Red raspberry plants are hardy shrubs that are commonly cultivated for their fruit. The plants are hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9 but can be grown in colder zones with proper winter care. Red raspberry plants are best planted during mid-spring, after all danger of frost has passed. The plant has specific requirements that must be fulfilled before planting or it may never produce fruit.
Choose a planting site that receives six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day. Spread 4 inches of organic compost over the planting site and use a garden tiller to incorporate it into the soil once a month for 12 months before planting red raspberry plants.
Destroy all wild raspberry and blackberry plants within 600 feet of the planting site. Uproot the plants and burn them in a remote location to prevent the spread of diseases, which can kill red raspberry plants.
Fertilize the soil at the planting site in spring just before planting the red raspberry plants. Fertilize with a balanced 10-10-10 NPK to provide proper nutrition for fruit production. Apply following the manufacturer's directions for proper dosage.
Dig a hole of equal depth and twice as wide as the root ball of red raspberry plants with a shovel. Set the root ball in the hole and refill with soil. Water thoroughly to collapse air pockets in the soil and bring moisture into contact with the roots. Space red raspberry plants 24 inches apart. Plant in rows spaced 8 to 12 feet apart.
Install a vertical trellis over each row on which the red raspberries will be grown. Drive a sturdy 7-foot-long post 2 feet deep in the ground at each end of the row. Run two heavy wires from one post to the other, one at 3 feet above the ground and the other at 4 1/2 feet above the ground. Tie red raspberry plant canes to the wires with twine once they reach the proper height.