Raspberries are easy to grow, highly productive and quite delicious. They come in two varieties: spring bearing and ever bearing. The spring bearing varieties are perfect for fresh eating and for food preserving/canning, as the fruit ripens all at once within a short period of time. The ever bearing varieties are wonderful eaten fresh throughout summer and into fall.
The most important need for raspberries is good drainage. If possible, avoid planting them in low, soggy areas. Planting in a raised bed, at least 12 inches hig,h will help prevent root rot and other root diseases. Avoid planting canes in beds that have had potatoes, eggplant or tomatoes grown in them for the last 3 to 4 to avoid viral problems
For best berry production, raspberries need a location in full sun with soil rich in organic material, such as compost and composted manures. The ideal pH is 5.6-6.2. If the soil is too acidic, add lime. It’s critical for transplant success to keep the roots moist until it’s time to plant them. Upon planting, prune canes to approximately 6 inches from the crown. Plant canes 24 to 36 inches apart and cover the roots with 2 inches of soil. Be very careful not to bury them too deeply. Fertilize Raspberries with a balanced fertilizer such as Down To Earth Acid Mix, two times per year: once in March, and again in May. Most varieties will need support. A simple T-post design works very effectively.
Pruning is an important part of a successful Raspberry crop. For spring-bearing raspberries, when fruiting has finished, the fruited canes are cut out at the base, and the new season’s canes are tied in, keeping only the strongest, young canes. In late winter, tip pruning is advised to clean up any cold-damaged growth.
For ever-bearing raspberries, new canes grow and bear fruit their first crop. An annual cycle is maintained by pruning all canes to ground level each winter. Do not tip prune ever-bearing varieties because much of the fruit is borne at the top of the canes.