Planting Raspberries

Planting raspberries is one of the easiest experiences even for the novice gardener. Knowing how to take care of raspberry bushes during the year, you will gather good harvests and experience a minimum of problems.

A popular berry shrub that is easy to grow is raspberries. Just a few plants will give a continuous harvest for several months. Even in a small area, the plants produce large quantities of delicious fruit. Raspberries are not just a tasty berry, but a real vitamin bomb. It contains vitamins A, C, folic acid, antioxidants and numerous minerals. We offer to learn how to plant raspberries correctly – in autumn, spring, summer, when and how to plant seedlings correctly.

Preparatory work

In order for the bushes to be healthy and give a high and delicious harvest, it is important to choose and prepare the planting site and soil.

Choosing the right location

Raspberries prefer warm, ventilated, sunny places. If the berry is located on the southern side of the house, it is better to plant the bushes among other shrubs or under trees that will protect the raspberry shoots from the scorching sun.

A site with a southeastern or southwestern exposure is better.

A spacious place is important to prevent fungal diseases, which like to appear in places with poor air circulation.

Raspberry plantations are usually established on sunny plains or gentle slopes. Strong winds adversely affect the plants, increasing the risk of frost damage to the bushes. Bushes will grow worse in places that dry out too quickly.

Raspberries grow quickly and quite widely, so it is worth planting them near a fence or on a trellis.

Preparing the soil, fertilizing

Planting a raspberry bush
Planting a raspberry bush

To well prepare the place for the raspberry tree, it is worth starting work a quarter before the planting date. It is important to know how to properly prepare the soil for planting. The best type of soil for raspberries:

  • moderately moist;
  • fertile;
  • rich in humus;
  • well-drained;
  • for heavy soils, it is worth considering planting bushes on raised beds;
  • slightly acidic; slightly acidic.

Matching soil pH to plant requirements can have a huge impact on growing success. The optimum soil pH is 6.0-6.5, but in practice it can exceed these values slightly; however, it should not be below 5.5 or above 8.0.

The groundwater level should not be higher than 16 in (e.g. loess and light loam).

A too acidic reaction of the substrate can be neutralized by lime treatment, which should be carried out before sowing the precursors. The dose of lime depends on the pH value of the soil and its density. Fertilize the area a few weeks before planting with manure or compost at a rate of 100-120 lbs/100 sq ft and recultivate. If the bushes are planted in poor soil, superphosphate at a dose of 3.5 oz/100 sq ft and potassium sulfate at a dose of 7 oz/100 sq ft should be used.

Gardeners add to each hole when planting, mixing it thoroughly with the soil:

  • Wood ash (1.2 oz.) – it replaces potash and phosphorus fertilizer.
  • Ammonium nitrate (0.7 oz.) – gives the plant the nitrogen it needs.
  • Superphosphate (1.5 oz).

Thoroughly mix the fertilizer with the soil, otherwise a high concentration of soil solution at the roots will reduce the rooting of seedlings or even cause them to burn

Crop rotation and forecrop

Man tends raspberry bushes so tenderly
Man tends raspberry bushes so tenderly that the faint of heart may not hold back tears

It is important to follow proper crop rotation to reduce the risk of disease and pest infestation in the soil.

Good predecessors for raspberries:

  • Raspberries are usually grown after the plowing of cider plants.
  • Planting them after vegetables of the cabbage family, which require careful maintenance of the soil and do not promote the development of weeds, brings good results.
  • As precursors are suitable oilseed plants, but this choice will likely require careful weeding.

Undesirable predecessors:

  • Avoid planting raspberries in areas where other species of the rose family (Rosaceae) used to grow.
  • Raspberries should be avoided after potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes and peppers; this type of predecessor increases the likelihood of root system diseases.
  • Raspberries planted next to cucumbers, beans are at risk of spider mite infestation.

The place for the seedling should be weeded, so that other plants do not take valuable nutrients from the soil.

