Considerations Before Planting
Raspberries can grow in most locations but prefer the cooler climates. When choosing what variety of raspberry to grow, choose varieties that are recommended for your USDA zone. The different varieties of raspberry canes can be purchased in containers or as bare roots. To lessen the chance of diseased canes, purchase from reputable companies.
Choose a planting site that receives the right amount of sunlight. The raspberry planting site should receive four to five hours of direct sunlight daily. Less than that will lower the yields of fruit: much more sunlight can dry out the fruit.
The raspberry planting site should not be where tomatoes, peppers, or potatoes grew in the last 4 years. Verticillium wilt, a soil-borne fungus, may be present from these previous crops. The area that grew strawberries and raspberry up to 6 years prior should not be used either. In addition, do not plant raspberries near wild raspberry or blackberry plants.
Soil preparation ideally begins months to a year before planting raspberry canes. Choose a well-drained area. Test the pH of the soil and add amendments if needed to achieve a soil pH of approximately 5.8 – 6.5. Add a few inches of compost and mix well in the soil.
The best planting time for bare root canes and potted canes differs. Bare root canes can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring: potted canes are planted when all danger of frost is gone. It is best to buy immediately before planting time. If not possible, store in refrigerator or another cool place.
Once all the conditions are right, it is time to plant the canes. Here are the steps:
- Soak bare root in water for 1 hour.
- Trim long or broken roots.
- Dig 1-foot wide by 1-foot deep holes 2 feet apart (4 feet for some varieties).
- Place a bare root in the center of each hole.
- Fill soil around the bare roots.
- Allow the crown to be 1-2 inches above the ground.
- Spread a natural fertilizer around (3-4 inches away) the planted roots.
- Water to a depth of 6 inches.
- Mulch 3 inches deep.
When planting bare roots that are potted, the first step above is not recommended. Simply, remove the potted canes and follow all the other steps above.