- Plant in the early spring (or late winter for warm zones)
- Plant far from wild growing berries, otherwise risk the spread of pests and diseases to your garden.
- Prepare soil with compost or aged manure a couple weeks before planting.
- Raspberries love moisture, so try soaking the roots for an hour or two before planting.
- Dig a hole that is roomy enough for the roots to spread.
- Space plants about 3 feet apart, in rows 8 feet apart.
- After planting, cut back canes, leaving 8 to 10 inches.
- Depending on the variety you plant, you may need to fashion a support. A trellis or a fence are good options. If you chose to use one of these, establish them at or before time of planting so the plants are not disturbed when maturing.
- Mulching is important throughout the season to conserve moisture and suffocate weeds. Keep a thick layer of mulch surrounding plants at all times.
- Water one inch per week.
- The roots send up an abundant amount of shoots, called canes. Keep order by pruning away the majority of them so that the survivors can produce lots of berries.
Summer-Bearers produce berries on two year old canes while one year old canes grow right beside them. You shouldn’t have trouble telling which is which: the older canes have brown stems, and the young ones are still green. Prune only the older ones, the ones that have finished their fruitful year.
- Prune in the fall. Leave about 6 of the thickest, strongest green canes.
- Keep plant contained to a 19-inch wide space. Left alone without care all summer, neat rows will become thickets.
- Cut off all canes that grow sideways.
Ever-Bearers require less care:
- Mow them to the ground in the fall, after you finish picking. (For a small patch, pruning shears will do.)
- Clean up all debris—diseases and pests overwinter.
- Pruning is not required during the growing season unless you want to keep a uniform order.
- All varieties will begin to produce fruit in their second season. In some cases, ever-bearers may bear small berries in their first autumn.
- In early summer, berries will ripen over a time of about 2 weeks. You will need to pick berries every couple of days.
- Try to harvest berries on a sunny day when they are dry.
- Don’t tug too hard on your raspberries when picking. A ripe raspberry will leave the vine willingly.
- Raspberries can be kept refrigerated for about 5 days.
- If the fruit is to be made into preserves, it should be done straight off the plant.
- Raspberries can be frozen. Make a single layer of berries on a cookie sheet. When frozen, place into airtight bags.