Growing Raspberries from Planting to Harvest

Reader Contribution by Benedict Vanheems
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Photo by Getty Images/GomezDavid

Raspberries are best grown in a sunny, sheltered position, but they will also produce fruit in partial shade. Raspberries need rich, moisture retentive soil, and will thrive in cool climates.

How to Plant Raspberries

Plant 1-year-old raspberry canes from late fall in milder areas, or spring if you experience very cold winters.

Raspberry canes purchased in pots can be planted in individual holes, but it’s easier to dig a trench for bare-root canes then spread the roots of each cane out along the row. Space raspberry canes 18 inches apart, with about 4 feet between rows. Cut the canes back to 9 inches tall after planting to encourage new growth.

Supporting Raspberries

Drive in a pair of 6-foot tall upright posts on either end of your row of raspberries, and stretch strong galvanized wire between them. Two horizontal wires are sufficient to support fall-bearing raspberries, but three horizontal wires are required for summer-fruiting varieties.

Harvesting and Using Raspberries

Pick raspberries as soon as they have colored up all over. They should pull away easily from their central plug.

Raspberries are best consumed as soon as possible after picking. Try them with yogurt or cream and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Freeze gluts for later use in smoothies and desserts, or make raspberry jam.

Pruning Raspberries

There are two types of raspberry. Summer-fruiting raspberries develop their fruit on last year’s growth, while fall-bearing types produce berries on new canes.

Prune summer-fruiting raspberries once they’ve stopped fruiting for the year. Cut all the fruited canes to the ground. Tie the strongest canes that remain to the wire supports using garden string, aiming for one cane every 4 inches of wire. Cut out any additional canes.

Cut out all the canes of fall-bearing raspberries in late winter.

Pull or dig up new canes that sprout up away from the row. You can use these to raise new plants if your existing stock is disease-free.

Learn more about how to grow raspberries in this video.

More Gardening Resources

Our popular Vegetable Garden Planner can help you map out your garden design, space crops, know when to plant which crops in your exact location, and much more.

Need crop-specific growing information? Browse our Crops at a Glance Guide for advice on planting and caring for dozens of garden crops.

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