How to Winterize Raspberry Plants

Overview

Raspberry plants should be winterized one to two weeks before the ground freezes, or when daytime temperatures are predicted to stay below freezing. Raspberry plants will break dormancy during the winter when daytime temperatures stay above 40 degrees F for three to five days. During this time the plant will put out new growth, which is then promptly killed by the return of colder temperatures. Covering canes and mulching the crown will prevent this.

Step 1

Give your raspberry plants 1 to 2 inches of water a week throughout the fall. Stop watering when daytime temperatures stay below 40 degrees F. If the area you live in has a wet fall, you can skip this step.

Step 2

Wear a long-sleeved shirt or jacket and heavy gloves when working with raspberry canes to prevent scratches and scrapes.

Step 3

Wrap erect canes (canes that are not on a trellis) in two to three layers of burlap. Fold burlap over the top of the canes and secure it with twine.

Step 4

Remove trellised raspberry canes from their supports. Lay the canes gently on the ground and cover them with 3 to 4 inches of straw.

Step 5

Cover the crown (the area just above the roots where the canes emerge) with 3 to 4 inches of straw.

Things You'll Need

  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Gloves
  • Burlap
  • Twine
  • Straw

References

  • "The Garden Primer;" Barbara Damrosch; 1988
  • Planting and Growing Raspberry Plants
  • Caring for Raspberry Plants

Who Can Help

  • University of Maine: Caring for Raspberry and Blackberry Canes
  • How to Grow Raspberries
Keywords: preparing raspberry canes for winter, winterizing raspberry plants, caring for raspberry plants, raspberry plants