Grow a mix of summer and fall varieties of raspberry to extend the harvesting period. In mild regions you can plant raspberries from late fall but in areas with very cold winters, wait until after the spring thaw.
- If you’ve purchased raspberry canes in pots, dig a generous hole for each plant and fork in a bucket of garden compost. For bare-root canes, it’s simpler to dig a trench then spread the roots of each cane out along the row.
- Space raspberry canes 18 inches apart, with about four feet left between additional rows. Backfill with soil and firm it down with your foot.
- Cut the newly-planted canes back to nine inches tall to encourage new growth.
Raspberry canes grow very tall, so they need sturdy supports. Drive in two six foot tall upright posts either end of the row. Stretch three horizontal galvanized wires between the posts for summer-fruiting raspberries, or two wires for fall-bearing varieties.
Harvesting and Using Raspberries
- Gently pull raspberries away from their central plug once they’re richly colored all over. They should come away easily. Enjoy them as soon as possible after picking.
- Raspberries are delicious with Greek-style yogurt or cream and an indulgent drizzle of maple syrup.
- Freeze excess berries to use in smoothies and desserts, or make them into raspberry jam.
- Once the harvest of summer fruiting raspberries is over, you can prune the canes. Cut all canes that fruited this year to the ground. Aim to leave one cane for every four inches of wire. Cut down any extras, and tie those that remain to the wire supports with garden string.
- The canes of fall-bearing raspberries should all be cut to the ground in late winter.
- Dig or pull up new canes that grow well away from the rows. If your raspberry canes are disease-free you can transplant them to raise more plants.
See our Raspberry Growing Guide for more tips.
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