Growing Raspberries in Your Backyard

Think about growing raspberries in your back yard. Fresh raspberries in the spring are a great treat and fun for kids to grow.  Our friends and family grew raspberries for the kids to sell.

Raspberries bring a good price and are a great way for funding those extra activities the kids love. Even if you don’t want to sell your raspberries, growing your own is rewarding and tasty.

Raspberries come in fall and summer bearing varieties. Summer varieties bear fruit in the summer around July depending on your area and bear fruit on last year canes. Fall varieties bear fruit in the fall and bear on this year’s cane.

Summer and fall varieties are pruned differently so if you want to grow both varieties make sure you plant them in two different patches. If you plant them together you will not be able to keep the pruning straight and it will become confusing resulting in less fruit.

Summer bearing varieties of raspberries produce larger yields so I grow them. I start picking my strawberries in May and June, pick raspberries in July and than in late summer through fall I harvest blackberries. It is nice to have berries all summer long.

Raspberries can be grown with or without supports. I have seen them grown both ways. I have black raspberries and I grow them on supports. My neighbors grow red raspberries and they do not use supports. I think growing raspberries with a support system makes them easier to prune and harvest.  

Once your growing raspberries are established and you get the hang of pruning them, you will have a nice crop of fruit year after year. 


Planting Raspberry

Raspberry plants can be bought in your local nursery in the spring. They usually come in bundles of bare-root or in containers. Check out the different varieties before making your choice. Your local nursery may have the best varieties for your area.

Plant young raspberry plants in the early spring. Choose a site that gets plenty of sun and where the soil is well drained. If your soil tends to be heavy or has large amounts of clay, consider growing your raspberries in a raised bed to promote good drainage.

A row of 9 to 10 plants will be enough for a reasonable crop. I have 9 plants and we get 6 gallons of berries each spring.

Plant canes 15-18 inches (38-45 cm) apart. Space rows 6 feet (2 m) apart. Spread roots and plant about 3 inches (8 cm) deep.

Firm the soil around the canes and water well. When the new shoots emerge from below the ground cut off the original cane down to ground level. This will make the new plant stronger and encourage more canes.

Routine Care for Growing Raspberries

Water regularly once or twice a week in drier summers especially when fruit is beginning to ripen.

Growing raspberries need food especially when they are producing fruit. Fertilize in the spring with a top dressing of a balanced fertilizer for fruits and flowers.

Spread mulch around the raspberry canes with organic mulch. This helps keep moisture in the soil and the weeds under control.

Use a bird netting as the fruit begins to ripen if birds are a problem. Pick fruit every other day when the berries are ready. This keeps the berries ripening.

In the late summer after the berries are picked, cut down the canes that has bore fruit to the ground. In the fall after the leaves have fallen, prune tips of canes and tie to supports if you are using them.

The next spring your raspberries canes will grow fresh leaves and fruit. New shoots will emerge from the soil. These new shoots will be next years fruiting canes.

Raspberries spread through under ground rhizomes. Keep your berry rows to no more than two feet.

Prune out shoots that grow too far out of your rows. This will keep your raspberry patch under control.

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