Many people love to grow raspberries in their gardens, as the plants offer a fresh supply of fruits. The fruits can be eaten or they can be made into a juice, jelly or jam. If the yield of raspberries is high, they can be frozen and used later on. One of the reasons that gardeners love to grow raspberries is because the plants are quite easy to grow and are pretty hardy in nature. Also, the high yield of raspberry plant makes the effort worthwhile.
A raspberry plant can grow in just about any type of soil, but it is best grown in a nutrient-rich and well draining soil that has a pH between 6 and 6.8. Do not attempt to grow a raspberry plant in clayey soil or soil that does not drain well. Drainage of the soil can be improved by adding compost.
The location where you intend growing the raspberry plant should not be shaded. The plant requires full sunlight. Also, avoid growing in areas that have perennial weeds growing. Ensure that you remove wild plants growing near the raspberry to prevent diseases.
Get your raspberry plant from a reputed nursery or garden center. Make sure that the plant is free of viruses. Buy the plant that is in a dormant state with bare roots. You can also buy raspberries that have been grown in greenhouses. If you want red raspberries, look for varieties such Liberty, Boyne and Latham. These produce fruits in summer. On the other hand, varieties such as Red Wing and Heritage bear fruits in fall. If you want purple raspberries, opt for Royalty or Brandywine. Black raspberry varieties that grow in gardens include Jewel, Bristol and Black Hawk.
Plant the raspberries in a row, with a distance of six to eight feet between rows. Have distance of one to two feet between individual plants in a single row. If you are planting purple or black raspberries, keep the distance about three feet between rows.
Dormant raspberry plants are best planted in early part of spring, some time in late March or beginning of April. Moisten the roots before planting the plants. Some plants may require acclimatization. This can be done by storing the nursery bought plants in a cool place, like the garage or cellar.
Plant the red raspberry plant two inches deeper than what they were planted in the nursery. On the other hand, purple and black raspberry plants have to be planted one inch deeper than what they were planted in the nursery. Make sure that the hole is bigger than the spread of the roots. Place the plant in the middle, fan out the roots and then fill the hole with the soil. Pack the soil firmly against the roots and then water the plant. Thereafter, trim the branches ensuring that just two to three inches of the branches are visible above the surface of the soil.
If you are planting raspberry plants grown in greenhouses, place the plants in a shaded area outside for acclimatization. Gradually, begin moving the plants into the sun. Look to plant the raspberries when it is cloudy or during the evening hours when the sun is not harsh. Use the aforementioned planting procedure and make sure that you water the plants after placing them in the soil.
Fertilize the raspberry plants with a starter fertilizer that can be dissolved in water. Use a fertilizer that contains 5-10-5 NPK. Dissolve around three tablespoons of the fertilizer in a gallon of water and apply two cups of the fertilizer liquid on each raspberry plant.
Now sit back and wait for your raspberries to produce fruits that you and your family can enjoy.
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Iowa State University Extension: Planting Raspberries In The Home Garden