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Jun 21, 2012 02:44 PM

"volunteer" raspberries??

Have a few raspberry plants that I didn't plant... birds p**ping seeds?? Got first berries last summer... couldn't say I got a "crop"... more like some warm, tasty berries right outside my front door. I cut them all the way to the group last fall... ot like I seriously wanted them. Well, they came back with a vengence. A few of the "canes" have nothing on them that will become fruit. Others are loaded... will just have to beat the birds to them as they ripen.

Any suggestions?

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  1. My yard is overrun with all kinds of berry plants that were there when we moved in, and for some reason this year the raspberries are popping up all over the lawn too, although I mow those down. I'm happy with what is on the sidelines though, even though the forest creatures get almost all of it. Do you want to keep them? Or get rid of them? Maybe you can transplant to a more convenient location? I was thrilled to have my own raspberry patch so I probably won't be much help here.

    1. Assuming you meant question with regard to birds? I have both 'volunteer' and planted raspberries and use a T-board and wire brace arrangment, with bird-netting over all. Birds and Deer are pests for me...

      Most good gardening books, including the ubiquitous Readers Digest tome, illustrate the T- bracing arrangment. If you want to cultivate the wild ones, you will need this as they will want to 'bolt' out of your enclosure and then do not fruit.

      1. Funny, I just noticed some raspberries growing in the middle of a patch of pachysandra in dense shade in back of my house. That's also right near where I have three bird feeders. Maybe that's the way the birds say "thank-you."

        3 Replies
        1. re: CindyJ

          Love the way the birds "pay it forward" !!!

          1. re: KSlink

            I have this whole theory about how birds "pay it forward." We have a pond on our property. I am absolutely convinced that when birds visit the pond, they bring gifts and take things away with them. For example, when we see a type of fish swimming around that we haven't seen before, I am convinced that it's because a bird/duck had previously visited another pond, bobbed into the water to eat something, and came out with fish eggs on its head or body. Then, when it came to our pond it deposited those eggs, and maybe removed some others at the same time, perpetuating the cycle. How else do frogs and other critters "just appear"?

            1. re: CindyJ

              Haha...I've never heard of birds spreading fish eggs but they definitely spread plant seeds. Many birds have tight associations with specific plants; for example, the Yellow-rumped warbler, which is the only warbler to winter in much of the Eastern US, is the only animal that can digest (and derive energy from) the wax in bayberry fruit.

        2. I've had this happen too! I've had both black raspberries (which I love) and Japanese wineberries (which I'm less a fan of) come up on their own, as well as, less commonly, various types of blackberry, or red raspberry.

          Raspberries are biennials, which means that the first year they will just grow as a shoot with no flowers or fruit. This shoot will lose its leaves in fall but persist through the winter, and will then flower and fruit the next year, after which it will die. The plants also reproduce vegetatively; typically, a first year shoot will grow to the ground and where it meets the ground, a new small plant will form, which will become a first-year-shoot the next year.

          If you want fruit, leave the bare canes. Favoring these bare canes one year will mean more fruit the next year, as the plants will store their energy and grow more vigorously.

          I'd look carefully to try to figure out what variety is coming up. Some raspberry plants taste better than others. Pale whitish stems = black raspberry, which I think is tastier and is also native to much of the US, green stems covered with red hairs = wineberry, which I am less a fan of and which is an invasive plant in many parts of the US.