The Q&A Archives: Caring for Raspberries

Question: What is the proper care, feeding and thinning of raspberries? I have a patch that is 5 years (Ii think) and it still produces berries. I would like to know how to feed it and if I need to thin out the plants. How often should I water? They are in sunmost of the day and the soil is sand based. Thank you. Rich Chapelle Bolton, MA

Answer: Raspberries need a lot of water, 1-1 1/2" per week, especially when fruiting. They like a good 4-6" of mulch to help keep the roots cool. To fertilize, apply compost or well rotted manure in the spring and spray with liquid seaweed extract two to threetimes during the growing season. Most raspberries canes, except the everbearing types, are bienniel. The first year canes, called primocanes, produce only leaves. The second year canes, called floricanes, produce fruit. In the fall, after fruiting, remove the floricanes and any weak primocanes. There should be 6-8" between canes to allow for air circulation. Remove the pruned out canes and burn or dispose of. They may contain harmful insects and/or disease.

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