Gardening FAQs with Richbar Golf and Gardens

Tips on raspberries, spuds and asparagus

Here are a few of the most common questions we are asked at Richbar Golf and Gardens each spring:

How do I prune my raspberries? Raspberries, like the variety Tulameen, only produce fruit on 2-year-old canes. Once the canes produce fruit they die, so its very important to prune out these old canes in the fall. In the spring, thin the remaining one-year old growth – leaving 6-8 of the sturdiest canes to bear this season’s crop.

The pruning techniques of everbearing or fall bearing raspberries, like Joan J, are a little more confusing. This is a primocane type which means it will produce fruit in the fall on the tops of the first-year canes, and again in summer on the lower part of the second-year canes. So, if you just wanted a fall crop you would prune all the canes to the ground in early spring. But if you want both summer and fall you would prune out 3-year-old canes. Sounds complicated but really its not. It’s actually very delicious.

How do I plant potatoes? Use certified seed and cut any large tubers into pieces. However, make sure there are a minimum of three eyes per piece. Plant potatoes shallow, with eyes up, in deeply cultivated soil. Place in rows that are 3’ apart with potatoes 16” apart. Fertilize with a high content of potash. When foliage is 10” high hill up. This is important because you do not want the tubers exposed to sunlight. Light makes the skins turn green which is toxic. Do not use lime or manure. Manure will cause your potatoes to scab.

How do I plant asparagus roots? Use healthy 2 or 3-year-old roots. Dig holes 40cm (16”) deep, 60cm (24 in.) apart, and place rows 120cm (48”) apart. Place 30cm (12”) of soil and well rotted manure into planting holes. Place roots into this mix so that the crown is 15-20cm (6-8”) below soil surface. Do not cut any asparagus the first year.

— Submitted by Jean Atkinson of Richbar Golf and Gardens

READ MORE:This year, start your garden with companion planting

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