How to Plant & Care for Raspberries

Overview

Most varieties of red raspberries, or Rubus idaeus, grow well in USDA plant-hardiness Zones 4 through 8, meaning they can tolerate temperatures as low as -15 degrees Fahrenheit, but all kinds require some special care to plant and grow properly. Two main categories of raspberry plants exist: "ever-bearing" raspberries, which are the kind that produce both an early-summer and a fall crop, and common raspberries, which bear fruit only once in the summer. Plant your raspberry plants in late fall or early spring in nutrient-rich, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5.

Step 1

Till the soil at the planting site thoroughly and remove all plant, grass or weed matter. Till into the soil organic compost and aged manure.

Step 2

Dig a hole for each raspberry plant that is about 2 inches deeper than the plant container or root ball. Create rows that are about 8 feet apart and space the holes in the rows 30 inches apart.

Step 3

Place the root ball into the hole and backfill with the amended soil. Don't trim the raspberry plant's roots before planting, even if it is root-bound. Simply loosen up the root system. Water the newly-planted raspberries to soak the soil down to the root balls.

Step 4

Cut the canes back to about 4 inches if you have ever-bearing raspberry plants. If you have the common raspberry variety, allow the plants to establish themselves for the first year, and then cut the plants back to 3 to 5 canes per plant when the buds emerge the following spring.

Step 5

Feed your raspberry plants in early spring with a 10-10-10 granular fertilizer. Broadcast the fertilizer on the ground around the plants, using a rate of 1 pound of fertilizer per 10 feet of row.

Step 6

Water your raspberry plants deeply twice every week while they're flowering and fruiting. Don't allow the soil to dry out during the growing season and be sure to water as frequently as needed during especially dry periods.

Step 7

Cut back the spent canes to the ground every spring, after the canes produce raspberries. Don't remove new canes that haven't yet produced fruit.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't plant your raspberries in hard clay soil. If you have clay soil, plant the raspberries in raised garden beds for best results. Don't plant your raspberry plants in an area where potatoes, tomatoes, peppers or eggplants have grown within the last three years, because these types of plants are hosts for verticillium wilt. Raspberry plants are susceptible to infestation by verticillium wilt, which is a fungus that can remain in the soil for several years.

Things You'll Need

  • Raspberry plants
  • Rototiller or pitchfork
  • Organic compost
  • Manure
  • Shovel or trowel
  • Pruning shears and/or loppers
  • 10-10-10 Granular fertilizer

References

  • Spooner Farms: Raspberry Planting Information
  • The Garden Helper: How to Grow and Care for Raspberry Plants

Who Can Help

  • Green Nature: Easy Care for Raspberry and Blackberry Plants
Keywords: raspberry plant care, grow raspberries, plant raspberries

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.