Blackberry & Raspberry Seasonal Checklist (Fall 2011)

Plant growth and development

  • Primocanes continue to grow, but slow down.
  • Flower buds start to form.
  • Primocane leaves senesce in late fall.

Harvest

  • Primocane harvest continues until frost.

Pruning and trellising

  • Spent floricanes should be removed ASAP.
  • Optimal time to prune is after the coldest part of the season is over. However, pruning can start in late fall if plantings are large (late winter for smaller plantings).
  • Start trellis repairs after plants have defoliated.

Weed management

  • Many summer weed problems can be best managed in the fall and winter using preemergent herbicides. Determine what weeds have been or could be a problem in your area. Check the N.C. Agricultural Chemicals Manual and your local extension center for the best-labeled chemicals to control these weeds.

Insect and disease scouting

Planting

  • Growers in warmer areas (e.g. extreme southeastern North Carolina) can plant in December.
  • Preparations for winter planting should have already been made. If you have questions about winter planting, please contact me at the above email address.
  • Prepare list of cultivars for next year’s new plantings.
  • Find lists of nurseries in the Nurseries for Blackberries and Raspberries section.

Fertilizer

  • Take soil tests to determine fertility needs for spring plantings.
  • Non-nitrogenous fertilizers are best applied in the fall to established plantings.
  • If soil is bare, plant an overwintering cover crop (rye, for example) to build organic matter and slow soil erosion.

Marketing and Miscellaneous

  • Order containers for next season.
  • Make contacts for selling fruit next season.

Make plans to attend grower meetings! The 2012 North American Raspberry and Blackberry Conference will be held January 16-18, 2012 in Sandusky, Ohio, in association with the Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association. There is a caneberry session at the 2012 SE Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference in Savannah, Ga.,  January 5-8, 2012.

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