When planting raspberries, fertilizer should be applied. The soil intended for seedlings should be enriched by mixing it with compost or adding manure before winter. 3 months before planting work, it is worth digging holes and pour a multi-component fertilizer in the bottom.

It is worth checking the pH of the soil; if it is too alkaline, acidify it by adding acidic peat, for example.

Do not forget to mix well the peat with the soil mixture in the planting hole or trench

Seedling selection, varieties and their characteristics

Before you start planting, you should buy suitable healthy seedlings. When buying seedlings, it is important to pay attention to the fact that the seedlings look healthy, they have a strong, well-developed root system, undamaged shoots. Seedlings with dry roots are less likely to take root. You can trim the root tips a little and cut off the damaged, dry roots.

How to determine a good raspberry seedling? It should have shoots with a diameter of at least 0.3 in and at least 3 roots 4 in long and 0.004 in thick.

Raspberries are quite susceptible to diseases – especially viruses, so it is worth buying seedlings from a proven source. There are many interesting, easy-to-grow, frost-resistant varieties on the market.

SortHeight of bush, ftFruiting period
Polana5August – November
Caramelka5July – September
Polka5July – October
Hercules5July – August
Golden Queen1,2June – August
Dorman Red6.5
Glen Coe6.5June – October
Black Jewel6.5
Golden Zugana6.5

Seedlings are best planted immediately after purchase. If there is no possibility to plant seedlings on the day of purchase, you should put them in holes, covered with soil, so that the roots do not dry out too much.

When is the best time to plant?

Rich raspberry crop
Rich raspberry crop

The best time to plant raspberries in the open ground (for seedlings with open roots) is in the fall (from September to early November) or early spring. Raspberries growing in pots can be planted from early spring to late fall, it is allowed to plant raspberries in summer (August, July), on cool, cloudy days. The timing may vary depending on the region.

The best time for planting raspberry seedlings comes when the air temperature is still low enough, and the soil is well soaked with rainwater. Under these conditions, young bushes take root most quickly. Seedlings can be planted in the ground in the fall from September to early November, even at temperatures around 39 F. Young bushes should be mulched to keep them from freezing in winter.

Pros and cons of different planting dates:

  • Raspberries planted in the garden in the spring can bear poor fruit in the first year of cultivation.
  • When planting raspberries in the open ground in the spring, the plants often take a worse root, grow poorly, so they require careful care, which consists of regular, abundant watering. If you decide to plant in the spring, it should be done as early as possible, when the soil is still wet.
  • The advantage of planting in the fall is the increased moisture in the soil in the fall.
  • Autumn planting of raspberry seedlings will allow the plants to root well before winter and quickly begin to grow and develop in the spring, to give fruit in the first year.
  • Late fall planting is not as risky as late spring planting. However, young bushes can freeze after planting in the fall, especially in cold, snowless winters, so earth mounds around the shoots are recommended.
  • Planting in the spring is chosen if chemical control of weeds in the selected area (such as the drug “Roundup”) is necessary in the fall. If vicious weeds (couch grass) grow on the plot, it is better to spend the fall on a radical fight with it, than later to suffer with weeding raspberry.
  • Planting raspberry seedlings in summer is the least favorable, there is a risk of over-drying the plants, they will not grow as much.

Early planting of seedlings is also possible, snowfall or a little frost will not harm well-developed seedlings.

Planting rules and step by step instructions

When planting more plants it is worth having a rope, a hammer and stakes. Thanks to these items, we will be able to accurately determine the correct location of the plants.

Raspberry planting diagram

It is important to know what should be the distance between bushes, rows of raspberries. It is necessary to provide the bushes with space and the possibility of free development. A plantation that is too dense can give a reduced yield, suffer from diseases. Plants proliferate quite widely, so the distance should be as follows:

  • between seedlings – 18-20 in;
  • between rows – 59 in.

