Friday, February 18, 2011
All About Raspberries...
NOTHING is better on a summer day than picking your own sweet raspberries from your home garden. It is also a fun thing to grow with kids because they love to pick and eat every last one before they even make it into the house. And what could be better for them really? I hope you enjoy learning the best ways to purchase, plant and care for your raspberries before the time is here.
I believe the best way to purchase raspberries is in the early spring as bare root plants. You can usually only get bare root plants in the very early spring months-- which is Right now! You get more for your money and they are ready to plant right away! I never order them in the mail. (you never know the condition the plant will be in when it arrives) I am much more picky about hand picking the healthiest plants I can find at the nursery. Look for small white buds on the roots of the plant- new shoots will grow from these buds AND make sure your plants are CERTIFIED VIRUS FREE.
Raspberries love well drained, organic rich soils and are difficult to grow in heavy soils. For this reason it is ideal to grow them in a raised bed that you have prepared with 2-6 inches of organic material. I have read you can add nitrogen fertilizer to the soil as well to help plant growth- (I lean very organic when it comes to things I eat so make sure it is a fertilizer you can live with) Provide a support system of stakes and wires to keep canes off the ground. Plant canes 2-3 feet apart and allow succors to fill in with time. Plant early in spring in Utah so your plant can get root established before top growth is needed. (be careful not to water before top 3 inches of soil are dry so you don't delay warming of the soil)
There are two main kinds of raspberries June bearing and Ever-bearing (sometimes called fall bearing). June bearing produce heavily June through July; Ever bearing produce two crops one in June and one in the fall. Pruning for each is very different because June bearing fruit on last year's canes, and fall varieties fruit on this year's. You must know which you are dealing with and you must keep them separated so you can prune them correctly.
For more information on pruning I suggest you either visit this site:
Or if you happen to be in Weber County you can go to a free pruning class at the Ogden botanical Garden you can find information on this site:
Water raspberries deep and infrequently 1-2 inches per week. Increase watering to 3-4 inches when fruiting.
Varieties have tried are Anne and Heritage both ever bearing. There are more suggested varieties listed on the Utah State University website.
Don't live in zone 5? Snowflake Arizona is zone 6a - they have an extension website for AZ here:
Wildau Germany is in European Hardiness zone 6 which I am trying to find out if that is the same as the USDA hardiness zone 6 for us here. I will have more info shortly! :)
1. "Grow Fruit" by Alan Buckingham 2010 published by Dorling Kindersley Limited
2. The Utah State University Extension raspberry fact sheet by Jerry Goodspeed.