Controlling raspberry bushes


I have considered adding raspberries in my garden but never really got around to it.  This year the sort of were planted for me when my neighbors raspberry plant began sneaking under our fence.  This was not exactly the location I would have chosen to plant them if I picked up a plant from the local home improvement store…but figured best to go with it than fight it since I was sure the raspberry plant would be more persistent.

The reason why I would have not chosen this location is that is right next to where I grow my tomatoes/peppers also known as the only southern facing location in my yard.  I also had a hydrangea growing in the same area, though fortunately was not too established and I was able to transplant without too much shock.


To attempt to keep this creeping plant under some control I decided to setup some preventive barriers.  By taking some scrap plywood leftover from my grow box expansion I created an eighteen inch deep barrier to keep the raspberries from taking over my tomato/pepper turf as well as taking over my lawn.  I am pretty sure that the raspberries can still get under and/or move around it but hoping this will at least slow them down a little and save me from a little extra weeding in my lawn and garden beds.

Depending how effective (or ineffective) this is I probably will dig this out a little more and make something a little more beefy to keep these raspberries in their place…but this was as much digging as I felt comfortable doing without calling the "Call Before You Dig” folks to mark up my backyard.


Either way, I am definitely look forward to picking some fresh raspberries in my backyard this summer.  Though if any of you have some great ideas how to keep your raspberry plants in check I would love to hear about them…

20 Responses to “Controlling raspberry bushes”

  1. c. Says:

    My father, who has a very large garden that I grew up with has a standard method for raspberries. He has two rows of them about two to three feet apart. He puts stakes at either end and wire along the edges to help them stay upright and to “mark” raspberries for that few years. He mowes a row down the center and on either side. All summer long. After a couple of years of that he doesn’t mow to one side of each row and lets the suckers sprout up. He takes down wire and posts, moves them over and mowes down the old canes. This rotation happens back and forth every few years. Sometimes he moves them to one side, sometimes to the other. The mowing keeps the sprouts under full control but allows him fresh canes when he wants to rotate the whole patch out.

    I realise this is not feasible for a smaller space (such as my garden) but it *is* food for thought and so I thought I’d share. 😀

  2. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    c, sounds like quite a method your father has but sounds like one that has worked well.

    Peggy, I thought blackberries were bad…these raspberries are determined

  3. Rob Says:

    What we are soing at the community garden is we planted them along our chain link fence and train them to do our bidding. Any errant raspberries are dealt with swiftly and severely.

  4. Peggy Says:

    I am very interested to see if your barrier method works for you. We also have raspberries that I made the mistake of planting in my garden. They are invasive to say the least! I wish that I had planted them in a row in the yard somewhere that I could mow down the runners that inevitably pop up. Lesson learned! 🙂

  5. monique Says:

    I had no idea they were invasive. Thanks for letting us know. We only plant in containers and this is only our 2nd year trying to container garden (last year was a bust – we were told because we used bad soil) so hopefully we’ll have a few veggies to eat.

  6. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Monique, Containers can be a great way to grow, I grow all my peppers in some sort of container. Soil is important needs to be light and prevent compaction, I normally add additional perlite to normal potting mixes. You also have to keep up with the watering and fertilizing given they can drain both fairly quickly on even a mild hot day.

  7. Harriet Says:

    “This rotation happens back and forth every few years.”

    C., That’s the traditional way for strawberries as well, except they’re dug up instead of mowed, (very labor-intensive), and I don’t know of any other way to keep them going strong and healthy. They “walk” naturally to find fresh soil and nutrients. I suppose fertilizing them well would help, but still the canes would get old and woody.

  8. Adele Says:

    I’m not sure you’re going to be successful at penning in your raspberries, I’ve had shoots in my shed 12 feet away from where I planted my canes. Funny thing is that the canes in the shed were “albino” from being in the shade the whole time. The other thing is that I now have raspberries growing on the other side of my house from where I originally planted. I think the birds ate the berries and then pooped the seeds out. Keep pulling the new shoots as they pop up and that’ll help keep them from spreading too much.

