Plant a Raspberry Patch

This year I am excited to be adding raspberries to our farm. Let’s take a look at the types of raspberries you might want to grow, where to plant them, and how to set yourself up for success. Brand new to raspberries? No problem. This guide will help beginners plant a raspberry patch.

What are raspberries?

Raspberries are a hardy perennial that can grow well up to zone 3 (we are 3b). They grow on tall prickly canes.

While raspberry plants are perennials, the canes are not. The canes they put up one year will not fruit until the next year. Once it fruits, it will die and should be pruned in the fall.

What different types of raspberries are there?

While there are countless varieties of raspberries. To start with, you should first choose when you want your raspberry to bear fruit. Some yield a crop in the spring, some all summer long, and others primarily in the fall.

Then there are different varieties in terms of color, going from yellow and reds to practically purple.

When choosing your raspberries ask around to see what does well in your neck of the woods. I chose to plant “Anne” raspberries because I have heard they are not as susceptible to a horrid little fruit fly called the Spotted Wing Drosophila.

Where should I plant raspberries?

You’ve probably been on a walk and seen raspberries and blackberries growing wild in the woods. These are incredibly hardy plants that you can count on to make a go of it even in tough conditions. Still, plants will do better when you optimize their growing location.

Sun

As with all fruiting plants they should have nice full sun. They can survive in partial shade but the fruit will be smaller.

Soil

Raspberries can be pretty scrappy and can make it in most well-drained soils. However, for best results plant them in healthy soil with lots of good compost. Add new organic matter or compost to your patch each year to keep it healthy.

Will I get raspberries the first year I plant them?

That depends.

If you plant fall-bearing raspberries right away in the spring, you may very well get a nice little crop in the fall.

Spring and summer yielding plants will most likely not bear fruit until the following year they are planted.

Where can I buy raspberry plants?

Nursery

Most local nurseries that carry perennials and shrubs will carry raspberries. However, unless you special order them they will most likely come in gallon-sized pots which tend to be more expensive. More on that below.

You may also have fewer varieties available at your local nurseries. Though if you contact them well in advance, say the fall before you want to plant them, they may be able to special order them for you.

Online

Raspberries can also be purchased online from various vendors. This will give you the greatest variety of options. Some things to keep in mind are making sure you pay attention to the hardiness zone as well as the shipping cost, which can add up quickly.

Propagating Raspberries

Another great way to get raspberry plants is by getting a few canes from a friend’s patch.

Raspberry plants send up suckers every year. Simply sever the root from the parent plant, dig out the sucker, then plant it where you like. It’s best to get a nice long piece of root with the plant.

Before you bring them home, give the parent patch a good once over to make sure they all look healthy and disease-free.

Bare Root vs. Potted Raspberries

Raspberries can be purchased as bare root or in pots. The benefit of potted plants is they are more mature and developed.

raspberry plant in a pot rough and tumble farmhouse
One gallon pot of raspberries.

Bare Root raspberries will basically look like a little stick with a small chunk of root. If you are propagating raspberries from someone else, these would be considered bare root.

These are usually more affordable than the potted variety, but they do take longer to get established.

For a price comparison, I took a look at the variety I planted called “Anne”. At our local greenhouse it was $30 for a one-gallon potted plant.

Online I found the same potted plant for $32. Or you could buy three bare root plants for $23.

How to Plant a Raspberry Patch

Prepping The Soil

Clear away any grass and prepare the soil so it is loose and fluffy. Three feet is a pretty standard-width raspberry bed. Add in a good mix of compost.

How Far to Space Raspberries

Space the plants 2-3 feet apart. Red and purple should be two feet apart. Black raspberries should be spaced three feet apart.

Rows should be spaced 4-6 feet apart.

How Deep to Plant Raspberries

If you are planting a bunch of bare root plants, it might be easiest to till up a long bed where you intend to plant.

Next, dig a hole or trench that goes down at least as deep as the roots, or a minimum of six inches.

Place your plants or canes into the hole. Add a scoop of compost and if you have it, a small scoop of wood ash.

Cover will with soil and tamp in.

Watering

Before you plant the raspberries give them a good long soak with the hose and let them sit for 20-30 minutes before taking them out of the pot.

After the raspberries are planted, give them a nice long soak every few days if you haven’t had rain.

Mulching Raspberries

After your plants are in, give them a nice thick layer of mulch about 6-8 inches deep. You can use straw, wood chips, etc.

Leave an unmulched area around the canes of about three inches.

mulched raspberry patch rough and tumble farmhouse
These girls need another bag of mulch at least to fill out the bed.

Trellis

In order to keep your raspberry bushes under control, a trellis should be in place. See below for more on trellising.

Trellis

It is highly recommended that you put in a trellis right away with your raspberries. Raspberry patches can get pretty wild quickly.

Once berries are trellised, you should remove any canes that grow outside of the trellis and transplant them back inside the trellis boundaries.

This will make it easier for harvesting and will also keep the plants healthier as they will have better airflow through the leaves.

There are a few different types of trellis you can do, the most simple being made from garden posts or t-posts.

Check out the video below to see my simple trellis set up.

Watch and Learn

If you want to see me plant a raspberry patch check out the video below!

Pin it for Later

how to start a raspberry patch pinterest graphic with beautiful red raspberries and green leaves rough and tumble farmhouse

Sources

  • Rodale’s Garden Answers, Multiple Authors
  • Wisconsin Garden Guide by Jerry Minnich
  • The Self Sufficient Gardener by John Seymour

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