How to install a raspberry root barrier
If I could do it over again, I would not have installed my raspberries as a border to part of my annual vegetable garden. While they do make a nice wind and pest break, I end up with runners from my raspberry plants popping up constantly in my vegetable garden. I didn’t want to remove my plants, as they are very established at this point, and they do produce tons or great tasting raspberries. I decided to install a root barrier to stop most of the runners from going where I don’t want them to go.
Materials and equipment needed
-18” Root barrier (from Villa Root Barrier) *I cut these in half, so it ends up being 9”
-Hand Garden shears
-Long handled pick axe
-Flat head shovel
-Digging bar (Optional)
1. Cut 18” root barrier in half, so it is only 9” deep. Most of the raspberry roots that are spreading out are fairly shallow, typically no deeper than 6”. Trust me when I say, you will have a very difficult time ever installing an 18” inch deep root barrier with hand tools. The 9” is difficult, but doable.
2. Use metal rake to rake mulch back to be put back after root barrier is installed.
3. Use shovel to start the trench by stepping on the shovel straight down, and then moving it back in forth to create a narrow trench. Do this for the entire length of root barrier to be installed.
Trench started with flathead shovel Shallow raspberry roots
4. Use pick part of pick axe to deepen trench. Go through the trench multiple times with the pick to get desired depth. This is tough work, be prepared for a workout.
5. Set the root barrier with the 90 degree rib facing the raspberry plants in the trench to determine if you have the sufficient depth that you need. If not, go back to #4.
Rib facing raspberries Backfill as you go, keeping straight
6. Backfill the soil and make sure you keep the root barrier straight. I would recommend backfilling a little at a time on both sides as you go.
7. Put the mulch back.