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Raspberries are among the most popular types of fruit grown in private gardens. They taste aromatic and can be used in many ways. For a rich harvest, however, you should choose the location and substrate with care.
Rubus idaeus is a forest pioneer that prefers to grow in clearings and on the edges of forests. The species develops a fine root system that runs through the upper layer of raw humus. A thick main root conquers deeper layers of soil. It grows as thick as a pencil and follows earthworm holes or cavities of previously rotted tree roots up to a meter deep. Therefore, raspberries are not flat-rooted.
Location-related growth problems
Cavities through which the roots of the raspberry plant grow ensure the drainage of water from the upper layers of the soil. When there is a sudden heavy downpour, the cavities fill with water. Due to the lack of solar radiation, water can no longer evaporate from the ground. The roots of the raspberry no longer get enough air and are too wet. The opposite of a summer that is too wet, however, are extreme and long-lasting dry periods that bring the water balance in the plant to a standstill. In recent years, such summer months have shown in many places where the site conditions are not optimal. Various symptoms appear:
- Growth of young canes stagnates
- older leaves tend to yellow and brown leaf edges and dry up
- Fruits remain small and do not fully ripen or become milky white
- silvery-brown spots on tails
- Resistance dwindles, so that more weakness parasites appear
The right location
From an economic point of view alone, it is worth looking for the perfect location. Raspberries are among the most expensive berries in the store, and they don't have a particularly long shelf life. Even small harvest quantities can be further processed in many ways. This makes the shrubs the perfect plants for the kitchen garden at home. If you pay attention to the following subtleties, you will ensure optimal site conditions:
- lowest point in the garden is unsuitable as this is where the water collects
- slight air movement prevents botrytis rot
- wind-protected place prevents wind breakage in particularly tall species
- a few hours of sunshine in the morning and evening ensure optimal fruit ripening
- Protection from the midday sun prevents sunburn
Prepare the ground
In an optimal location, the raspberry in the home garden can produce juicy fruits for between twelve and 15 years with good care. A prerequisite for healthy and long-term growth is an optimal substrate, because raspberries have very special requirements. To avoid growth problems and associated collapse, you should choose and prepare the soil well:
- a humus-rich and deep soil is ideal
- Dig deep to explore water flow
- Break through compacted soil and loosen it with sand
- loose rock ensures improved water drainage
Notice: Heavy clay or loam soils are not ideal. In the short term, these substrates ensure high yields, but the plant cannot spread its deep roots in the long term.
However, common mistakes already occur when inserting the raspberries. If the raspberry bush does not grow well despite the optimal conditions at the location, you have probably planted it too deep. The root ball should only be planted deep enough so that there is no more than two centimeters between the top root and the surface of the earth. To prevent evaporation from the root zone, cover the soil with mulching material such as straw or compost.
Tip: When mulching, do not use compacted materials such as grass clippings or leaves, as they prevent soil aeration.