Raspberries (Rubus idaeus) in your own garden are becoming increasingly popular. For a variety of reasons, care must be taken to ensure that they are planted in a mixed culture and surrounded by good neighbors.
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Mixed culture important
Raspberries should definitely be planted in a mixed culture. That means they belong in a bed where plants with different requirements for nutrients and minerals act as neighbors. Only in this way is it possible to keep the soil quality at an optimal level so that the entire neighborhood and the raspberries do not suffer from any deficiency symptoms or are harmed by an oversupply.
Pay attention to root type
The Rubus idaeus is a flat-rooted plant. Depending on the variety, the roots can spread to over a meter in circumference. The neighboring plants should therefore be at least medium-rooted – better deep/tap-rooted. In this way they reach a depth in the earth from which the heavily consuming raspberries cannot draw any nutrients and minerals. With shallow roots, the depth should not exceed 30 centimeters.
When selecting the planting neighborhood, it is important that everyone in the bed finds optimal conditions that meet the respective requirements. Therefore, those that get along well with the following site conditions go well with raspberries:
- Sunny or partially shaded place
- Uniform soil moisture
- Low in nutrients and minerals, so that there is enough available for raspberries
- Slightly acidic soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5
- Very loose and water-permeable soil conditions
Susceptibility to diseases/pests
Raspberries have a moderate susceptibility to disease and pest infestation. There should therefore be no plants in the vicinity that have the same susceptibility, so that transmission and, in the worst case, the destruction of entire crops can be avoided.
Good plant neighbors are those who support each other in their healthy development and fruiting. In some cases this is reflected in an improved fruit aroma. But also the optimization of the soil quality makes some plants good partners in the bed.
The delicious fruit plant belongs to the forest family, where it also grows in large numbers in the wild. For this reason and because some forest plants offer ideal protection against the raspberry beetle, a Rubus idaeus gets along best with the following forest classics:
Ferns are ideal bed neighbors, provided they are allowed to stand in partial shade. It gets along very well with the even soil moisture that Rubus idaeus needs to thrive. As shallow roots and medium feeders, they grow ideally in very raw, humus-rich soil without getting too close to the raspberry, as long as the planting distance of at least 50 centimeters is maintained.
Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis)
When the summer raspberries sprout in spring, they offer a great combination with lily of the valley. The scent of Convallaria majalis keeps raspberry beetles at bay and also protects against lice infestation. They also prevent the dreaded Monilia rot, which can also pose a risk to raspberries that are susceptible to fungus. Lily of the valley has a low requirement for nutrients and minerals, so they are ideal for the raspberry bush.
Forget-me-nots in the vicinity of the raspberry bushes provide color in the raspberry mixed culture . They are among the weak eaters, get along well with poor soil conditions and their scent drives away raspberry beetles, worms and other pests.
Good vegetable neighbors
Raspberry bushes can also find a suitable place next to/between vegetables in the vegetable patch. Good neighbors include above all:
Knoblauch (Allium sativum)
Although garlic is a shallow root like the raspberry, the roots reach a maximum depth of ten centimetres, while those of the forest fruit draw nutrients and minerals from a depth of around 30 to 40 centimetres. So they don’t get in each other’s way. The Allium sativum has the ideal properties to improve the fruit aroma and keep pests out of the bed, such as:
- To fly
Onions (Allium cepa)
Onions are heavy feeders and have shallow roots and are therefore one of the few exceptions for good neighborliness in mixed cultures with raspberries. This is due to the fact that the root depth is significantly higher than when raspberries and onions are ideal for pest control. Above all, aphids stay at a distance, which otherwise multiply rapidly on the fruit trees and can completely destroy fruit formation.
Ringelblumen (Calendula officinalis)
With a maximum growth height of 50, rarely 70 centimetres, marigolds in the lower area of the raspberry bushes with a growth height of over 130 centimeters form an ideal color accent. As weak feeders, the high nutrient and mineral content of the Rubus idaeus does not bother them. Mites, lice and many other parasites don’t stand a chance with marigolds as neighbors.
Weakly consuming violets in the spring mixed culture with raspberry bushes ensure a decorative, colorful sea of blossoms. As good plant neighbors and ground covers , they keep the soil moist longer, which has a positive effect on the growth and fruiting of the raspberry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Verticillium wilt is the most feared among home gardeners and home growers. For this reason, it is essential to avoid choosing potato, strawberry, tomato, aubergine and pepper plants as neighbors.
Raspberries can remain in the same bed for many years and cannot be relocated the following year due to the soil pollution – the prerequisite is that the soil is fertilized regularly so that a sufficiently good and extensive supply of nutrients and minerals is guaranteed in the long term.