raspberry plants stopped producing

Asked October 5, 2018, 3:34 PM EDT

I have about 50 feet of overbearing raspberries; for the last 2 seasons the last 8 feet have stopped producing berries although the canes are growing well. Adjacent to these raspberries are 4 rhubarb plants which are not as vigorous as usual. I am wondering if there is a problem with the soil. I have dug and discarded the raspberries and plan to replant with suckers next spring. Do you think I should amend the soil or take other action? Thanks!

Becker County Minnesota

1 Response

It's always beneficial to test the soil before establishing or renewing garden beds. Then follow soil test recommendations to create optimum growing conditions. This is especially true when planting long-lived perennials that will occupy the beds for a long time.

Actually, because a build up of pests or disease might account for the raspberries' decline, it's probably best to replant with certified disease-free stock in another location where raspberries have not been grown before. This is especially important if the existing planting is several years old.

Rhubarb usually responds well to occasional generous applications of compost and balanced fertilizer. These can be applied before the ground freezes or in early spring before growth begins.