Planting raspberry seedlings – step by step for beginners:

  • If a seedling with a closed root system is purchased, immerse the pot with the seedling in water and remove the seedling from it. Inspect the root system, trim off any dry, broken roots.
  • Soak the root system of the raspberry seedling in water for several hours (for seedlings with an open root system).
  • Dig holes of appropriate depth and width so that the roots can spread freely across the bottom of the planting hole.
  • Pour water at the bottom of the hole.
  • Place the seedling in the center of the hole. The recommended depth of the hole for planting raspberry seedlings is 6 in. The optimum planting depth is to the height of 3 clearly visible buds (counting from the root). Check whether the plant is upright. Fill the remaining space with fertile, humus-rich soil.
  • Gently tamp the soil around the planted plant, removing the air between the layers of soil.
  • Water the planted plants thoroughly, creating a small hole around the bush to prevent water from running off to the sides.
  • Trim the seedlings so they are no taller than 12 in.

Proper planting of a raspberry seedling is important, it is important to choose the right depth:

  • too deep planting on heavy soils can hinder, slow the growth of the plant;
  • too shallow planting is also harmful – in snowless, frosty winters, plants can freeze to death.

The root neck of a seedling with a closed root system after planting should be flush with the ground.


Mulching is an important element when planting berries
Mulching is an important element when planting berries

Raspberries do not tolerate sandy soils, because they like moisture, but not flooding! It is worth to mulch the area around the bush to create optimal conditions for the plant. To do this, you can cover the plants with mulch:

  • bark;
  • sawdust;
  • nutshells;
  • straw;
  • cones;
  • shredded broken branches;
  • old needles;
  • lightly composted leaves.

Mulch, among other things, will provide raspberries with appropriate soil acidity. The layer of mulch should be thick – 2-4 in. It is possible to plant raspberries on agrofoam or to cover the space between the rows with dark film, geotextile of 200 density, which will also prevent the growth of weeds. When planting in rows along the rows it is worth laying drip irrigation, drip heads are installed at a distance of 7 in.

Planting Methods

Below are some planting methods used by gardeners.

Ways to plant raspberriesDescriptionPlanting scheme
Bushy (wispy)Bushes are planted in holes, if the height of the shoots near the seedlings hammered stakes for tying bushes.Distance: between bushes – 20 in; between the rows – 60-70 in.
TrenchingMake a marking of the area with stakes and rope. Cover the rows with a dark film. Dug trenches 12-16 in deep, from south to north for optimal lighting of bushes on both sides. In the trench method, posts are usually installed and a trellis is stretched.Distance for planting in a trench: between bushes – 13-20 in, between rows – 70-80 in.
In buckets.The bushes are planted in old bottomless buckets. It is used in very cold regions. A bucket with a seedling for the winter is placed in a trench and insulated or brought indoors.The scheme is similar to the bush method.
In the tires.Use large truck tires with the sidewall cut off, which are buried in the ground at half a bayonet of the shovel. The tire should protrude 6 inches above the soil level. Fill the tires with fertile soil mixture not all the way to the top, so that the water when watering does not run down.When planting in tires, 3 bushes can be planted in one wheel.
On stumps, logsA trench is dug, and sawdust, branches, and decomposed wood are poured on the bottom. Then the soil is filled in, holes are made and bushes are planted. Wood acts as a fertilizer and drainage. It is used in waterlogged areas, where there is a high risk of root rotting due to stagnant water.The scheme is similar to the bush method.

Raspberry propagation

Raspberry cuttings
Raspberry cuttings

There are several ways to propagate raspberries in your own garden. Even inexperienced gardeners can cope with most of them.

  • Root shoots – the simplest method, which involves propagation by young green scions that grow at the base of the mother plant. They are separated from the root and transplanted.
  • Wood cuttings. They are harvested in the fall (October). One-year shoots are divided into fragments 6-7 in length with at least one well-developed bud. Root cuttings in moist sand.
  • Root cuttings – in October separate fragments of the root system of the plant. The cuts should be 6-7 in length, have at least one bud from which the plant will grow.

