren't these viable shoots that could be dug up and transplanted?
Yes, caning is when you weight down a cane and rock on it. That's effective but not the natural way that the black raspberries produce which is tip-rooting. Both ways are effective. If it were close enough to the end, you should soon know if you were successful since fresh leaves and stems should start growing on the side away from the original plant.

"Almost two feet away" is close enough to be part of the original plant's root system but far enough away to have it's own roots. Split the distance in half and use a sharp spade to sever the main root. You'll also find that virtually all of the roots are within the top 6" of the soil.

In contrast to the blacks, my red raspberries were known to show up on the opposite side of a neighbor's privet hedge after travelling at least 6 to 8 feet from where they started. They only stopped that after the privet was taken out and replaced by euonymus, burning bush.

Martin
 

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Hi, Martin. I hope you don't mind if I ask a question.

You said "I have both wild and tame growing side-by-side directly under a black walnut and silver maple tree with none ever getting a direct ray of sunlight."

I have quite a few walnut trees and have read that not many things should be grown near them. Will any kind of raspberry grow under/around them. I want to get some black raspberries and have been trying to decide where to plant them. If they grow well near the walnut trees, I have several places for them.

Thanks for any help you can give me.
 

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dakota said:
I have quite a few walnut trees and have read that not many things should be grown near them. Will any kind of raspberry grow under/around them. I want to get some black raspberries and have been trying to decide where to plant them. If they grow well near the walnut trees, I have several places for them.
You may surround your black walnut trees with black raspberries without fear. However, do not try that with blueberries or blackberries. Here, tree came first about 40 years ago in the middle of a wildflower garden. Birds planted the first wild black raspberry a few years later. About 10 years ago, I grubbed out most of the wild ones and replaced them with what is either Dundee or Jewel. Despite tons of competition from bloodroot, wild ginger, monarda, hostas, and ferns, they couldn't look happier!

Martin
 

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i would recommend a site where the plants get full morning sun and some shade in the hot afternoon. my berries were awesome this year.
 

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wy_white_wolf said:
The secret to large raspberries is lots and lots of beans!

sorry couldn't resist
After you learned the secret wy, did you really have to let it out?

sorry couldn't resist
 

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I have "wild" (actually tranplanted from a previous yard) and store-bought plants in the same plot. The purchased plants' berries are a lot bigger, but they don't taste as good! :)

I'm hoping they'll meld together into some kind of perfect blend, ha ha.

Thanks for the maple leaf-mulching tips, I'm trying that this fall for sure!
 

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Ann Mary said:
What is your thought on what determines the size of a raspberry? Is it the moisture the plant receives or a nutritional element or ???? I have a gazillion very small berries on my bushes that I deeply watered once a week while they were setting berries and ripening. What can I do to increase the size of the berries? Thanks!
The variety of the plant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I think they are the Canby thornless....is this typical for this variety??? If so, what variety that is thornless has larger berries?
 
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