I have some blackberries and red raspberries, and I'm not sure how to winter-prep them. After pruning (which I'm skipping this year, since the primocane raspberries are only in their first year), how should I mulch them?
Should I take them down from the trellis and lay them flat on the ground, and pile straw, leaves, and woodchips on them by about an inch?
I'm in USDA zone 6a.
And if I get cow manure, should I put it under the mulch? Likely I won't get cow manure until spring. I don't have compost.
Do I also need to add mouse-traps/rat-traps around to kill rats as some suggest? Will the rats damage the plants? If not, the plants are far enough from my house that I don't care if the mice are there. Are poison traps alright (the bait stations with solid blocks they munch on), despite it being near plants I care about?