How to Grow Raspberries at Home

How to Grow Raspberries at Home

Raspberries are a great way to add a good tasting treat to your garden, while also providing healthy antioxidants and vitamin C to your diet. Raspberries will also grow in most climates and they are tolerant of cold winter conditions.


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Are Raspberries Easy to Grow?

Raspberry plants grow in most soil types and are not too hard to establish, in most home gardens. The Raspberry plant spreads via its roots, so care should be taken to locate the plants in a spot where they can be easily contained.


Types of Raspberries to Grow

When selecting a raspberry variety, the choices are nearly limitless. If you live in a colder climate, it can help to pick an upright thorny type. If you happen to live in an arid, windy climate, then trailing raspberries are a better option.


Trailing Raspberry

Trailing raspberries are like their wild counterparts, so trellising and careful pruning is a must to keep them manageable.


Erect Raspberry Varieties

Erect raspberries form a more upright hedge, which is easier to maintain, as this feature helps to keep the branches off the ground, limiting the need for extensive trellising and protecting the plant from dying back in the winter.


Thornless Raspberry Varieties

Thornless raspberries (Buy Online) are a better choice for warmer climates, as they tend to be slightly less cold hardy, although some varieties can be found that handle winter weather better than others. Thornless raspberries, on the other hand, make pruning and harvesting a pleasurable task, whereas thorny varieties may require gloves and other forms of body protection.



Planting Raspberry Cuttings

Planting Raspberry Cuttings


Do Raspberries Need Full Sun?

When selecting a planting location for your raspberry plants, choose an area that gets full sun and has a slightly acidic soil. Pick a spot that retains moisture, yet drains well, because raspberry plants are a thirsty crop that hates having wet feet.

Domesticated raspberry plants, should not be planted too close to their wild relatives, in order to limit the possibility of disease transfer. Also, avoid planting members of the nightshade family, that is tomato, peppers, eggplants, etc., nearby, as this can lead to the spread of wilt, which is a common raspberry disease.


Raspberry Soil Requirements

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Once you have settled on your location, prepare the soil (Buy Online) by tilling in some compost and other soil amendments. Make sure you to loosen the soil to a depth of at least a foot, so the roots can establish quickly.


Install a Raspberry Trellis System

At this time, put your trellising in position, so you will not have to do this work once the plants are in the ground. If you do not want to put in trellising, then a preexisting fence that has a good southern exposure might be a good alternative.


When Should you Plant Raspberries

The best time of year to plant raspberries is early spring, but if you live in a warmer climate, a fall planting might be a better choice. The plants should be placed in holes wide enough to allow the roots to evenly spread out. Make sure that the crown of the plant is above the soil line while filling the soil back in and firming it around the base of the plant.


Raspberry Plant Spacing

Raspberry plants should be spaced about 3 to 6 feet (1 to 2 m), and trailing varieties might require more room, in most cases. Once the plants are in the ground, soak the plants in deeply and keep watering them daily, in order to keep the plants from drying out.



Raspberry Plant Care and Pruning

Raspberry Plant Care and Pruning


How Much Water Do Raspberries Need?

Once the raspberry plants are established, they will need 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) of water per week. Adding a 2 inch (5 cm) layer of pine bark mulch might be a good idea, if you live in a dry climate, in order to retain moisture.


Raspberry Weed Control

During the first year, the raspberry plant will be susceptible to overcrowding from weeds. It is best to hand weed around the plant to minimize any root damage because next year’s canes will be emerging from the roots around the plant. Be sure to quickly remove any weeds, from the nightshade family or invasive wild blackberries, in order to minimize the spread of disease.


Pruning Raspberries First Year

The first year’s growth should be left alone and no pruning should be necessary; however, make sure to train the branches, in order to keep the growth orderly for the future harvest. Once the second season arrives, you should see an abundance of new growth.


Pruning Raspberries After Fruiting

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Carefully prune any weak canes with sharp pruning shears (Buy Online), at the base of the plant, in order to promote vigorous growth and higher yields. As the season progresses, make sure that the branches showing the most fruit are trellised and have sufficient airflow and light exposure, so that you get a healthy harvest.


When are Raspberries in Season?

Raspberries tend to ripen in the late summer, except in the case of ever-bearing varieties, with which give you an early summer harvest and a fall harvest as well. These varieties are called primocane bearing and are worth looking into if a late summer crop performs poorly in your area.


When are Raspberries Ripe?

It is pretty easy to tell when the berries are ready to be harvested, as they will change color from green to a deep red. The best time of day to pick raspberries is in the early morning when the berries have their highest sugar content.

You should pick the berries from the plant at least every two days, in order to limit any losses; and the harvest should continue for a couple weeks.


Storing Raspberries at Home

Raspberries can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week; otherwise, you can freeze them or make jams for long-term storage.