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The cultivation of raspberries raises many controversial questions. Negligent gardeners consider this plant so unpretentious that they allow it to develop literally like a weed. Caring owners, on the contrary, are concerned about care issues, in particular, spring feeding. Do raspberries need fertilization in springtime? How to feed raspberries in spring? What types of fertilizers should be used and in what quantity? It all depends on the conditions in which the raspberry bushes grow, on their age and the type of soil. Naturally, the more fertile the soil, the better the harvest you can get.
Raspberries, indeed, are not among the too whimsical and demanding plants to care for. But you can count on a good harvest only in one case: with good feeding of the plantation.
Advice! Fertilizers need to be applied three times throughout the year: in spring, in summer (when the berries begin to ripen) and in the autumn, when fruit buds are formed.
By the way, the last feeding of the bushes is an investment in the future harvest.
Before and after landing
To get more berries in the first year after planting, it is necessary to apply top dressing even before planting the bushes. Novice gardeners ask themselves: what time is it better to plant raspberry bushes, in autumn or spring? In principle, both options have the right to life. The optimal timing for planting plants depends on the region.
Autumn planting of bushes is preferred for southern regions with mild winters. After the autumn planting, the seedlings overwinter safely, and from spring the plants begin to grow vigorously.
For the Central Lane and the northern regions, planting seedlings in spring is desirable, since the risk of freezing is quite high (especially if the winter is frosty and snowless), and spring bushes will take root without problems. The same goes for varieties with low winter hardiness (eg black raspberries).
Garden bed preparation
Preparation of a site for raspberry bushes begins with cleaning the soil from plant residues and thoroughly digging up (the digging depth is 25-30 cm). It is necessary to take into account that raspberries are growing rapidly, therefore, the initially introduced top dressing may subsequently not be enough.
Advice! To avoid "starvation" of plants, fertilizers are applied along the perimeter of the site in advance, even during digging.
How to feed the plants depends on the preferences of the summer resident and on his capabilities. Both minerals and organic matter can be used as fertilizers. You can combine different types of fertilizers.
Here are several options for complex fertilizing based on 1 square meter of the plot:
- Humus (6 kg), mineral mixtures with phosphates (80 g), potash fertilizers (25 g).
- A mixture of peat and compost (10-liter bucket), half a half-liter can of superphosphate and potassium salt.
If the land on the site is fertile and is used for the first time for growing garden plants, then special feeding of raspberries in the spring is not needed when planting. It is quite enough to use wood ash as fertilizer when digging up the soil (1/2 kg per 1 "square"). The taste of the berries will be much better.
How to feed raspberries when planting
Raspberries require a lot of nutrients when rooting, so when planting raspberries, you need to apply fertilizing directly to the hole.
Such fertilizers are added to each of the holes.
- 2 tablespoons of superphosphate.
- A mixture of compost and humus, at the rate of 3.5-4 kg per square meter of land.
- Potassium salt (can be replaced with wood ash) - 2 tablespoons.
If the soil has an acidic reaction, then, in addition to the specified list of fertilizers, add 1 cup of slaked lime to the hole.
Before adding fertilizers for planting in the hole, they must be mixed with the soil. After the bushes are planted, the ground around them must be mulched using:
- Dry humus.
Important! The thickness of the mulch layer is 10 cm. In this case, mulch plays a double role: it does not dry out the soil and is an additional organic fertilizer.
The first feeding of raspberries
Proper feeding of bushes in spring is one of the main procedures that provide the key to a bountiful harvest of tasty and healthy berries. Fertilization time in spring is April.
Before feeding the raspberry bushes, some preparation is required:
- Remove branches that have frozen over the winter.
- Collect the foliage that attacked in the fall.
- If weeds appear, they must be weeded out by hand before fertilizing the raspberries. Wash carefully so as not to damage the roots of the bushes.
- If the soil is well moistened, then in April you need to apply nitrogen fertilizers as the first top dressing. The amount of fertilizer is approximately 80 g per 1 "square" of the garden.
- Peat, compost or rotted manure are used as mulch for bushes. This prevents the soil from drying out. The manure attracts earthworms, which loosen the soil, allowing air to flow to the roots.
Spring organic fertilizing
Using organic fertilizers in the spring is an effective and environmentally friendly way of feeding.
