Raspberry and blackberry plants are similar in structure and grow well together in a home garden. Plant the canes in separate rows next to each other for ease in pruning and harvesting management. Intermixing canes in one row is not recommended since blackberries are an aggressive growing bramble that requires more pruning than raspberries. Plant blackberries and raspberries in spring once the risk of frost has passed. Choose varieties with fungus disease resistance to increase fruit production success.
Test the soil pH in the planting area. Verify the soil is slightly acidic with a pH of 5.5 to 6.0 for best results with growing both raspberries and blackberries. Work ground rock sulfur into the soil two weeks prior to planting to lower the pH if it is above 6.0. Water the soil well after making the amendment.
Prepare the planting area by tilling 2 to 3 inches of organic compost into the soil to a depth of 8 to 10 inches. Create planting rows by mounding the soil to a height of 10 inches along the row. Space the rows 2 feet apart.
Plant blackberry canes in rows that do not have raspberry canes. Dig a hole that is slightly deeper than the canes were growing in the nursery. Set the blackberry cane roots into the hole and gently pack soil around the roots to hold the cane in place. Space the canes 3 to 4 feet apart in the rows.
Plant the raspberry canes in rows that do not have blackberry canes. Dig a hole that is slightly deeper than the root structure and set the roots of the cane in. Gently pack soil around the roots to hold the cane in place. Space the canes 2 feet apart in the rows.
Water the blackberry and raspberry canes well after planting to stimulate root establishment. Apply water daily to the canes to keep the soil moist for the first two weeks after planting. Provide supplemental water to the canes during the growing season when the weekly rainfall is less than 1 inch.
Cut the canes to a height of 4 to 6 inches immediately after planting. This will promote new, healthy growth on the plant.