Weeds INFESTING my Raspberry patch! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 07-08-2010, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know what to do about this and am about ready to mow the whole thing down and "Round Up" it. We have a mature patch of raspberries, about 60 feet long and 4 feet across. I pruned and thinned them last fall and this spring and literally spent 6 hours+ pulling weeds from the roots out of the patch, they are being taken over by thistles (humongous ones!) and dandelions and pig weed. Now a month later and the whole thing is choked up by thistles, etc again. I don't have it in me, in this heat to pull them all over again- I was covered head to toe in scratches and slivers the last time I did it- even with work gloves on I was frequently yelping from the pokes of those massive thistles. Someone suggested I would need to transplant the whole patch- um, yeah, so NOT going to happen, it would be a tremendous amount of work and frankly I'm maxed out at the moment! What can I do? Can I spot treat each weed with Round Up or Weed B Gone? I have never used weed killing chemicals and I'm really wary of them, tbh.

Also, our property line ends about 60 feet from the raspberries and the neighbour has soy beans growing right there- which has a lot more chemicals sprayed on it than most other crops, IIRC. Could this have anything to do with the weeds growing on my property? Just a thought going through my head, they had peppers growing there last year and we didn't have this weed problem nearly as bad...

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#2 of 17 Old 07-08-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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You can spot treat them. We use vinegar and boiling water on weeds. Once the weeds are dead you should mulch the area heavily.
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#3 of 17 Old 07-08-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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Another natural weed killer solution that we found was a mix of vinegar and lemon juice. A batch recipe calls for 4oz lemon juice and 1 quart white/cider vinegar.

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#4 of 17 Old 07-09-2010, 04:50 AM
 
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How about just mowing around them?
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#5 of 17 Old 07-09-2010, 07:26 AM
 
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I've never even thought to weed near our raspberry bushes. I only have a patch about 4'X5', with another dozen or so plants scattered around the place with volunteers slowly adding to it. I just let the weeds go. The raspberries grow so thick and easily that I don't think they are impacted by the weeds.

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#6 of 17 Old 07-09-2010, 11:15 AM
 
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I would go with mowing if it would work, or tilling if it needs something more. If you pass through twice with a rototiller, you should be able to rake out a lot of the weeds/roots. If you're extra ambitious, afterwards till it again and rake again. The more roots and things you get out the less weeds you'll have. Have you looked into mulching?

We/I started a garden from scratch this year where weeds had been growing waist high for a decade. First I raked out all the dead stuff this spring then tilled, raked, tilled, raked and raked and raked. You can really tell which areas of the garden were raked more, there's way less weeds growing up. And yes, I've been mulching where possible. Cardboard laid down with 4-6 inches of all the dead grass stuff that I raked this spring. I was told I might just be adding more weeds to the garden but the stuff was really dead and after weeks, still looking weed free!

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#7 of 17 Old 07-09-2010, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The weeds are huge suckers growing all through the raspberries, I can hardly pick any due to the thistles, which are now spreading all over that side of the lawn as well (which gets cut once a week, but they still return). If I were to mow down the whole thing now I don't think I'd get any raspberries this summer. I haven't tried mulching it, it would be a huge job but I may be able to do it in the fall. Hmmmm, could I mulch it with recycled chicken coop wood shavings?? I got lots of those in a pile behind the barn. This is our 3rd summer in this home and the raspberry patch is likely many years old, and went untended for probably 5 years before we moved in, so I have been gradually clearing out a lot of the old dried up and dead branches, which just seems to be making more room for the weeds to come in.

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#8 of 17 Old 07-10-2010, 09:09 AM
 
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if you happen to have something that would work, you might try a non-decomposing mulch a little away from the plants (not to near, as you want to let new canes come up) - we have masses of old roof tiles that we use for this kind of job - and then thickly mulch with something biodegradeable near the plants. the barrier around the bed might help discourage some of the runner weeds in the long run.
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#9 of 17 Old 07-12-2010, 11:06 AM
 
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is there a way you can use sheets of plastic, anything you might have around, such as old shower curtains, etc. and lay them on the weeds for a while till they die a little? pigweed is horrible to try to uproot! those stupid roots are LONG. and, it makes 13,000 to 35,000 seeds per plant once it goes to seed AND the stupid stupid seeds have close to a 100% rate of sprouting...--I'd try tilling or hoe-ing if you can, and absolutely mulch as much as possible. I don't see why the chicken shavings wouldn't work.

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#10 of 17 Old 07-13-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MrsJewelsRae View Post
Can I spot treat each weed with Round Up or Weed B Gone? I have never used weed killing chemicals and I'm really wary of them, tbh.

Also, our property line ends about 60 feet from the raspberries and the neighbour has soy beans growing right there- which has a lot more chemicals sprayed on it than most other crops, IIRC. Could this have anything to do with the weeds growing on my property? Just a thought going through my head, they had peppers growing there last year and we didn't have this weed problem nearly as bad...
This won't be the popular answer on here, but yes, I would try to spot kill the weeds with Round Up. Don't try spraying it as you will kill the raspberries too, just paint some on a few leaves of each plant. Round Up is fairly "safe" as far as herbicides go and doesn't stay in the soil (it only kills what it touches). As far as the soybeans, unless they haven't been sprayed and are super weedy, they probably are not the cause. I'm not sure about Canada, but most soybeans in the US are sprayed with Round Up.
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#11 of 17 Old 07-13-2010, 04:53 PM
 
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can you or someone else very carefully hand weed right close around the plants and weedeat down the rest, then immediately put down newspaper (wetting it first helps it stay in place) over every square inch with a thick layer of mulch or woodchips on top. maybe you could advertise on craig's list for someone to do it for you for cheap (high school or college kid)?!?! just so you don't feel so overwhelmed about it
i used to work on an organic farm where we did tons of hand weeding, so i know how overwheming it can feel and i was getting paid for it!!!
please just skip the herbicides, as soon as it rains they run right down into your soil, if your weeds are as i'm imagining them painting a couple leaves here & there isn't going to help the big pic. anyway
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#12 of 17 Old 07-13-2010, 09:41 PM
 
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I'm also on the non-poplular train...

