This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
My manner of planting and cultivating Black Cap Raspberries is very simple and cheap. When I planted my experimental lot, I placed them in rows ten feet apart, and at intervals of eight feet in the row I planted posts. On these posts I nailed two strips of wood for a trellis. These strips were one by two inches in size, and the lower one was placed thirty inches, and the upper one four feet six inches from the ground. I planted the roots on both sides of the trellis and twelve inches from it on each side. They were placed four feet apart in the row and planted alternately, so that for every two feet there was a cane to be tied to the trellis.
As soon as the berries are all picked, I lose no time in cutting away all the old wood and removing it from the ground. The young canes are allowed to grow to a length of five feet, and are then topped out and tied to the trellis. For tying I have used twine, basswood bark and willow twigs. I find them all to be good, but would give the preference to the willows, on account of their cheapness and durability. After cutting back the young canes and tying them to the trellis, the laterals grow very rapidly. I allow them to attain a length of about two feet, and then check their growth by pinching off the end. This is all that has to be done to them for one year, at the end of which time they will have borne their fruit, and in their turn will be ready to be cut away to give place to the younger canes of the following season.
Experience has shewn me that the rows should be wider than ten feet for such rank growing canes. When the laterals have attained their proper length, and the bushes are loaded with fruit and foliage, the rows become so blocked up that it is almost impossible to move between them with any freedom. I have adopted fourteen feet as the proper distance for the rows to be apart, and plant and prune as previously stated. In describing this cane I should have stated that it is nearly as free from thorns as the purple cane, and is similar in color.
In order for the canes to grow to the best advantage, it is necessary that the ground should be kept moist and free from weeds. To effect this purpose, I mulch the ground with straw six or eight inches thick. I have never tried leaves, but have no doubt that they would answer the purpose fully as well. By this mulching of straw the ground always remains moist and the weeds are kept back, thus saving work with plow and hoe, and insuring a good crop of berries. - Remarks of Mr. Littleton before Peoria Farmers' Club.