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How to Plant Raspberries in California

Raspberries are a popular summer fruit and are tasty for both eating and baking. However, because the climate in California is so varied, not all locations are good for growing raspberries. The berry bushes will grow best in the cooler coastal areas of northern California. Most raspberry varieties are not tolerant of the warmer conditions in southern and central regions of the state. There are four common grouping of raspberries, based on color. All four--red, purple, black and gold--will grow well in northern California, but the red varieties are the most popular.

Find a location with a soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. You can have your soil's pH tested by taking a sample and contacting the extension service office of a local public university.

Add organic matter that has partially decomposed, such as manure, compost or peat moss, to the area where you will plant the raspberry bushes during the fall before planting. Add 1 pound of organic matter for every square foot of bed space.

Dig a hole so the root system from the raspberry plant will sit no more than 2 inches underground after planting. If the root system is too deep, the plant will not have the energy to push through the ground to create fruit-bearing branches. Keep in mind that raspberries should be planted from late fall through early spring so they can take root before the growing season.

Remove any damaged parts of the root system.

Place the plant in the hole, taking care to spread the roots out.

Pack the soil around the plant firmly so no air pockets remain.

Water the plant thoroughly so it begins to take root in its new location.

Remove old, withered canes from the plant and cut back any new canes so they are about 6 inches in length.


Raised beds can be beneficial if your soil does not drain well. To raise beds, create a soil berm about 2 feet wide and 8 inches to 10 inches high. When planting multiple bushes, spacing should be 2 to 3 feet between plants, and 6 to 8 feet between rows. As raspberry bushes grow, they may need some support to stand upright. You can use stakes with twine or heavy-duty wire, or you can use a trellis.

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