Growing Raspberries/Blackberries - using grape vines for shade

Has anyone ever tried growing Raspberries/Blackberries under grape vines for shade? You have to build a trellis for the grape vines anyway and there is always 20 feet in between the vines that is unused. Could the grape vines be used as shade? Pruning aggressively to benefit the raspberries/blackberries more so than the grapes? Commercial growers use high tunnels with shade cloth. Could this be an alternative that helps prevent sunscald and setting fruit in hotter temperatures? Could this help with setting primocane fruit?


This is generally to keep birds out.

Why do you want to shade your Raspberries and Blackberries?

High tunnels are used to keep the rain off the fruit. Shade cloth is used to prevent sunscald. Shade could potentially help primocane blackberries set fruit when temperatures are too hot.


“High tunnels are used to keep rain off the fruit”.

Not out west. There is no rain during the fruiting season.


Not a problem for commercial growers I’ve had as customers out west, maybe due to lack of humidity?

“primocane fruit set when temperatures are too hot”

High humidity intensifies heat, setting up oven-like conditions.

I’m referring to the east coast. It’s for protection from the elements and to reduce sunscald. I’ve been to Los Reyes, Mexico where they grow 30,000 acres of blackberries and use tunnels for the same reason.

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I don’t know whether the shade would help or not but I do have a problem with sun scald on summer ripening varieties. Give it a try and see how it works out. I have thought about using the space for blackberries but my motive was simply to utilize the space in a small yard.

I would think it might work.

I think you’d have to keep in mind keeping plenty of space between the two to promote airflow. And also you might want to aggressively thin the grapes and grape leaves (which might be a PITA) because dense patches of grapes tend to be breeding grounds for disease. (I had a dense, overgrown patch of muscadine grapes planted up against a fence which the previous owner of my house had put there. The muscadines could take a licking and keep on ticking, as the saying goes–they weren’t resistant to disease so much as completely tolerant of it. But I think they were a vector for disease, as I had planted a vegetable garden close by and was constantly battling some form of fungus or another.)

So, long my answer to say you probably could, and if properly tended, it would probably work, but…I would wager it’d be more of a hassle than you’d think.

Thanks for the input. To clarify a little, mainly this is an idea for raspberries and grapes. I have an Ison muscadine vine right beside a row of Josephine raspberries. I just tipped the raspberries and noticed I need to weedeat under the grape vine. If I layed landscape fabric/mulch under grape vine and planted raspberries under them then maybe that would eliminate the need for two separate trellises and also provide some shade for the floricane raspberry crop. Also, this would eliminate the need to spray herbicide or weedeat under the grapevine. I can’t pencil out the cost for tunnels over raspberries with the yields we get on the east coast. Tipping the raspberry plants on the May, June, and July full moons would help keep plants lower and more productive. The floricane crop should be finished by mid/late June in my area. Hoping this will work since Grapes/Raspberries have similar growing requirements with the soil PH and nutrients. I’ll try and post a pic later this week to show the two rows growing beside each other.

Also, to clarify I am referring to grapevines grown on a one wire trellis. The vines are pruned back to 2-3 buds in the winter.

I grow raspberries and grapes on one trellis. I do it because in my postage stamp backyard their is no room. It has worked well for me. Black raspberries, I would think red may be too invasive, throwing suckers everywhere, as they tend to do.

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Here is a photo of Ison growing with Josephine raspberries on another row. I planted kale/green beans at bottom of vine to compete with the weeds. The raspberries were planted in March. They will grow this year and possibly fruit in the fall. This is a trellis I made by using materials I already had. I would like new plants to be with bigger posts with the top wire at exactly 5’. Lay landscape fabric under vine and plant raspberries beneath vine, spacing about 2’ apart. Floricane fruiting will be finished mid June, hopefully pruning raspberries flush to the ground we will have enough grow time to have plenty of growth by the fall.