Raspberries are a popular summer fruit. Growing them in your home garden is a great way to have an accessible supply each summer. Several types of blackberries can be grown: red, yellow, black and purple.
If you plant raspberries in your home garden, it takes two to three years to get the plants established and producing a good harvest. After that, though, you should have a good crop of berries for many summers to come.
Raspberries are sensitive to extreme cold, which can damage the plants. In general, raspberry plants are hardy through USDA hardiness zone 2, according to the International Gardening Guide. However, keep in mind that hardiness varies among the many varieties. Red raspberries can tolerate temperatures up to 20 degrees below 0 Fahrenheit, while black and purple raspberries can be damaged at 5 degrees below 0 to 10 degrees below 0.
In addition, black and red raspberries thrive in locales where the summers are cool. They are not easily grown in hot and humid regions or dry, desert-like areas. It's best to plant raspberry plants in the spring. Wait until the soil is warm enough to work with and the threat of frost has passed.
Raspberry bushes will thrive in a spot that gets full sun, but they can also do well with partial shade. Try to find a location that gets six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day. It's also important to find a spot where air circulates well, but avoid sites prone to high winds, which can damage the plants.
Finally, do not plant raspberries in a spot where other cane berries, strawberries, eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes or peppers have been planted in the past three years. All these plants are susceptible to the same pests and diseases as raspberries, so they must be rotated.
Like other cane berries, raspberries need a moist, well-draining soil, but they can tolerate a wide variety of soil types. If your soil does not drain well, you can add soil amendments such as mulch or compost to absorb some of the moisture from the soil. Another option is to build a raised bed for planting the bushes. Optimal soil pH for raspberries is between 5 and 7.
- Oregon State University Extension: Growing Raspberries in Your Home Garden
- Ohio State University Extension: Raspberries for the Backyard Fruit Planting
- University of Georgia: Blackberries and Raspberries
- North Carolina State University Extension: Growing Raspberries in North Carolina
- International Gardening Guide: Raspberries
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- Pacific Northwest Blackberry Plant Varieties
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