1. Q: When should everbearing raspberries begin to produce flowers for their fall (second) crop? From what part of the cane do these flowers grow?

A: These flowers are produced on the tips of the primocanes. The terminal bud should change from a vegetative bud to a floral bud. In other words you should see flower buds in the terminals at this time if it is going to bloom. Only a few varieties do this, of which the Heritage is the most common. If you do not see some flowers now and toward the end of August, you may not have a fall bearing variety.

2. Q: We have a small plot of rasberries. Last year someone told us to put Hollytone on them, but they did not do well. Can you advise?

A: I am not familiar with Hollytone; however in Texas we use soil pH as our guide to fertilization. If the soil pH is above 7.0 to 7.5, all we ever use is nitrogen. Continued application of phosphorus can accentuate iron deficiency problems. If the soil ph is below 7.0, then our first application is a 15-5-10 or a 3-1-2 ratio fertilizer. Subsequent applications only include nitrogen. We like to split the application into at least 2 applications. Normally on berries we use one pound of fertilizer per 10 feet of row. So if your soil ph is 6.5, use 1/2 pound of 15-5-10 on the berries at budbreak per 10 feet of row and after fruit set use an additional 1/2 pound of nitrogen fertilizer. If your soil pH is above 7.5 use 1/2 pound of nitrogen fertilizer at budbreak and then another 1/2 pound after fruit set. If the plants fail to set fruit, one can leave off the final application of fertilizer if the plants are making satisfactory growth. A soil test should be performed every 2 - 3 years to make sure our general recommendations are in order.

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