Tips for Growing and Transplanting Raspberries
Growing and transplanting raspberries doesn’t have to be as tricky as you might fear. Raspberries grow fairly well in most cases—some say they are almost like weeds—so fulfilling your dream of having your very own raspberry patch is simply a case of learning “the ways” of the raspberry plant! We are going to talk about how to properly plant a raspberry bush as well as tips for transplanting raspberries, should you need to.
Let’s start off by getting to know the optimum conditions for planting and maintaining raspberries. The area that you plant your raspberry bush needs to receive at least 6 hours of full sunlight every day. If you have an area in mind, be sure to find out whether it has good drainage. Overly wet soil can be harmful to any plant, and the raspberry bush is no exception. They do like even moisture, but the roots can be harmed if the soil does not adequately drain itself. The roots of raspberry plants can grow as deep as four feet; therefore a loam soil would work really well to allow the roots to spread easily. It’s also a good idea to invest in some compost to add to the soil as you plant the bush and for sprucing it up throughout the flowering and fruiting season.
Once you have the spot picked out, it’s time to purchase your plant (if you haven’t already). Many experienced raspberry gardeners recommend that you order the plants in the fall or early winter so that you can plant it in the spring, but you can also plant your raspberry canes in the autumn as long as the ground hasn’t frozen. The most advised method is to plant them in rows, each cane being about 18 inches apart from one another and not exceeding six canes in a row. If you are planting more than one row of raspberries, make sure that the rows are at least four feet apart. When you dig up the dirt for the planting be sure to mix it well with compost—this will really give your bushes a nutritious start. When you have the cane in the ground, add a bit of water to the soil as you return it to the area around the roots of the cane. Bear in mind that the canes do not need to be deeply planted; in fact, there should only be about three inches of dirt/compost covering the roots.
To maintain the raspberries, put a layer of mulch or compost on the bed in the latter part of the winter season. February is considered to be the best time as this is normally the dormant season for raspberries. In the first year, canes will shoot up but will not produce fruit. They must be trimmed down to about ten inches in height to keep the roots stimulated. In the second year, new canes will grow and these will produce berries and then die. After you have picked the berries, trim the cane right down to the ground. New canes will grow to replace these. The old canes (the ones you trimmed down to ten inches) can be cut to the ground once the new canes have grown up. Be sure to supplement the soil with water during dry seasons, as raspberry bushes need one to two inches of water each week.
At some point you may wonder about transplanting raspberries. Transplanting usually goes over best if it is done in the spring time, as soon as the chance of frost is gone. When you transplant, gently dig around the healthy raspberry cane. Try not to snap off or cut into any roots, if you can. Once the cane is out of the ground, go ahead and plant it as you would a brand new raspberry cane. Keep an eye on it to make sure that it takes to the area and that it does not begin to show signs of disease.
With a little know-how and a good planting location, you can look forward to enjoying fresh raspberries every year! Good luck!