Care after planting

I want to collect all these raspberries in the palms of my hands and eat them
I want to collect all these raspberries in the palms of my hands and eat them
  • Irrigation. Raspberry has a shallow root system that requires regular watering, especially during periods of drought and fruit setting. Growing raspberries without watering is only possible on moist soils. Maintain proper soil moisture levels throughout the season, and regular watering is especially important when starting a plantation.
  • Recently planted seedlings should be covered for the winter against frost.
  • In the spring, mulch the plants with a few centimeters of peat, humus or manure, so that the soil does not dry out too much.
  • It is better to plant raspberries on a trellis or next to supports. These bushes grow strongly, forming shoots 60-80 in length. In the first year after planting, a trellis should be stretched. To do this, bury 2 posts 6.5-8 ft high to a depth of 27 in, 1 at each end of the row. Between them, put two galvanized wires at a height of 3-6 ft. and attach the shoots to them.

How to transplant the bush?

If for some reason you have to transplant the raspberry to another place, you should not worry. It is believed that in one place, the raspberry grows well for 10 years, then the soil is depleted and the bushes should be transplanted to another site, although often no one does this.

Raspberry bushes are very resistant to transplanting, their root system is shallow, the plants can be easily dug up and moved without causing much damage.

Even adult shrubs require appropriate conditions, so when looking for a new place, you need to follow the rules mentioned above (plant the bushes in fertile, slightly moist soil, in sunny beds). Do not forget about mulching. Bushes tolerate partial shading. Mature plants are stronger than those that have just been planted, but they also do not benefit from strong winds and frosts.

So, planting raspberries and transplanting is not very difficult. It is enough to take a few simple steps to admire the beautiful and healthy bushes, and enjoy the taste of ripe delicious berries.


Question: Remontant raspberry – what makes it so different?

A distinctive feature of the remontant raspberry – continuous fruiting throughout the season. When flowering, the bush bears fruit and does not stop there. New fruits and flowers are formed, and then everything repeats a couple of more times. This variety of plant allows you to harvest in the summer and fall. Another characteristic feature of remontant raspberries – fruits can appear on both 1-year-old and 2-year-old shoots. This contributes to the weakening of the shrub.

For abundant flowering and harvest, it is recommended to cut off last year’s raspberry shoots immediately after you harvest the first crop. If you take proper care of such raspberries, you will be able to harvest until november.

Question: Does the raspberry bush need to be clipped to keep it from falling?

Raspberries need a support. Gardeners recommend using trellises for this purpose. During fixing, distribute the branches of the shrub evenly in different directions, and then tie them to the support.

Question: How wide and high does the raspberry bush grow?

Raspberries are perennial shrubs. Its stems are formed during the first 2 years, and the root system takes up to 5 years to fully form. Raspberry roots can grow up to 6.5 ft wide and up to 1.5 ft deep. Planting the plant is suitable for both spring and autumn. In the middle zone, the plant is planted in May or at the end of September, and in more southern areas, in mid-April or at the end of October. Accordingly, the choice of season depends on the climate zone, the weather forecast, and which variety is going to be grown.

How to prune a newly planted raspberry?

The care of young seedlings should be constant. If planted in the fall, raspberries are pruned so that the height of the bushes does not exceed 10 inches. With the advent of spring, this will promote better formation of buds. The soil is mulched by pouring a 2 inches layer of sawdust, dry grass, hay, etc. If raspberries are planted in the spring, they will require daily, but not excessive watering. As in the autumn, planted raspberries are cut to a height of 10 inches and mulched. The soil should be regularly loosened and weeds removed.

When will the raspberry bush start yielding?

Three years after planting, raspberries give their first crop. This period may vary for each variety. Proper pruning of bushes is very important for a good harvest. Several pruning operations can be done during a season. In order to ensure that the berries are large and juicy, raspberries should be pruned in the summer immediately after the end of the harvest.