Raspberries are fruiting plant that thrive in most soil conditions and are easy to maintain. Choose a sunny location that is not against a building or other structure as air circulation is important. The plants are biennials, meaning the fruit is produced on 2-year-old canes. Prune canes that are done fruiting to promote new growth. Purchase young canes from a reliable gardening source for best results.
Raspberry Growth and Care
Prepare a planting bed one year prior to planting canes. Eliminate weeds from the area. Add compost or organic matter and a gardening 10-10-10 fertilizer to the soil. Till to work into the ground.
Test the soil pH one year prior to planting. Raspberries prefer a soil that has a pH of approximately 5.8 to 6.5. Add lime to the soil to increase the pH number and add ground rock sulfur to decrease the pH.
Create hedgerows to plant the raspberry canes that are 1½ to 2 feet wide. Allow for a 3-foot space between each row. Plant each raspberry cane in the hedgerow leaving 3 feet between each cane. Water immediately and continue to water daily for two to three weeks to promote root growth.
Water raspberry canes regularly if there is less than 1 to 2 inches of rainfall per week.
Prune raspberry patches yearly to allow for air circulation. Good air circulation prevents fungal disease. Pruning should also incorporate eliminating damaged or dying canes.
Apply a gardening 10-10-10 fertilizer twice per growing season with the first application when the canes begin to bloom and the second application after the fruiting season has ended. Water the raspberry canes after applying fertilizer to promote absorption.
Spread mulch underneath the canes to prevent weed growth. Do not apply a heavy layer as the sucker shoots need to penetrate through the mulch to grow.
Install netting over the raspberry canes if birds are eating the berries. Build a trellis to support raspberry canes that are drooping. The trellis consists of poles inserted along the row with wire or twine connected to each to hold the canes upright.