The Q&A Archives: Planting and Care of Raspberries

Question: Can you advise me how/where to plant and care for three thornless rasberry plants I recently purchased?

Answer: I hope your plants are in pots so that their roots are moist and happy. Choose a sunny location for best production. Incorporate as much organic matter into the soil as you can, and make sure the area is reasonably weed-free. You could also work in a bit of bone meal at planting time, this will aid in development of a good root system. Raspberries demand good drainage and simply won't put up with "wet feet". A soil test lets you know what you have to work with regarding soil components and pH - raspberries prefer a pH between 5.5-7.0. Space plants 3' apart in rows about 5-10' apart. Your plants will need a regular water supply, especially during this crucial first year and during flower/fruit production. To help keep the plants from drying out and to keep weeds at bay, a thick layer of mulch around the plants is beneficial. Plants should be topdressed each year in the early spring with a generous amount of organic material such as compost or rotted manure, and apply a fertilizer such as a 10-10-10 as a sidedressing at the same time.

There are two types of raspberries; summer bearers that produce fruit once a year on two-year old canes, and fall-bearing raspberries with bear twice a year on each cane. The fall-bearing type can be pruned after the berries have been harvested by cutting the cane just below where the fruit formed. The remaining cane will produce another crop of berries in the spring. After harvesting the berries in the spring, cut the cane all the way down to the soil. The summer-bearing plants are pruned a bit differently; they produce canes the first year, which will bear fruit the second year. After the fruit has been harvested, cut the
canes down to the ground. Enjoy!

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