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How To Grow Raspberries At Home

Every summer, raspberries produce a large number of tiny, tasty fruits for a month or more! To keep the berries flowing in August, it's necessary to trim your berry plants. Learn how to produce, harvest, and prune raspberries with our expert advice.

Dimple Gupta
Raspberries - grow at home guide
Raspberries - grow at home guide

Every summer, raspberries produce a large number of tiny, tasty fruits for a month or more! To keep the berries flowing in August, it's necessary to trim your berry plants. Learn how to produce, harvest, and prune raspberries with our expert advice. 

Raspberries are a Rosaceae (rose family) shrub belonging to the Rubus genus. One raspberry shrub may yield several hundred berries every season, making it one of North America's most popular fruit. Raspberries are wonderful in jams, pies, and tarts, as well as smoothies and beverages. In addition, fresh raspberries are high in vitamin C, which supports the immune system and aids in infection prevention. Raspberries are high in dietary fiber and Vitamin C, and they may aid in disease prevention. 

There are two sorts of raspberries, each with its unique set of cultivation requirements: 

  • Summer-fruiting raspberries are more prevalent, producing fruit on the previous year's growth. They only produce one harvest every season, in the summer (often June or July).

  • Ever-bearing raspberries (also known as fall-bearing or autumn-bearing raspberries) yield fruit. They yield an autumn harvest as well as fruit next summer.

A combination of both sorts of berries would be great for extending the harvest season. Because all raspberries are self-fertile, only one bush is required to yield fruit. Bees are the finest pollinators, and they'll begin producing fruit a year after planting. Though raspberry bushes are naturally suited to milder temperatures, they now exist in a variety of types that are suitable for a variety of planting zones.  

Pruning is Important 

Every year, raspberries must be pruned! Raspberries are perennials, but it's crucial to remember that the fruit-bearing branches (or canes) only live for two summers. The fresh green cane (primocane) develops vegetative for the first year. The cane develops a brown bark, goes dormant in the winter, and is known as a floricane during the second growing season. The floricane bears fruit from early to mid-summer before dying. Each year, new primocanes are grown, ensuring that fruit production continues year after year. Every year, you must prune out the dead canes. 

When to Plant 

Begin with raspberry canes that are one year old and purchased from a reliable nursery. Plant in the early spring when the earth has thawed and is ready to work. You might even sow in late fall in milder climates to give the seedlings a head start. After the fear of frost has gone, plant potted transplants in the spring. 

Selection and Preparation of planting site 

  • Raspberries grow best in a sunny position but also, unlike many fruits, they will also grow successfully in a partially shaded spot. The more sun, the more fruit. 

  • The planting site needs rich and well-drained soil, great air circulation, and shelter from the wind. Avoid a wet area, as well as a windy spot, as raspberries do not like to stand in water nor totally dry out.

  • Every year, feed your raspberry plants with a couple of inches of compost or aged manure; dig in a couple of weeks before planting. A good rate is about 3 1/2 cubic feet of compost per 100 square feet.

  • Plant far from wild growing berries; otherwise, you risk spreading wild pests and diseases to your cultivated berry plants.

How to Plant 

  • Soak the roots for an hour or two before planting.

  • Dig a hole large enough for the roots to spread out in. Digging a trench is the easiest way to plant numerous shrubs.

  • Keep the crown of the plant 1 or 2 inches above the ground when planting bare-root or potted plants.

  • Canes should be 18 inches apart with a four-foot gap between rows.

  • Re-insert the dirt and push it firmly with your foot.

  • Cut the canes down to 9 inches tall after they've been planted to stimulate fresh growth. (It will resemble a broken branch protruding from the ground!)

  • You may need to make a support for the canes, depending on the kind you plant. Many reach the height of a person's head.

  • A trellis or a fence are also excellent choices. Drive-in two six-foot posts at the end of the row and stretch galvanized wire between the posts if you have a row. Three horizontal wires are required for summer-fruiting raspberries, whereas two wires are sufficient for fall-fruiting raspberries.

How to Care for Raspberries 

  • Mulching is necessary all year long to preserve moisture and suffocate weeds. Always keep a thick layer of mulch around your plants.

  • From spring till harvest, water one inch every week. Watering on a regular basis is preferable to thorough soaking on rare occasions.

  • Dig out any "suckers" or canes that grow well away from the rows to keep your raspberry bushes neat; if you don't, they'll take nutrients away and you'll get fewer berries next year.

  • You may transplant the suckers to get more plants if you like! They should be dug up, planted in a new area of prepared ground, and watered in thereafter.

How to Prune Raspberries 

After you've finished selecting summer-fruiting raspberries, prune them right away! Only the berries-producing canes should be cut back to the ground. 

Keep in mind that two-year-old canes yield fruit, while one-year-old canes grow right beside them. The elder canes have brown stems, while the younger ones are still green, so it should be easy to distinguish which is which. Only the elder ones, those that have completed their productive year should be pruned. 

Garden string the remaining canes to the supporting wires. Cut down additional canes if there is more than one cane for every four inches of wire. 

Ever-bearing and Fall-bearing raspberries:  

  • This is a simple task. Simply trim all canes back to the ground in late winter before spring growth begins. They bear fruit on canes in their first year of development, after which they are no longer useful. For a small patch, mow them to the ground or use pruning shears.

  • Diseases and bugs overwinter in waste, so clean it up.

  • Unless you wish to retain a regular order, pruning is not necessary throughout the growing season.

The information above is based on harvesting an autumn crop. Do not remove the primocanes that provided the fall harvest if you want both the fall and summer crops. Cut off the dead tips and prune them back to approximately 12 inches above the support or to the last visible node that bore fruit in the spring. 

Pests/Diseases 

Raspberries are one of the few fruits that are relatively pest- and disease-free. (Black raspberries are more sensitive than red or purple raspberries to this sort of injury.) 

  • From June through August, keep an eye out for spider mites and Japanese beetles. Japanese beetles are particularly fond of raspberries.

  • In the winter, rabbits enjoy munching the canes. A chicken wire fence will help keep rabbits out of your yard.

  • Cane Borers with Powdery Mildew

How to Harvest 

  • In their second season, all types will begin to bear fruit. Ever-bearers may yield little berries in their first fall in some situations.

  • Early in the summer, berries will mature over a two-week period. Every couple of days, you'll have to collect berries!

  • Harvest berries on a sunny day when they are completely dried.

  • When selecting raspberries, don't pull too hard. A ripe raspberry will gladly leave the vine.

 

 How to Store 

  • Raspberries don't last long, so eat them as soon as possible!

  • They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you're not planning to consume the berries right away, don't wash them after gathering them. If not maintained dry in storage, they will mildew and become mushy. If you must wash them, make sure they are totally dry before storing them.

It is possible to freeze raspberries. Make a single layer of berries on a baking sheet, just like you would when freezing blueberries. Place in sealed bags once frozen. Use on waffles, cereal, or whenever you're looking for a light, nutritious snack! 

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