Blackberry & Raspberry Seasonal Checklist (Spring 2013)

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This checklist was originally developed for blackberry growers in North Carolina. Many of the items apply to raspberry production as well. You may have to adjust your work activities either earlier or later depending on your location. For more detailed information, check the Southern Region Integrated Bramble Management Guide and the Southeast Regional Bramble Production Guide at: http://www.smallfruits.org/SmallFruitsRegGuide/index.htm. Check the items off as you progress through the season. This list is very general, but should help get you to think about what types of activities occur at various times of the year. If you would like other items to be added to this list, send them to me and I will add them next time.

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 floricanes are tied to the trellis before budbreak.
• Rotate shift trellises to horizontal position before budbreak; rotate to upright position immediately after flowering.

Weeds

• Weed growth can be very vigorous at the same time as 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 control of insects and diseases. Know what your pests are and how to control them.
• The SRSFC IPM guide is a great source for up to date recommendations. http://www.smallfruits.org/SmallFruitsRegGuide/Guides/2012/2012BrambleSprayGuide.pdf• The latest information on Spotted Wing Drosophila information can be found at various sites including Dr. Hannah Burracks blog http://ncsmallfruitsipm.blogspot.com/

Water management

• Bramble plants need about 1”-2” water/week. This amount will be especially critical during harvest.

Nutrient management

• Drip application 60-80 lbs/acre

• N 15 lbs/acre March 1
• N 10 lbs/acre March 15, April 1, April 15
• N 5 lbs/acre early May o After harvest
• Remainder of N recommended for the year

Marketing and miscellaneous

• Service and clean coolers
• Make sure you have enough containers for fruit in the coming 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

Gina Fernandez, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDr. Gina FernandezExtension Specialist (Small Fruits Breeding and Production) Call Dr. Gina Email Dr. Gina Horticultural Science
NC State Extension, NC State University
Updated on Feb 25, 2014
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