How to feed raspberries in spring: nitrogen, mineral and organic feeding

How to feed raspberries in spring: nitrogen, mineral and organic feeding

All living things in nature grow and develop if they find enough food for this. In raspberries, like any plant, the roots have limited growth. They braid a clod of earth 30–50 cm deep and 1–2 m in diameter. The raspberry bush takes all the nutrients from this volume in the first 2 years after planting. Then, year after year, without top dressing, it begins to weaken, the yield decreases. Often, raspberries grow far from the mother bush in order to be able to grow in a more fertile area. The first spring feeding is especially important, when the shoots are gaining strength and are preparing for fruiting.

On the need to feed raspberries in spring

Spring for plants is the beginning of the growing season. Buds bloom, young leaves and twigs appear from them. Replacement shoots grow from the ground. Many treat them scornfully, call them shoots, but it is on them that the berries will grow next year, and in the case of remontant raspberries - this summer and autumn. In nature, everything is interconnected: the yield of bushes directly depends on the quality of the shoots. The stronger they are, the better they resist diseases and pests, more flower buds will be laid on them, many berries will be tied and ripened.

Without good nutrition, a raspberry bush will never produce so many berries.

Where can raspberries get the strength to develop powerful and healthy shoots? For 2-3 years after planting, she used up all the fertilizers that you applied to the hole or planting hole. Now the bushes pump only water and pitiful crumbs of food from the ground, which accidentally fell to the roots. It can be uncleaned and rotted old leaves, weeds, etc. But this is not enough!

Raspberries must be fed in the spring. At this time, nitrogen fertilizers and fertilizing are especially important. It is nitrogen that contributes to the fulfillment of the main task at the beginning of each new season - a good build-up of green mass. Of course, other macro- and microelements are also needed, but so far in smaller quantities. They will prevail in summer dressings, during budding and flowering, as well as in autumn, in preparation for winter.

In order for the raspberry shoots to become covered with lush greenery, you need to add nitrogen fertilization

When to apply nitrogen fertilization

Nitrogen is a very necessary, but also insidious element: it can accumulate in plants and their fruits, leading to fattening of shoots. If you overfeed raspberries, the shoots will grow thick, covered with juicy and large leaves, but they may not bloom at all or give little small berries. Therefore, nitrogen fertilization should be given only once, without exceeding the dosage. The period of its application is extended: from the moment the snow melts and until the leaves open completely. In the middle lane, this is April and all of May.

Video: caring for raspberries in early spring

On poor clay and sandy soils, plants develop worse, so you can make two nitrogen fertilizers with an interval of 2 weeks. Focus on the condition of the raspberry. If after the first feeding it went into growth, the leaves are green and juicy, the shoots are strong, then there is no need to feed more.

There are recommendations: scatter mineral fertilizers over the melted snow. They will naturally dissolve and go to the roots. It is better to do this when there are puddles under the raspberries, and the snow remains small islands. If the whole ground is still covered with snow, and you scatter fertilizers on top of it, then the granules will dissolve in the melting upper layer, but nutrition may not pass through the snow and ice to the roots. The moisture will evaporate, the nitrogen released from the granules will evaporate. Your labors will be in vain, raspberries will be left without food.

The first feeding can be done through melted snow, but not every gardener will be able to get to his site at this time.

It is safer to apply top dressing when the earth thawed, raspberries woke up and begins to release leaves... At this time, the roots already actively absorb moisture and can assimilate fertilizers. If you have a remontant raspberry, and you mowed all the shoots in the fall, then add top dressing when the soil warms up and dries up. You can fertilize later - before the buds appear, but the sooner you feed, the more time the raspberries will have to respond to it with active growth of bushes.

Spring fertilizers for raspberries

There are a lot of fertilizers containing nitrogen, but they can be combined into three groups: mineral, organic, organomineral. You should choose one thing that is affordable and acceptable to you, and not pour and pour everything that you find or advise you under the raspberries. Remember the main rule: it is better to underfeed than overfeed. An excess of fertilizers in the ground will accumulate a high concentration of salts, they can burn the roots, the leaves will begin to dry out and crumble. And this is absolutely useless for raspberries.

Fertilizing raspberries with mineral fertilizers

The most common fertilizers containing nitrogen are carbamide (urea) and ammonium nitrate. There is also nitroammophoska, it contains three macroelements in equal proportions at once: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. If you add it, then the dosage of phosphorus and potassium in summer and autumn dressings will have to be reduced.

Urea or urea is the most common nitrogen fertilizer with a catchy name.

Application rates of nitrogen mineral fertilizers per 1 m²:

  • urea (carbamide) - 15–20 g;
  • ammonium nitrate - 10-15 g;
  • nitroammofosk - 20-30 g.

