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By Jim Smith
(This section by Darrin Parmenter, CSU Extension director in La Plata County.)
If you want to plant raspberries, I recommend taking the time to prepare the beds. Remember, these are perennial plants, with thorns. You don’t want to spend too much time or lose too much blood trying to significantly amend the soil after they are planted.
According to Joel Reich, CSU Extension’s de-facto small fruit expert, add lots of organic matter and raise the bed in order to improve aeration and drainage — which most berries appreciate. When preparing the soil add 1 cubic yard of composted manure and about 5 cubic feet sphagnum peat moss for every 20 feet of a 5 foot-wide row. Joel also recommends adding a small amount of fertilizer. Try using two cups of an organic, poultry-waste based fertilizer (8-2-1) in the same amount of space. This would roughly be about 3-4 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet. Check the local nurseries, as they are also a great resource for fertilizers.
Unless you want your berries to run amok and stab your toes, you will also want to trellis the plants to get them off the ground. Provide a support stake every 10 feet or so, stretch a support wire on either side of the row at about 3 feet off the ground. You can also place additional wires higher or lower to provide additional support.
So, which varieties should you grow? Some suggestions from Joel (and to a lesser degree, myself).
• Boyne and Killarney: cousins from Canada, both are very cold tolerant. Small to medium sized fruit, good for eating.
• Nova: also from Canada, berries are firm, medium to large in size, with a good shelf life that ripen later than Boyne or Killarney. Not very thorny. This summer-bearing variety may also set a late fall crop depending on the season’s weather.
Fall-bearing (remember that they produce on current growth, so less of a concern about cane hardiness):
• Anne: large, pale yellow fruit very high in flavor. Very sweet.
• Autumn Britten: produces earlier than Heritage (older, popular variety) with large, firm fruit. Can bear fruit from late summer through fall.
• Jacyln: also produces a couple weeks earlier than Heritage with large, firm berries. Darker red in color and tends to hold tight to the cane until fully ripe.
• Caroline: produces fruit later in the season, but has an intense raspberry flavor. Not tolerant to drought.
• Royalty: purple variety with very sweet fruit. Canes can be very thorny and long. Make sure to wait until the color is consistently purple to harvest.
This past winter has not been favorable for many outdoor horse enthusiasts due to the unusually cold and windy weather we have experienced.
The bright side is that better weather is near because the horses are really slipping their hair and new foals will be gracing the countryside soon.
Many horsemen are bringing their mounts back from winter pasture and some, like me, keep their horses here all winter.
One thing that most horse owners do this time of year is deworm, vaccinate, float teeth, shoe or trim hoofs, groom and begin legging up their horses.
I want to share some information with you about deworming your horses. I asked Dr. Brett Kirch, DVM, Extension 4-H Livestock and Equine Specialist, to give our readers some current information on the subject.
Deworming your horses
In the past few years, we have noticed a growing resistance to various dewormers in horses. Continuous use of one type is most likely the biggest culprit. As a result, we then proceeded to using rotations of various dewormers, but in an effort to protect ourselves from losing the use of various dewormers, we have now moved to the next level of prevention. The current recommendations for dewormer use is to first have a fecal test done and determine whether worming is required and if it is, which one to use since not all dewormers work on all species of worms.
The frequency of deworming is dependent on several factors. It is known that generally a minority of the horses in a herd are shedding worm eggs. These techniques will help in identifying the problem animals. Animals with exposure to many different horses that may move through a facility or horses that travel can be more susceptible to higher worm infestations. High numbers of horses kept in a very confined area can also increase the worm load in our horses.
To check your horses for worm load, it is best to work with your veterinarian and use the techniques they prescribe. In most cases, collecting a fresh sample from a horse on the portion of the pile that has not come in contact with the ground is preferred. Samples that are dried out or have touched the ground can give misleading results. Placing the sample in a clean sealable plastic cup or bag that is identified with the horse’s name or identification number is highly recommended so the treatment can be specific for the problem animal. Keeping the sample from extreme heat or cold and out of the sunlight would be good as you deliver your sample to your equine doctor.
Prevention of a heavy worm-load can be worked out with your veterinarian, but any plan should include the use of an ivermectin/praziquantel product at least once per year or every other year. The use of this product is a broad-spectrum product that will control most worms, plus tapeworms. There is a myth out there that tapeworms are not a problem, but in my personal experience that is not the case. I have had barns with very high colic rates, dropping as much as 500 percent in colic incidence with the use of the ivermectin/praziquantel product. In addition, keeping stalls and runs clean of feces, it is also instrumental in keeping the incidence of internal parasite infestations at check. In pastures, it is always good to harrow the pasture to break up fecal piles. The UV light from the sun will cause the death of many of our problem worms. Preventing parasite infestations in our horses is common sense and working with your veterinarian is of great benefit. The health of your animals is your responsibility and a quality deworming program will be beneficial in heading off many potential health problems.
May 2 — 4-H Shady Pine Club meeting, 6:30 p.m.
May 3 — Archuleta County Fair Royalty Competition, 5 p.m.
May 3 — Pathfinders, 6 p.m.
May 4 — 4-H Cooking Project meeting, 10 a.m.
May 4 — Liz Haynes Memorial Garden Work Day, 9 a.m.
May 4 — 4-H Cooking Project meeting, 10 a.m.
May 4 — 4-H Dog Project meeting, 10 a.m.
May 6 — Back To Basic Food Preservation, 1 p.m.
May 6 — Back To Basic Food Preservation, 6 p.m.
May 7 — 4-H Shooting Sports Project meeting, 4 p.m.
May 7 — 4-H Sewing Project meeting, 4 p.m.
May 8 — Seed Potato pickup, 9 a.m.
May 8 — 4-H Sports fishing Project meeting, 4 p.m.
May 8 — 4-H Pagosa Peaks Club meeting, 6 p.m.
May 9 — Mountain View Homemakers, noon.
May 9 — 4-H Poultry Project meeting, 4 p.m.
May 10 — 4-H Cloverbud Project meeting, 2 p.m.
May 10 — 4-H Rabbit Project meeting, 3:30 p.m.