How to Plant Raspberries
Raspberries can be grown in the home garden. Three or four plants can provide enough raspberries over the years for an average family, but you can plant more if desired, especially if you make jams or jellies. Raspberries should be planted in the fall or spring, but spring is ideal. Raspberry plants are perennials, and while you will not have fruit the first year or two, soon enough you will enjoy raspberries each year.
Select a prime sunny location to plant and grow raspberries. Do not plant in low lying areas. Hills are ideal or on a raised bed. The soil should be well-draining and sandy. Add sand to the soil, if necessary.
Avoid areas that retain too much moisture and areas that have had potatoes, peppers, tomatoes and peppers planted in the last four previous years. The left over roots from these plants may have had root rot, which will transfer to your raspberries. In addition, do not plant within 300 to 600 feet of any wild raspberries and blackberries, which may carry diseases that can transfer to your raspberries.
Test the soil for pH level, which ideally should be between 5.6 and 6.2. Use test strips available at most garden stores. Add sulfur to lower the acidity and limestone to raise it, as necessary. Follow manufacturer directions since each product is different and dosing amounts may vary.
Fertilize the area in the spring, before planting. Use a fertilizer that is labeled 10-10-10. Since each fertilizer has different potencies and release rates, follow label directions for dosing amounts. Generally, for fertilizer specific for raspberries, you need about 25 pounds per 1000 square feet. Till the area with the fertilizer a few days before planting.
Plant the raspberries in rows that are 10 to 12 feet apart. Plant individual plants between two to six feet apart. This all depends on the type of raspberry plant. For instance, red raspberries should be planted two feet apart with rows ten feet apart. On the other hand, thorn-less raspberries should be planted six feet apart with rows twelve feet apart. Read the label that came with your raspberries carefully.
Add a trellis if necessary. Most raspberries need a trellis for support. Red, yellow and black raspberries need a low trellis while thorn-less raspberries need a high trellis. Erect and purple raspberries do not need a trellis. Again, read the label carefully.