One tablespoon without top contains about 10 g of granular fertilizer. You only need to choose one of these three fertilizers.

On the Internet, you can find extensive articles on mineral fertilizers with instructions. The application rates are different for each one: from 7 to 70 g / m². I do not know how this is explained. Here are the doses for berry crops indicated on the packages of fertilizers I bought. It is possible that manufacturers are changing the recipes, and the urea made, for example, in Moscow, differs from that made and sold in Krasnoyarsk. Therefore, be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging and not on the internet. In the case of nitrogen fertilization, this is very important.

Apply fertilizers according to the instructions for it

Apply mineral fertilizer on wet ground. Spread evenly and loosen to a depth of 5 cm so that the granules are mixed with the soil. If the ground is dry, then after feeding, be sure to water the raspberries. Dry granules should not come into contact with the roots. The ideal option is to apply fertilizer just before the rain, or make a liquid top dressing:

  • Dissolve granules of the already mentioned fertilizers at the same rate in 10 liters of water;
  • distribute the solution over 1 m²;
  • pour clean water on top so that the nitrogen goes to the roots and does not evaporate from the surface.

Video: professional advice on the benefits and use of mineral fertilizers

Feeding raspberries with organic matter (without chemicals)

If you don't like chemistry, then fertilize with organic. This type of fertilizer includes: compost, rotted manure, infusions of mullein, horse manure, bird droppings, weeds or only nettle, as well as green manure. The advantage of organic matter in natural origin, allows you to grow raspberries without chemicals. There are downsides. In particular, it is impossible to determine the exact dosage. Even the same fertilizer, for example, compost differs from different owners in the set of nutrients and their concentration. Organic matter enriches the earth with potassium, phosphorus, microelements in different proportions, but most of all it contains nitrogen. With these fertilizers, as well as mineral fertilizers, raspberries can be overfed, fattened and roots burned.

Too high a concentration of nitrogen fertilizers can cause burns to the roots, the bushes will dry out

She herself once burned all her tomatoes with bird droppings. They kept chickens, collected droppings, bred them as I liked, and watered them. I thought: well, what harm can be from your own organic matter. I saw the harm in a few hours. The leaves on the tomatoes turned yellow, and then dried up along with the stems. Since then, I don't even believe the instructions on the packages. First, I try the infusion on weeds or one plant. If there are no burns, I feed them.

There are time-tested norms that gardeners bring under raspberries and get a good effect. Again, you need to choose one fertilizer:

  • Humus - manure that has lain on the site for a year or more. Spread 1 bucket per 1 m² and mix with the earth. Fresh manure is absolutely not suitable for these purposes. In the warm season, it rots, while releasing a large amount of heat, it can burn the roots, in addition, it attracts pests living in the ground, for example, a bear, a beetle, etc.
  • Infusion of mullein or horse manure. Fill a bucket 1/3 full with organic matter, top up with water, cover with a lid, and ferment in a warm place. Open and stir daily. After 5-7 days, dilute the slurry with water 1:10 and pour over the raspberries - 1 bucket per 1 m².
  • The infusion of bird droppings is done, like the previous one, but dilute the fermented mass 1:20. The watering rate is the same.
  • Infusion of weeds or nettles. Take only the juicy parts of the plants, grind, fill the container with raw materials and fill it with water. Put on fermentation, stir occasionally. After 7-10 days, dilute the mass with water 1: 5 and pour the raspberries on the basis of a bucket per square meter.
  • Siderata are able to free you from additional fertilizing altogether. In the spring, sow legumes between rows: lupine, clover, peas. These plants are able to attract nitrogen to the upper layers of the soil, and the introduction of their green mass into the soil is equated with fertilization with humus or manure. When buds appear on the siderates, mow them and place them in the aisles. They will begin to rot and enrich the soil with macro- and micronutrient fertilizers.

Remember one more rule: after making any liquid top dressing, water the soil with clean water. Rinse the leaves as well if the solution gets on them.

Recipes for mullein, horse manure and dung infusions are only suitable for fresh organic matter that you collected yourself from poultry or cattle. Use commercial fertilizers (horse humus, dry bird droppings, etc.) as indicated on their packaging.

