Hydroponic Raspberries

Best Techniques for growing Raspberries Hydroponically


Quick Facts Plant VarietiesGrowth Technique



LightTemp-HumidityTrellising



Pollination Root RotRaspberry Seeds






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Raspberries are not good plants for a novice to grow hydroponically. That's not to say it can't be done - it can and has been done successfully.


However , keep in mind that ...

1. They are long term plants that generally are quite large.

2. They produce allot of suckers and canes that require vigilant pruning.

Raspberries are pruned when dormant and after canes have fruited. The canes are biennial so a cane emerges and grows during one year then bears a crop of berries and dies the following year. An exception would be ever bearers.

3. Brambles, which includes both Raspberries and Blackberries, are highly susceptible to Root Rot. Naturally in a hydroponic set up this is a very real issue.

4. They require pollination to bear fruit, so grown indoors they need to be hand pollinated.


Quick Facts

pH for Hydroponic Blackberries and Raspberries should be 5.8 to 6.5

Temperature should be kept between 72F and 76F

10-12 hours of light daily optimal - but a minimum of 6 hrs.

Planting Raspberry from seeds is not a good idea. Transplants are recommended.

Optimal humidity range should be 65% -75%

Harvest 12 months/year is possible with staggered growth cycles.














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Plant Varieties



Smaller varieties of raspberry bushes can be misleading ,even though they are small, if properly maintained they can generate a comfortably high yield of berries. I have been most successful with Jewel Raspberries, Mammoth Raspberries, Arapaho blackberries.

Growth Technique and Conditions

The raspberries that I grow I put into inexpensive poly bags [Grow Bags] with a mix of perlite and vermiculite, 70% Perlite 30% Vermiculite.

Perlite does not retain water, Vermiculite retains too much - with Raspberries and other brambles ,unlike some other crops where a 50-50 mix is advisable, you want to avoid too much moisture near the root base for extended periods due to the high susceptibility to root rot.

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Grow Bags for Hydroponic Raspberries

In spring, or whatever stage equates to Spring in your garden cycle the solution should be heavier in Nitrogen. Raspberries grow better with a higher proportion of Nitrogen {N}. However, towards the cycles end - Autumn, Potassium (K) and Phosphorous (P) should be added in higher concentrations .

You'll have to keep a vigilant eye out for suckers, of which raspberry plants tend to produce a lot of.

Light

Although, in nature, Raspberries and Blackberries Thrive in full sun , they will tolerate decreased light. Heat lamps are not needed, cooler fluorescent or LED lights suffice and will help hold down the electric bill.        <PageTop

Temperature and Humidity

They thrive in cool temperatures, best daytime temperatures around 72F and 76F , nighttime temperatures around 60F. They can tolerate and adapt to temperature fluctuations and are not fragile in this respect.



Optimal humidity range should be 65% -75%. Levels above 90% will hamper pollination and encourage fruit molding. Levels below 65% can hamper pollination and lead to problems with mites.

Trellising and Plant Supports

Some varieties of Raspberries are way too large to even consider for a hydroponic setup, but there are many smaller varieties which work just fine {See Plant Varieties}. Even the smaller varieties will require a supporting trellis system for good plant health and production.

As the plants become heavily weighted down with fruit and foliage, they tend to bend over and sometimes break from their own weight. At the culmination of the growing season leaves and old canes can be pruned off . Pruning and trellising has a strong impact on plant growth, quality and production. See 'Pruning Brambles'.

Pollination

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Hand pollination is time consuming and labor intensive, but Raspberries can't be adequately pollinated by simply shaking the plants. If you have a location such as a greenhouse, garage or shed where you don't mind letting bees and other pollinators in - go for it ! If not you will need to hand pollinate See Indoor Pollination



Avoiding Root Rot

1. If transplanting from soil to a hydroponic system be sure to remove all soil residue off the root-ball without saturating the roots. Try not to let the roots dry out in the hardening and transplanting process. The plants energy is stored in the root system so be sure to do as little damage as feasible when transplanting.

2. Hydroponic Root Health supplements will help to eradicate Root rot , so will horticultural peroxide. The least expensive route is common household bleach. Add 5 - 7 drops per Gallon of water twice weekly. Chlorine will naturally dissipate in water so it should be added every 3 -4 days or 'twice weekly'.

If you prefer to stick with an organic method Beneficial microbes / Beneficial bacteria have been reported to be successful. Most commonly Mycorrhizae , which are beneficial fungi that penetrate the root systems of most plants in nature. They are helpful in providing improved uptake of water and nutrients from the growing media. They also help protect the roots from harmful pathogens and disease.

Trichoderma is a beneficial fungus that colonizes root systems. They prevent harmful fungi from entering the same root system, stimulate root development, and improve the plant's adaptability to environmental stress.




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