Raspberries are fairly easy to grow and will continue to produce fruit for many years when cared for properly. When selecting raspberry plants you'll need to choose between summer bearing raspberries or everbearing raspberry plants. Summer bearers will produce one crop per season over about a 2-3 week time period, while everbearing raspberries will produce raspberries throughout the summer and sometimes into the fall if the temperatures are mild enough.
How to Plant Raspberry Canes
Raspberry canes should be planted in the early spring as soon as the ground can be worked. Dig a hole 6 inches deep by one foot wide. Add in some rotted compost or manure to the hole to give the plant a little boost throughout the growing season. Fan the raspberry roots out so they have plenty of room to spread and then cover with about 2 inches of soil. This will allow new shoots to form and pop through the soil the next growing season.
Planting Depth and Distance
Ideally, raspberry plants should be planted 2-3 feet apart in rows 8 feet apart. This will allow new shoots to have room to grow, as well as give you a large enough walking path between rows. Building a raspberry trellis is a good way to support your plants once your first growing season has passed and you can see where your plants have established themselves.
How to Care for Raspberry Plants
Raspberries need about 1 inch of water per week and produce best in well drained, fertile soil in full sun but will tolerate some shade. For optimum harvest, raspberries should be planted in a soil pH between 6.0-7.0. If you are unsure about your soil conditions simply pick up an acidity test at your local home improvement center and test the ph level of your soil.
Avoid planting raspberries in an area where you have grown potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries or peppers in the last few years as they are susceptible to the same insects and diseases. You can easily build your own raspberry trellis for less than $50 to make the most of your berry patch.
You can expect to get 25% the first year 50% the second year and by the third year your raspberry canes should be producing around 100%. Pick raspberries every 2-3 days, avoid picking when wet and make sure to use shallow containers when harvesting so you do not crush the fruit.