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How to Plant Black Raspberries

Black raspberries are available in several varieties that either grow summer or autumn fruits in USDA zones 5 to 7. Regardless of where they are planted, these plants will not bear fruit for two years. Plant both types of black raspberries in late fall. Choose a location that has well-drained soil in partial sun, which is the ideal condition to grow black raspberries.

Dig a trench that is 1 foot deep and 1 foot wide. If planting more than one row of black raspberries, space trenches 5 feet in between.

Prepare the soil. Add a couple of inches of compost to the soil you just dug out, and mix well. Use this mix to backfill the trenches once the raspberries are planted.

Add support poles and wire, if growing summer-bearing black raspberries. Pound in two 7-foot poles at either end of the row and then attach a wire from end to end at 2- and 4-foot heights.

Take the plants out of their current containers and place them in the center of the trench. If planting multiple plants, space them 18 inches apart.

Backfill the soil until it is 2 inches higher than the current soil mark from the container. Spread a handful of bone meal every 3 feet and tamp down the soil until it is firm with no air pockets.

Prune the plants back to 6 inches and water until the soil is moist. Keep your raspberries watered. Watering once a week will suffice in most environments, but adjust water schedules as rainfall increases or decreases. As your summer black raspberries grow, tie them to the wires for support.

Care For Black Raspberries

Water regularly during the warmer summer months. Black raspberries need about 1 inch of water weekly, either from nature or your hose. During hot or windy spells, water more frequently. Water less frequently during the spring and fall. It induces lateral branch growth and higher yields. The plants will fruit in mid- to late summer, depending on the variety. Prune again during the late dormant season, using a lopper to help you get deeper into the plant while avoiding its thorns. Cut back all injured or diseased canes and trim the lateral branches (those growing from the primocanes) to an 8- to 10-inch length. Broadcast a 10-10-10 fertilizer on the soil around your canes each spring before the growth first emerges.

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