I have a bed shaped like an equilateral triangle, 2.5 foot on each side. I was thinking about trasnplanting some raspberries from my girlfriend's sister's place to this bed, if for no other reasons that to contain them and keep them in full sun.
For a bed this size, does this sound like a good idea? Are raspberries so quick to spread, that complimenting them with other species is futile? Any suggestions for tackling this problem?
I don't know if this will be helpful or not, but I have noticed in our wooded areas where black raspberries have occurred naturally that they tend to take up spaces between the drip lines of trees where the sun peeks through. In fact, when I am out raspberry picking, I can pretty much predict where I will find them by looking around for small, sunny patches. I am new to guild making, but I would say that raspberries will need a good amount of space to have a low energy input guild. If space is an issue, you can control the size of the patch with pruning and digging and putting them in the raised bed will probably at least slow down their spread.
Wishing good things,
I have a hedge of sorts in my forest garden. It consists of white clover, raspberry, horseradish, various mints, and sunchokes. I planted it in 2010. The only care it has received has been to cut back the sunchokes a few times this season, simply because I have them growing in another area and didn't want them to take over. Luckily I have the space to plant these species as they are all notoriously invasive/aggressive. After their second year, they seem pretty happy together.
The space you have for the berries is small for growing raspberries. They will be quick to spread and can be contained within that equilateral triangle area of 2.5 feet on each side but the yield won't be much at all. When the canes reach their maturity after the year in which they have yielded berries the canes will dry up and die. The new growth from the previous year will then yield a crop in their second year of growth. This is true for the regular June bearing varieties not the everbearing raspberries. Dead canes will need to be removed each year.The everbearing types will grow berries on the current year's cane growth. If growing raspberries in such a small area you still can add some plants as an undergrowth. At the lowest level perhaps some mushrooms growing through a straw mulch.Next up some mints and other herbs that thrive in shade. You will have plenty of edge here at the borders so can add in some sun loving herbs also. The roots of the raspberries are at a depth of about 4 inches so either very shallow rooted herbs such as the mints or deeper rooted ones such as parsley will do well . I know that this response is coming much later than your inquiry and if you have planted the berries can you let us know how the project has gone so far?
The guild we are growing our raspberries in is starting with a mature green ash tree of about 40 foot height with about a half dozen 6 foot 4 year old persimmons beneath them. The cane berries come next with some thimbleberries added in .The raspberries are both early summer and everbearing types. Beneath these are some gooseberries at the edges. Next are mixed herbs such as purple cone flower ,rue,woundwort and spring bulbs. Beneath that is strawberries and mints. Finally morel mushrooms at the very lowest portion of the guild. This is in a triangular area roughly 25 by 25 by 40 feet.
Trellising the raspberries can help to keep them under control, since they are in a bed then it sounds like an area of at least seasonal maintenance. Perhaps they would make a good windbreak to the bed instead of being in the bed?