Blackberry & Raspberry Seasonal Checklist (Spring 2012)

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Plant growth and development

  • Plants deacclimate quickly
  • Bud differentiation (additional flowers formed)
  • Bud break
  • Flowering
  • Primocane emergence

Pruning and trellising

  • Finish pruning and make sure all canes are tied to the trellis before budbreak.

Weed control

  • Weed growth can be very vigorous at the same time the bramble crop peaks, don’t let weeds get out of control.
  • Weed control is best done earlier in the season before harvest commences.
  • Hand weed perennial weeds in and around plots.

Insect and disease scouting

The period of time in the spring when the plant is flowering is the most important season for monitoring and control of insects and diseases. Know what your pests are and how to control them. Check the Southeast Regional Brambles Integrated Management Guide for recommendations.


  • Spotted wing dropsophila (See Dr. Hannah Burrack’s blog – – for up-to-date information)
  • Brown marmorated stink bug
  • Raspberry crown borer
  • Rednecked cane borer adults
  • Raspberry cane borer adults
  • Thrips
  • Tarninshed plant bug
  • Japanese beetle
  • Blackberry psyllid
  • Two spotted spider mites
  • Aphids
  • Whiteflies


  • Spur blight
  • Cane blight
  • Septoria leaf spot
  • Leaf and cane rust
  • Powdery mildew
  • Viruses

Water management

  • Bramble plants need about 1 to 2 inches of water each week; this amount is especially critical during harvest.
  • Consider installing an overhead system for evaporative cooling. Turn on once or twice a day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for short periods of time (approx. 15 minutes) until mid-afternoon.

Nutrient management

  • Apply second half of nutrients if doing split application.

Marketing and Miscellaneous

  • Service and clean coolers.
  • Make sure you have enough containers for fruit next season.
  • Prepare advertising and signage for your stand.
  • Contact buyers to finalize orders.
  • Hire pickers.
  • Prepare signage for field orientation; it is easier to tell pickers where to go if rows are numbered.

Written By

Photo of Dr. Gina FernandezDr. Gina FernandezExtension Specialist (Small Fruits) (919) 513-7416 gina_fernandez@ncsu.eduHorticultural Science - NC State University
Updated on Feb 25, 2014
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