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Rehabilitating a raspberry patch - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Rehabilitating a raspberry patch

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Sharon Meyer: Well Charlie. it seems like these have been neglected a little bit. Poor raspberries!

Charlie Nardozzi: Well yes, they've gotten a little out of control. And you know a lot of people either have an old patch at their house, or wild raspberries in their back yard and their wondering, can I reclaim them, can I use them?

Sharon Meyer: And you are saying yes?

Charlie Nardozzi: Well, I'm saying yes with conditions. It's always best to get disease free, commercial varieties because they are just going to be better, healthier, they'll give you bigger berries. But If you want to reclaim what you already have, you can do it. Now the first thing you want to do if you have a big patch, you want to mow some paths in it. So 6 foot wide paths would be ideal, so that you have about a three to four foot wide bed of berries.  
You need to be able to reach in there. Exactly. Reach in there, and then the second thing would be to clean it up. Reach in there and take out any dead growth. But also you'll see a lot of times you'll have cains that grow up and you'll have some live shoots, but really, most of the new growth is on the bottom. So you want to prune some of this dead stuff out, to where you get a real vigorous side shoot, because off these side shoots, that's where you are going to get the most berries.  
Once you've cleaned it up a little bit, put a little fertilizer down, maybe a little compost  and then you can put down some wood chips or some bark mulch just to kind of get rid of the weeds. You can go in there on your hands and knees and pull the weeds out, but that's not much fun. So just dump a bunch of bark mulch around these plants, don't worry if you bury them, because the raspberries are so vigorous they'll grow right through the bark mulch.

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