I wish I could say I was an expert gardener and did everything perfectly the first time around. Truth be told, our gardening style is more of throw it in the ground and see how it goes. Often the outcome is good, but sometimes the outcome looks like this. Behold, the tangled black raspberry patch.
We threw these in the ground after a friend gave us a few plants. In no time they exploded and got so long that they drooped down to the ground and re-rooted back into the ground. To say that it was a big gigantic mess is an understatement. It was difficult to pick the berries trying to navigate through the thorns and tangles, and I suspect that I wasn’t getting as much fruit as I could be because they weren’t properly pruned.
The weather warmed last weekend and it was the perfect time to tame the mess with a trellis.
First we dug a hole on each side for posts to rest. They need to be pretty deep. Ours were a couple of feet deep.
Then we sunk in our 4×4 posts, which we just had hanging around. My husband drilled three holes in each post: bottom, middle and top. You can use an electric drill for this. My husband just thinks it’s fun to use his grandpa’s old tools.
Next, we threaded clear plastic coated wire through the holes and affixed them with these wire rope clips.
Then we dug up all of the black raspberry crowns and whittled them down to a reasonable manageable amount and replanted them in a row under the wire. We had to trim each branch so that they weren’t drooping to the ground anymore, and we loosely bent wire around the branches to train them to grow where we want them and also to help support the weight of the berries when they come in.
To keep the main wires tight and the posts straight, my husband also used more of the coated wire along the sides and attached it to the ground with a stake. Without pouring concrete into the holes for the stakes, this was the best solution that we came up with. We will see how well it holds up over the season.
Here’s to a great black raspberry harvest. I can already tell that maintenance will be much easier with the addition of the new trellis. Happy gardening!