How to Maintain Raspberry Plants

Overview

Once you taste homegrown raspberries, the ones at the supermarket somehow just don't measure up. You can grow a patch of raspberries in an urban garden. If you prune and care for them correctly, they will produce berries for about 20 years.

Step 1

Mulch the raspberry patch. Apply a 3-to-6-inch layer of organic mulch, such as hay or straw, shredded bark, pine needles or well-rotted leaf mulch. Place the mulch between the rows and around individual plants.

Step 2

Water well. Raspberries need 1 to 2 inches of rainfall per week. If necessary, supplement rainfall with a soaker hose, which has small holes along it. The water gradually seeps out, watering only the roots. Do not use an overhead sprinkler; this is an invitation to pests and diseases.

Step 3

Fertilize yearly. Apply 20 lbs. of fertilizer labeled 10-10-10 for each 1,000 square feet of your raspberry patch. Apply the fertilizer in two stages: half in midspring and the second half six to eight weeks later.

Step 4

Trim canes to maintain the rows at 12 to 18 inches wide at ground level. Remove any others. This helps increase yields by letting air and light in along the length of canes.

Step 5

Trim off the tips of all new shoots when they are 30 inches high. Near summer's end, lateral branches will grow from these canes. Berries will form on them the following summer.

Step 6

Remove all fruiting canes after the fruit is harvested. Cut them off about an inch above ground level.

Step 7

Prune in spring. Cut lateral branches formed the previous summer so they each contain at least two but no more than six buds each. Remove any vertically growing canes that are less than 1/2 inch in diameter.

References

  • Raspberry Plants
Keywords: how to maintain raspberry plants, maintain raspberry plants, raspberry plants

About this Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.