Although many gardeners like to concentrate on one specific crop in their fields and gardens, many people set their sights higher and try their hands at growing several fruit and vegetable crops at the same time. In companion planting, it's important to select two crops that have similar light, soil and water requirements. Companion planting of raspberries and potatoes can be quite successful, with some considerations.
Companion Planting Raspberries and Potatoes
Raspberries and potatoes require full sun and good drainage, so choose a wide-open site that is slightly elevated for your garden. Raspberries and potatoes both prefer loamy, quick-draining soil with adequate irrigation. By planting in the spring, you can prepare your entire plot in the same way at the same time. Keep the crops separate, however, and do not reverse their positions at any time; potatoes can carry a form of root rot that damages raspberry crops.
Amend the soil of your entire garden. Turn over the top 6 inches of soil, and add organic compost so that you have 50 percent compost and 50 percent garden soil. Consider using 10-10-10 fertilizer as well, to support the plants. If you use only compost, add 10-10-10 fertilizer to the potato plot before planting, as potatoes require fertilizer to get started. Always follow manufacturer directions in regard to quantity when using fertilizer. Build some form of separation between the potato plot and raspberry plot, to keep you from spreading soil between the two plants. A small barrier made of wood will suffice for this separation.
Dig holes 6- to 8-inches deep and place seed potatoes cut-side down in the holes. Plant the potatoes 15-inches apart to grow large, healthy vines and potato crops. If you want to grow smaller baby potatoes, plant the potatoes more closely. Potatoes will sprout in two weeks.
Dig holes large enough for the raspberry root balls with 18 inches separating each hole. Plant both potatoes and raspberries in rows, with 4 feet separating the rows. Neither potatoes nor raspberries require fertilization during the summer, but keep watering consistent with 1 to 2 inches of water each week for each plant.