Every year I dig, divide and store my raspberry canes and other perennial garden plants, over the winter, in order to make more plants in the spring; Expanding the garden, and having enough to share, sell, or whatever I like. Why do I think it’s a good idea to dig them in the fall? Because digging up and transplanting raspberry plants in the spring seems to cause them stress; many of my trans-plantings have failed this way (about 90%).
So I harvest my canes in the fall and store them in a cool, humid environment. This gives them time to recover from being divided, and gives them a chance to grow roots and shoots. It basically gives them a better chance to get a head start, before they are transplanted and called upon to perform. This next image shows bare root raspberry canes which have been stored over the winter. Notice the white growth around the roots. If you dig and divide your plants in the spring, they will have to grow these white roots before they can proceed with leaves, and may be set back or die under the stress.
Here is the process that I use: first trim the Canes and remove the leaves, then dig up the roots, being careful not to damage them. You can remove the soil by pounding the clod until it breaks away, then separate the canes by pulling them apart or by cutting them apart. Each cane should have a section of roots and large roots can also be kept. Roots will grow their own cane.
Wrap the roots in a moist towel and store in a partially breathable bag for the winter. I use a dog food bag and store my roots in my cellar. You could keep them in a refrigerator or in a cool dark room. Just be sure to check them and don’t let them get too dry. On the other hand, don’t get them too wet either. Too much moisture will promote mold, slime and decay. I like to stay at about 50% humidity – you can achieve this by using a dog food or bird seed bag, folding the bag over on top, allowing a little bit of space for the roots and canes to breathe.
Five months later my stored roots have growth protuberances which is a great sign that they are alive and ready to grow. I dig a few holes in the backyard, water them in and plant my best canes. And there you have it: more raspberries than I could want. Below is the full video demonstration on youtube:
Get your Heritage Raspberry Seeds while supplies last and compare the best prices on Amazon here: Heritage Raspberry Seeds
Also available on youtube is a quick, full video demonstration of Rhubard Propagation:
It’s a lot easier than you think, just watch and see…
Get your Heirloom Rhubarb Seeds while supplies last and compare the best prices on Amazon here: Victoria Rhubard Seeds
And another quick full video demonstration on How to Propagate Comfrey on youtube:
Comfrey Seeds are hard to come by, but you can get started with the best Live Comfrey Roots and compare prices on Amazon here: Live Comfrey Root
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