Video: recipe for green fertilizer (herbal infusion)

Organomineral feeding of raspberries

This includes two categories of fertilizers:

  1. Purchased ready-made mixtures for berry crops: Gumi-Omi, Fertika, Clean sheet and others. Study the composition carefully. Do not forget that nitrogen should be the predominant element in spring, that is, it should be contained in a greater concentration than other elements. It is advisable to buy a special fertilizer marked on the package Spring or Spring. Usually store mixes consist of humus (humus, compost), mixed with mineral fertilizers, contain: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, boron, copper and other useful substances for raspberries.
  2. Your own recipes, that is, you can apply both organic matter and mineral fertilizers at the same time, but the dosage should be halved, for example: 10 g of urea and half a bucket of humus per 1 m² or dilute the mullein infusion not 10 but 20 times and add to solution of 5–7 g of ammonium nitrate. Such combinations are necessary in the case when there is little organic matter, but you also want to add chemistry to a minimum.

Often manufacturers indicate on the packaging with fertilizer for which season it is intended.

Top dressing of raspberries by leaves

Foliar feeding is an ambulance for raspberries. Nutrients are immediately absorbed into the leaves, there is no need to wait for them to be taken from the ground by the roots and sent with juices to all parts of the bush. But it is impossible to limit ourselves only to foliar dressings, because they act locally. The basis of a plant is its roots and stems, and they will not have enough nutrition on the leaves.
Situations when you need top dressing by leaves:

  • You are late with the introduction of fertilizers at the root, the bushes look depressed, grow poorly, you need to urgently support the plant.
  • The earth is flooded, to add liquid fertilizing, which means only to aggravate the situation.
  • The roots of raspberries are damaged (by diseases, pests, deep loosening, careless removal of overgrowth, etc.).
  • Too dense clay soil, through it to the roots, the nutrient solution does not enter or only partially.
  • The soil is acidic, macro- and microelements form compounds that raspberries cannot assimilate.

Foliar dressing is an ambulance for raspberries, food is served immediately to the leaves

For foliar feeding, you can use the herb infusion already mentioned above, diluted with water 1: 5. Before using it, you need to strain it so that the sprayer or watering can strainer does not clog. You can also spray with a solution of mineral fertilizer, but in a lower concentration than for root dressing. Take on a bucket of water:

  • 1 tbsp. l. urea or ammonium nitrate;
  • 1-1.5 Art. nitraamofoski.

The solution consumption will also be less, it is enough to moisten all the leaves well. When you buy fertilizers, look for information in the instructions: whether it can also be used for foliar feeding. Most modern complex mixtures have a universal purpose.

Video: what are foliar dressings for, how to do them

In addition, manufacturers create special sets of trace elements, which are called vitamins for plants, anti-stress drugs or growth stimulants (Epin, Novosil, Energen, etc.). However, they do not contain nitrogen and cannot feed raspberries. Growth stimulants can only support plants in extreme situations (frost, drought, temperature changes), they strengthen its immunity, help to recover from diseases, accelerate flowering and ripening, but without the main feeding, their effect will be scanty.

Feeding raspberries with ash

Ash contains almost all the elements of the periodic table, but it does not contain nitrogen, which means that it cannot become the main spring feeding, but serves only as an additional, but very useful one. Wood ash:

  • fights fungal diseases in the soil;
  • scares away and even destroys many pests;
  • improves the structure of the soil, makes it loose;
  • shifts the acidity of the soil towards alkaline, comfortable for raspberries.

You need to use only fresh ash or one that has been stored since last year in a dry place under a lid. If it has been in the rain or in conditions of high humidity it has been stored for several years, then there are already few nutrients left in it, and there is no alkaline reaction at all.

Collect the ash from the fire as soon as it cools down and store in a closed container.

There was a plastic barrel in our shed, filled with ash, it was not covered with a lid. It was kept there for about 5 years for sure. Last spring I remembered about this stock and decided to use it. I collected in a sieve and powdered the radish inhabited by the cruciferous flea beetle. No result, insects continued to destroy my plantings. Of course, one could decide that nothing could kill modern pests, and the ash no longer acts on them. But I love to get to the bottom of the real reasons. I decided to check the ash with a litmus test. She diluted it with water to mud and lowered the litmus. Its color did not change, that is, my ash was nothing of value anymore, it did not have an alkaline reaction. She could not injure any flea beetles, as well as reduce the acidity of the soil.

For comparison, I tested fresh ash from a sauna stove. Heaven and earth: the litmus test instantly turned blue. Therefore, do not listen to those who say that ash does not help them. They just don't know how to store and use it.

The recipe for ash feeding is very simple: pour a glass of ash into a bucket of water, stir and, until the suspensions have settled, pour under raspberries - 10 liters per 1 m². Alternatively, spread a glass of ash evenly over the same area and mix with the top layer of earth. Apply this top dressing before watering or rain.

