The last few Saturdays have been exceptionally warm and gave us a chance to do a little catch up work.  Amazing the things you need to get done in the fall but never quite get to.

For us one of those things is adding compost to our berry rows. 

Dormant Raspberries

In theory the compost  can sit all winter and the melting snows will carry the nutrients down to the roots where they need them for the new spring growth.  Let’s hope we haven’t missed out on all the snow for this year!   February is a good time for cutting down Primocane, also known as fall-bearing or everbearing raspberries.  This is easy since you cut all the canes down, unlike summer bearing where you only cut the 2 year old wood.  I like to leave about 2” above ground as I feel the sun will rapidly callous off the cut and prevent any possible infections at the site. 

Raspberries after cutting canes

This is just my feelings, no proven fact.  It was surprising to see just how green they were this year when cutting.  It makes you think the warm weather is working on them.  Cutting all of the canes makes it simple to add compost.  We are trying to put on a one inch layer in about a foot  wide band. 

Adding compost after cutting canes on raspberries

I would like to go about 18-24” wide but good compost is always in short supply.  Probably the reason gardeners call it “Black Gold”.  The batch we used was 2 years in the making and we used about 6 large wheelbarrow loads per 100 foot of row length