The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Can everbearing red raspberries handle deer damage?

Entranceway raspberries

I've been moving our initial plantings behind the deer fence bit by bit all year long. But it took me a while to make up my mind about whether or not to transplant the everbearing raspberries that line the path leading up to our back door.

Deer damage

On the one hand, the deer do eat them. Thorns mean the raspberries aren't crunched all the way down the ground the way other unprotected plantings are. But the image above is pretty typical, and the bushes produced about half as much as they would have if they hadn't been nipped.

Ripening raspberry

On the other hand, it's nice being greeted with tasty berries every time I get out of the car. (Well, nice for me. Mark probably doesn't like it as much because it means fewer berries make it inside to land on his plate.)

Transplanted raspberries

In the end, I decided to split the difference. I left the existing bed in place, figuring it was minimal work to weed, topdress, and mulch the area a couple of times a year. Then I transplanted excess shoots into the main garden where they can be safe from hooved marauders.

Of course, now I'll have no excuse for failing to share the harvest. Do you think Mark will buy it if I say I dropped the bowl of berries on the way into the house?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I know that I get a lot more raspberries when my daughter is off at college and my wife is picking them. Even worse--for years, I didn't think our strawberries were really producing much at all.

Now she has her own garden bed at the house she is renting for the year! It is wonderful to see your passions being handed down to another generation.

Comment by JIm Wed Oct 3 08:09:41 2018
Can you wolf down a bowl of raspberries without leaving stains all around your mouth? ;-)
Comment by Roland_Smith Wed Oct 3 17:06:03 2018

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