Blackberry soil sterilizatio #276869 - Ask Extension


Blackberry soil sterilizatio #276869

Asked September 09, 2015, 2:50 PM EDT

I am going to replant a spot that had raspberries w/ new blackberry plants. I know this shouldn't be done especially since the raspberries were diseased; however I have no other place to put several plants. My question: is there a way to sterilize the soil before I replant?

Clackamas County Oregon

Expert Response

Were you able to determine what killed your raspberries? Knowing what caused them to fail would be very helpful in determining how to proceed. Blackberries are not susceptible to as many diseases as raspberries here in the Pacific NW, but the more we know, the better.
The only potential option for sterilizing a large quantity of soil as in this situation (and it is no guarantee), is to solarize the soil. This requires full sun or near-full sun and covering the soil with clear plastic during the hottest months (June-August). If you are willing to wait a year to plant your blackberries, I would recommend solarizing next summer and planting next fall. Giving the soil a year to lay fallow may also help your cause.
Your other option is to just take the risk and plant your blackberries now. Here is a thorough document from OSU on growing blackberries:

Best of luck!
Hilary Hutler Replied September 10, 2015, 3:18 PM EDT
Thanks much for your information. My raspberries had some sort of fungus I believe. I know it wasn't a cane borer. I didn't use a dormant spray and should have.
The Question Asker Replied September 10, 2015, 9:31 PM EDT

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