The American red raspberry is a perennial bush with sweet berries growing beginning in the second year. Proper care of your raspberry canes can result in pounds of fruit every year for up to a decade. Preventive maintenance is the best way to avoid both disease and infestation, so weekly attention to your plants will pay large dividends at harvest time.
Cultivate around your raspberry plants weekly in the first year of their growth. Once the canes have gotten a good growth started, lay down about 6 inches of mulch to help keep away weeds. Composted leaves mixed with rotten manure make a good compost combination for this use. Water your bushes regularly, making sure that they get at least 1 inch of water per week.
Dig up stray canes that sprout up, beginning in the second year, and either transplant them into the row or discard them. About halfway into the second year, decide if you will need trellising for your plants. If plants are flopping over onto themselves and won't stand up, install T-shaped trellises with horizontal wires for support. It isn't necessary to tie the canes to the trellis, as they will just lean against the wires and hold themselves up. Trellising helps to promote easier harvest and cleaner fruit
Practice regular garden sanitation to avoid diseases and infestation. Insect activity is still a possibility. Look for the top of the canes to wilt, with two rings around the cane, as this is the sign of the cane borer. Immediately cut all affected canes below the rings and burn them to destroy the infestation. Raspberries also are vulnerable to diseases such as molds and fungal infections, but keeping your garden clean and free of weeds is the best way to avoid these infections.