I have a 7 acre meadow which currently is mowed once a year in late fall. I have cut a few meandering paths through it. I was considering planting some primocane blackberries/raspberries along the paths and just letting them grow up in the spring, fruit, and get mowed back in late fall when I mow the remainder of the field. Does anyone see any unforseen issues with this plan?
Looks like a great place to grow some blackberries and raspberries to me.
The two varieties of rasp that I started with… the one green world catalog description… said… you can just mow them down in the fall and they require no staking.
But my heritage reds and fall golds… here in TN will grow 7 -8 ft tall… if I did not trellis them and tip prune them… they would sure fall over and be a mess.
You might have to do some summer pruning to keep yours from getting too tall, just nip the top out around 40" or so.
I top mine at 48 inch but they are tied to trellis wire.
They do spread like crazy… one heritage red will turn into 20 in a couple years… with no help from you… so keep that in mind.
I have planted about a dozen kinds of raspberries in a meadow. They have mostly been a fizzle. Maybe they have virus.
I wonder if competition from other grasses and meadow plants could be an issue until they get established. Did yours seem to do well for a few years than fizzle out after that or did it seem like they had a tough time of things from the get go?
I made a raised bed for mine and keep it mulched and weed free (mostly).
Mine have no competition…
I started 6 raspberry plants spring 2020, and propagated (from root shoots) 18 more this spring. Just dug up root shoots and planted them somewhere else.
Now those have all sent up primocanes and multiple root shoots… they are growing exponentially… I had to make another 30 ft long bed for extras earlier this summer.
My heritage Red patch - spring/summer cropped May 26 - June 20.
I am not sure how they would do if you just started them in meadow and did nothing but mow them once a year. The way mine are growing here… I would think they would take over the place.
The first year I mulched them with cardboard and wood chips. They did okay. After a couple years they went downhill. Ag herbicide drift may have been a problem, so I planted other varieties in other locations, but in spite of mulch, the weeds often took over. They just never produced much. Very disappointing.
@northwoodswis4 … I have tried jostaberry and red currants here… but in 3 years… only got 3-4 berries from them… they have both suffered from foliar issues … looks like leaf blight… and now one of my currants is dead.
Not everything grows well everywhere…
I have heard steveb4 say that raspberries grow like weeds for him… he has something like 4… 40 ft rows… and best I remember he is in zone 4.
Here in southern TN mine are doing great… the heritage reds are by far the most prolific… they root shoot like crazy and are very easy to propigate… the golds and blacks are not so prolific… but are doing fine.
The wild ones grow like weeds, but don’t produce much, either. I suspect they must have a virus.
Around me, wild black raspberries do great along wood edges and in meadows and are very productive left to their own devises. My idea with this meadow is more along the lines of permaculture/food forest. I just want to mow the field once a year in late fall without a bunch of yearly maitnence. Although, I have no problem babying them for a year or 2 while they get established. Primocane brambles are the only perennial fruit I can think of that would tolerate being mowed to the ground yearly.