I have 2 young kids and haven't sprayed anything yet (since I've had kids) but I'm about to go Rambo on some poison oak!

I'd spot spray but not with Round Up (no Monsanto, thank you). Wear a mask and a protective suit if possible. If you have sh*t being sprayed on you from next door I don't see how it could be worse than that. bummer

Then when they are down to the ground mulch with the chicken coop stuff like nuts!! We use ours all over in the fall and I love it!

Good luck and btw I totally get your frustration!! I have a big old batch of boysenberries which are almost like weeds themselves popping up where they aren't supposed to be. Whenever I pick the berries I always get the song verse "I fought the law and the law won" stuck in my head but I substitute law for berries! LOL. OUCH! I went to a bday party this weekend and received several questions about the scratches on my hands and arms! Hey these preserves don't materialize without a bit of pain!!


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#13 of 17 Old 07-21-2010, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Erin- that is too funny! I posted on my facebook a while back "I fought the weeds and weeds won" cause that song goes through my head when I'm weeding and ready to give up! Also, I hear ya on the boysenberries, we have black raspberries that I was determined to turn into jam- yikes, they are a pricky bunch, but the jam was SO worth it! Yumm!

I think I will keep pulling by hand, mow and till in the fall and mulch it like crazy! Thanks so much for all the great tips!

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#14 of 17 Old 07-21-2010, 10:12 PM
 
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Something to consider for next season... Corn gluten meal. It is an all natural by-product of the corn syrup industry, I believe. It is also pretty cheap and readily available. It stops all seeds from germinating for up to six months, though I think in wet weather it only last about three. It has no harmful effect at all on established plants. So think of all the thistle, pigweed, and dandelion seeds in your raspberry bed, and imagine them NOT growing. If there are any perennial weeds with established root systems, they'd be the only one you had to wrestle with. Then mulch heavily! I think that there are quite a few green manures that also have germination inhibiting action too... I know that winter rye is one. Can't think of the others. You might look it up. Anyway, I am pretty sure the corn gluten meal would take care of a lot of the problem. When you thought that the sprout inhibiting effects has worn off, you could even seed the patch with a beneficial ground cover like clover to improve the soil and stop weeds from getting their feet back in the patch. Good luck! I'm trying it my veggie garden next year... Putting down a bunch in the area I want to put my tomato and pepper transplants into. I hate weeds!
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#15 of 17 Old 07-26-2010, 10:54 AM
 
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Has anybody done a cover crop around raspberries? The patch in my community garden plot is pretty weedy and I was contemplating weeding and then putting down clover seed...
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#16 of 17 Old 07-15-2013, 08:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MrsJewelsRae View Post

I don't know what to do about this and am about ready to mow the whole thing down and "Round Up" it. We have a mature patch of raspberries, about 60 feet long and 4 feet across. I pruned and thinned them last fall and this spring and literally spent 6 hours+ pulling weeds from the roots out of the patch, they are being taken over by thistles (humongous ones!) and dandelions and pig weed. Now a month later and the whole thing is choked up by thistles, etc again. I don't have it in me, in this heat to pull them all over again- I was covered head to toe in scratches and slivers the last time I did it- even with work gloves on I was frequently yelping from the pokes of those massive thistles. Someone suggested I would need to transplant the whole patch- um, yeah, so NOT going to happen, it would be a tremendous amount of work and frankly I'm maxed out at the moment! What can I do? Can I spot treat each weed with Round Up or Weed B Gone? I have never used weed killing chemicals and I'm really wary of them, tbh.

Also, our property line ends about 60 feet from the raspberries and the neighbour has soy beans growing right there- which has a lot more chemicals sprayed on it than most other crops, IIRC. Could this have anything to do with the weeds growing on my property? Just a thought going through my head, they had peppers growing there last year and we didn't have this weed problem nearly as bad...

 

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Originally Posted by limette View Post

You can spot treat them. We use vinegar and boiling water on weeds. Once the weeds are dead you should mulch the area heavily.

We have a large patch. Will take a lot of vinegar and boiling water.. Guess better than alternative of either removing plants plowing and covering with cloth barrier and mulching. Will vinegar and boiling water affect raspberry plants?

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#17 of 17 Old 07-16-2013, 04:22 AM
 
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we had just put in 500 raspberry plants this year to the additional 60 we already have and we use woodchips to keep the weeds at bay and it seems to work really well! If you're interested there is a documentary called Back to Eden and it is all about using woodchips in gardening. Seems to work really well for this guy. We get our woodchips delivered for free because it is actually more convenient and closer for the woodchip guys to drop them off here. Our raspberries are really taking off this year! Here is a link to that documentary if you have time to watch it, I found it really informative. You should skip the round up, that stuff is bad news :(   good luck!

 

http://vimeo.com/28055108

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