  9. Cheryl Says:

    Help, I’ve been invaded. What do I do if they have already invaded. They are coming up everywhere in my lawn. I can’t even walk on my lawn barefoot anymore because of the prickly shoots coming out everywhere. I love my raspberries but thinking about pulling them out this year after they are done barring fruit. I can’t take this any more. They are totally out of control. If I do pull them out will that actually stop the problem or will I continue to get them popping up all over?

  10. Mandy Says:

    Let me know how they go! We have a pretty small yard, but I LOVE raspberries. I would love to try this out, but I’m a little worried about the invasions that can occur. My next door neighbor has some in a raised bed against their house. I may go over and ask them about how they keep theirs in check.

  11. Lori Says:

    I am new to raising raspberries. I am planning to plant mine in 5-7 gallon tree buckets that have drain holes in the bottom. I was planning to burry the buckets in the ground. shouldn’t that control them to the area of the buckets??

  12. David Says:

    I have a small area to get as much stuff out of as possible. I tried buying a 35 gallon rubbermaid tub, drilled some holes in the side and bottom, covered the holes with 2 layers of metal screening material, then planted my raspberries. That was 3 years ago. This year I am finding shoots coming up around the tub and in my lawn. I just dug the tub up to find the raspberry roots worded thier way through the screening material. I even noticed roots going through the bottom of the tub, almost 2′ deep!

    My next attempt will be to get the same plastic tub, cut only holes in the bottom, and line it with root barrier both in the tub and in the hole where I will be placing the tub.

    If this doesn’t stop them from spreading I will be forced to dig them up for good.

  13. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Mine have stayed pretty contained with this method coming up the second year now. Get an occasional shoot in the lawn or another part of the bed but I also can only contain this plant on my side of the fence…

  14. Picking strawberries and raspberries Says:

    […] I did not actually plant these raspberries they snuck in under my neighbors fence which a little precautionary raspberry control I have let them thrive on my side of the fence as well.  I am actually considering to let them […]

  15. Penny Says:

    Thanks for posting this. I planted several thornless raspberry and blackberries a few years ago. They didn’t do much but this year they have gone wild. The runners have popped up everywhere. I’ve been yanking them but never thought to try putting some kind of barrier in. The really odd thing is the original plants were thornless but all the runners have thorns! does anyone know if that’s normal?

  16. Jason Says:

    I planted my berries this year. 10 plants. I built a 6 in high raised bed, and behind those timbers, I purchased 12 inch hard plastic root barriers from my hardware store. The the plants have to get under the wood and the plastic. If I see a sprout problem after this, I plan on adding another yet deep layer of plastic barrier below that.

  17. Darlene Says:

    My raspberries were so invasive that eventually I dug them up and tried another tactic. We have a sunny driveway area that has asphalt on it and wasn’t being used for anything. We hired someone to come in and cut and drill out a 3′ X 14′ strip of the hard surface (horrible job!) and then we dug out some of the gravelly stuff underneath and added topsoil. My husband then built up a couple of railway ties to form a raised bed and again we back-filled with soil. We now have the perfect raspberry bed. They can’t escape and grow through the asphalt but holy smokes what a lot of work!

  18. rachel Says:

    plant canes in an old bath tub with a couple of small holes drilled in the bottom for drainage. I usually make a rockey around the tub to make it look presentable…. or if you’
    re dedicated you can bury the bath in the ground!

  19. Picking strawberries and raspberries - The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    […] I did not actually plant these raspberries they snuck in under my neighbors fence which a little precautionary raspberry control I have let them thrive on my side of the fence as well.  I am actually considering to let them […]

  20. Anthony Cincotta Says:

    I have been told that the professional berry growers dab sulphur or a sulpher compound on the new shoots when trying to control rasberries. Has anybody heard of this more extreme measure????

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