It is possible to fertilize raspberries in spring in the following ways:
- Manure diluted in water in a ratio of 1:10.
- Aqueous solution of poultry droppings in a ratio of 1:20.
Bone meal can be used as mulch under raspberry bushes.
Good results are obtained using Kemira (3 tablespoons per 10 liter bucket of water). For feeding 1 bush, a liter can of solution is enough.
Oddly enough, but as an organic fertilizer, you can use weeds, or rather, an infusion of them. Comfrey and nettle are the most desirable options as they are rich in potassium and nitrogen.
The herbal infusion is prepared in this way. Pour 1 kg of a mixture of herbs with 10 liters of water and leave for 10 days, stirring the mass from time to time. The addition of a small amount of plants such as valerian or lemon balm improves the odor of the dressing. The resulting fertilizer for raspberries, dilute with water in a ratio of 1:10 - 1:15 and water the raspberry bushes at the rate of 2 liters per 1 bush.
Here are some top feeding tips from experienced gardeners:
- The best time to apply organic fertilizing is a cloudy day.
- If the soil is dry, then you need to water the bushes before feeding.
- Do not let the organic solution come into contact with foliage or stems.
- Prepare organic fertilizing solutions in an open container. Fermentation processes are possible only with free access of air.
If you did everything right, then the harvest will turn out wonderfully: the berries will be large and sweet.
An important rule of thumb: overfeeding the plant is worse than underfeeding.
Mullein and especially bird droppings have a high concentration, so overfeeding can lead to undesirable consequences, up to the death of plants.
Spring feeding with inorganic fertilizers
Potassium, nitrogen salts and phosphates are essential for the normal development of the plant. Sometimes potash fertilizers are replaced with ash. Wood ash is beneficial in every way. It is economically consumed and does not contain harmful substances. The amount of ash per square meter of the bed is about 150 g. Ash can be added both dry and mixed in water. In addition, ash neutralizes overly acidic soils.
It is useful to feed old bushes with mineral fertilizers before starting to loosen the ground. Of the ready-made mineral mixtures, Azofoska, Kemira and Ekofoska have proven themselves best of all. We dilute the mixture according to the instructions, and then feed the bushes.
As the first top dressing, if there is no ready-made mixture, you can use ammonium sulfate (15 g per square meter of land). Fertilizer is scattered under the plants without dissolving in water.
From about the age of four, raspberries are fed with a mixture of mineral fertilizers and organic matter. Consumption per 1 square meter is.
- Potassium salt - 3 g.
- Nitrogen fertilizers - 3 g.
- Phosphates - 3 g.
- Humus - 1.5 kg.
Excellent as a complex feeding and urea. For a ten-liter bucket, there is 1 shovel of humus and a matchbox of urea. Top dressing is so strong and healthy that it is enough for the entire growing season. It is even more useful to combine the use of a mixture with urea with mulching with sawdust, chopped straw or dry rotted manure.
If there is no organic matter, then this recipe will do.
- Potash fertilizers - 40 g.
- Superphosphate - 60 g.
- Ammonium nitrate - 30 g.
These ingredients must be diluted with 10 liters of water before feeding.
You can not use potassium chloride for feeding raspberries: this substance can harm shrubs. And superphosphate is useful, as it contains many useful elements: sulfur, magnesium and potassium.
Evaluating the appearance of the plant
Experienced gardeners believe that the appearance of plants helps to choose the best feeding option. By the appearance of the raspberry bushes, one can judge which substances it lacks, and which, on the contrary, are too many.
- Lack of nitrogen. The foliage on the bushes is small, faded.
- Large amounts of nitrogen. Shoots and foliage grow too intensely, have a dark shade. The berries are showered unripe, the yield is significantly reduced.
- Not enough potassium. The foliage is painted brown at the edges, resembling singed. Plants tolerate winter colds worse.
- Lack of phosphorus. The bush gives weak shoots.
- Lack of magnesium. The bushes do not grow well, the leaves turn yellow from the center to the edges.
- Iron deficiency. The color of the leaves is unnaturally yellowish, with streaks of green.
Spring feeding and subsequent fertilization throughout the year will allow you to get a good harvest of tasty and aromatic berries. By identifying the signs of nutrient deficiencies by the appearance of plants, you can correct the situation, choose the right fertilizers and intensify the development of the plant. The berries will turn out to be more fragrant, larger and tastier.