Tips for Growing Raspberries


Growing raspberries can be both rewarding and challenging. Knowing some straight forward growing tips can help you have a successful crop of beautiful raspberries in no time. The single most important tip to growing raspberries is making sure you pick the ideal spot to plant the bushes. Raspberries need a full six to eight hours of sunlight everyday to help them produce a good crop. Planting in an area that is mostly shaded will greatly affect whether a crop will even grow. The soil the plants are placed into also must be selected carefully because raspberries need a soil pH of about six. Sandy loam soil that is rich in organic matter is perfect for raspberry plants, as long as it is well drained. Soil that stays wet late into spring will not work well for planting. Make sure to spread some 10-10-10 garden fertilizer over the newly planted bushes as raspberry plants need nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to flourish. New plants can be planted at any time of year that the ground is not frozen, but for best results plant them in the spring. One last tip to consider when choosing your planting site is to look back at what other types of plants have been planted in the vicinity within the last couple of years. If tomatoes, potatoes or eggplants have been planted in that location within the last four years, you should not plant your raspberry plants there. These plants can carry a particular kind of root rot called Verticillium that can spread to raspberry bushes and kill them. All wild raspberry and blackberry bushes within several hundred feet of your planting site should also be destroyed to help stop the spread of disease and pests.

Raspberry plants can be planted in rows with lengths of wire strung along the row to help support the plants. Planting in this fashion allows easy access to weed out extra plant stems and also helps with the harvest of the berries. The plants should be spaced approximately two feet apart in the row. If you are planting more than one row, make sure to leave six feet between them so you will have plenty of space to walk between them for pruning and harvesting. Every spring each plant will produce underground stems and vertical canes from the buds on the crown of the plant. The crowns and the roots of the plant are perennial, but the canes, which are the vertical sections of the plant, only live for two years. The first year a cane sprouts, it will be green in color, but the second year these same canes will be brown with a flaky bark. The second year canes that fruited the first year should be pruned back in late winter so a healthier crop will develop that summer. Prune the second year stalks down until they are only two to three inches tall. This will encourage the one year stalks to produce more fruit later in the summer. All new stems that are produced underground should be removed at ground level outside of the two foot width of the row. This will help with both air circulation and sunlight infiltration to the plants, as well as help to redirect the plants energy to fruit production. Mature raspberry plants can reach as heights of six to seven feet, so make sure to have enough wire on hand to help support your plants.

Once your plants are securely planted in their rows and starting to growing, make sure to keep the soil free of weeds. Cultivation around the roots as well as pulling the weeds out by hand tends to work the best. The roots of the weeds can actually choke out the root system of the raspberry plant by stealing nutrients and water. Mulch can also be applied three to four inches deep around the base of the raspberry plants to help prevent weeds and to retain moisture. Raspberry plants need one to two inches of water a week to encourage the best growth of the plants. A soaker hose aimed at the plants for an hour or two a week will be sufficient for the plants water needs.

This post was written by

jasonjason – who has written posts on Home Tips Plus.
I'm a father of three, married and a home owner since 2006. I've worked in fixing up homes and rental properties.

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