August 28, 2009

Pruning the Raspberries

Yesterday and today have been beautiful crisp autumn-like days. Perfect for doing yardwork. Since the raspberries have finished bearing, I've been working on pruning the canes, which has to be done each year at the end of the season. I cut out the old canes and thin the new ones, weed the beds and rototill around them. Then I put hay mulch around the plants; this keeps down weeds, conserves moisture, and provides some nutrients to the soil as it breaks down.

Yes, this is a lot of work, especially since I have two broad rows of plants, 2 1/5 feet wide by 24 feet long. When I first moved here 19 years ago, there was a huge round mass of raspberry canes and weeds. Over a few years I wrestled the plants into order, making these long rows. Every bit of work has been worth it as I harvest gallons of gorgeous delicious berries each year.

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