Video: about the benefits of ash for plants

Do not add ash immediately after nitrogen fertilization or together with it, and do not add to organic infusions. Nitrogen and alkali form a volatile compound called ammonia. Some of the nitrogen will simply evaporate without getting to the raspberries, and the ash will lose its ability to deoxidize the soil. Give the ash feeding to the raspberries 1-2 weeks after the nitrogen one.

Spring feeding of raspberries is a very responsible and necessary event. It is enough at the beginning of spring to add one main top dressing with nitrogen fertilizer (mineral or organic) and after it an additional one - with microelements (growth stimulants, ash). In an emergency, foliar feeding will help. Be sure to follow the directions, use proven recipes. Any initiative can lead to disastrous results.

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For normal growth and full-fledged fruiting, the shrub needs a complex of macroelements (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium), and microelements (especially magnesium, boron, sulfur, calcium, iron). The lack of certain substances will negatively affect the condition of the plant and the yield.

Why do raspberries need macronutrients?

  • Nitrogen. It is necessary for the normal growth of green mass (shoots and leaves). At the same time, an excess of substance is dangerous because the bushes begin to build up green mass to the detriment of flowering and fruiting.
  • Potassium. It is necessary for pouring berries, to achieve normal size and sweetness, it also generally increases the immunity of the bush, so that diseases are less likely to affect the plant.
  • Phosphorus. Also essential for fruiting. Without this element, the number of ovaries will decrease, which will directly affect the yield, and the amount of sugars in the berries will also decrease, which will affect the taste.

To a greater extent, raspberries are demanding for nitrogen and potassium, less for phosphorus (but it is also necessary!).

It turns out that spring feeding of raspberries (both ordinary and remontant) is necessary so that the soil around the shrub contains all the necessary macro- and microelements for good nutrition, which allows the bushes to develop normally, bloom and bear fruit.

Good nutrition for raspberries = good, tasty and bountiful harvest.

Feeding methods

There are 2 ways or types of fertilization:

  • Root - watered at the root.
  • Foliar - sprayed with leaves.

In the spring, fertilizers are usually applied at the root in a liquid form, sometimes dry granules are scattered over the site and covered with earth. When watering or during rain, they will gradually dissolve in the soil.

But foliar fertilizers are applied in the summer.


Small furrows are made around the bushes, into which fertilizers are applied, then they are buried in earth. Most often used
mineral fertilizers with macronutrients, as well as organic matter.


Important! Foliar dressing is especially effective when plants lack certain microelements.

Therefore, for spraying bushes, fertilizers are most often used, which include trace elements.

Important! Foliar dressing will not replace root dressing. Therefore, the root ones are considered basic, and the foliar ones are considered additional.

Important! Potassium chloride and phosphorus fertilizers (for example, potassium salt, potassium chloride, diammophos) should not be used for root feeding of raspberries. Otherwise, the bushes can get sick with chlorosis.

Almost all berries are sensitive to an excess of chlorine, including red and white currants, strawberries, wild strawberries, and grapes. Only black currants and gooseberries are more resistant.

The best spring ready-made fertilizers

You can purchase complex fertilizers for berry bushes with a set of macro- and microelements:

  • Gumi-Omi "Berry" based on chicken manure.
  • "Berry bushes" from Fasco is granulated, which is scattered in dry form along the diameter of the bushes, after which the soil is watered.

Folk remedies

Yeast top dressing (before flowering):

  • 100 g fresh or 30-35 g dry yeast
  • 100 g sugar
  • 5 liters of warm water
  • everything is mixed and insisted for 1-3 days
  • stir periodically
  • the solution is diluted with water in a ratio of 1:10
  • 5 liters of funds are poured under 1 bush.

Important! Yeast fertilizer completely dissolves potassium in the soil, therefore, after 7-10 days, it is necessary to feed the soil with potassium. For example, wood ash or potassium sulfate (potassium sulfate).

To get a good harvest of raspberries

apply as a root top dressing 5 liters under a bush of a solution from:

  • 2 tbsp. tablespoons of ammonia
  • 10 liters of water.

As a prophylaxis against many fungal diseases and as a foliar feeding, raspberry bushes are sprayed with a solution of:

  • 2 tbsp. tablespoons of ammonia
  • 10 l of water
  • 2 tbsp. spoons of tar soap (as an adhesive).

In addition to the fact that raspberries need feeding, a number of other activities need to be carried out in the spring, which include:

  • spring pruning
  • transplant (if necessary)
  • loosening and weeding
  • watering
  • mulching
  • directly feeding
  • garter
  • processing raspberries from diseases and pests.

You can read about the peculiarities of growing and caring for raspberries here.

How to properly prune raspberries can be found in the article: Pruning raspberries in spring and autumn for beginners.

Watch the video! Top dressing of raspberries in spring

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