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.
- 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.
- 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
- Continue scouting for insects and diseases.
- Remove damaged canes as soon as possible to lessen the impact of the pest.
- Check the Southeast Regional Brambles Integrated Management Guide for recommendation as well as www.smallfruits.org.
- Dr. Hannah Burracks Blog includes timely information on insects of interest.
- 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.
- 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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