The Q&A Archives: raspberry bush spacing

Question: I just received six raspberry bushes. How far apart should I space them? Any other tips?

Answer: Hedgerow is the most popular training system for red raspberries. Set the plants about 2-1/2 to three feet apart in the row and eight to 12 feet between rows. Sucker plants from underground stems will form a solid and continuous row in one or two years.

Raspberries have perennial roots and crowns but canes live for only two summers. Most raspberries are summer-bearing varieties. During the first year, the new cane (primocane, or first year cane) grows vegetatively. The cane overwinters and during the second growing season the floricane (or second year cane) produces fruit and then dies. Primocanes are produced each year so fruit production continues year after year.

Grow raspberries in a part of the garden that has good air circulation and water drainage and full sunlight. Good air movement helps foliage dry faster, thereby reducing disease problems. Standing water will increase the likelihood of disease problems and death of the plants due to a lack of oxygen to the roots. Protect plants from windy sites as wind can induce excessive drying and cane injury. Any well-drained soil is satisfactory for growing raspberries. Additional water will be needed on a sandy soil.

All raspberries benefit from some type of support system because canes are susceptible to wind whipping, particularly when the fruit is present. Such a system can be as simple as posts with twine tied between them, or more elaborate with permanent posts and wire.

Enjoy your raspberries!

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