Our first 10 or so raspberries were ripe for picking yesterday! There are about twice as many ready today! There are SO many more that just aren't ready quite yet. For the next few weeks we will be in raspberry heaven. This is for those of you who want to plant a raspberry bush, but don't know how to take care of them. They really don't required as much work as you may think.
1. There are two categories of red raspberries. The common raspberry, which ripens in early to midsummer and the ever bearing raspberry. The ever bearing raspberry produces an early-summer crop on the old growth (previous season) and a fall crop on the new growth (current season).
2. Raspberries grow best in rich,well-drained soil.
3. Raspberries grow best in climates where the spring is lingering and slow to warm, but may succeed in warmer climates if the are grown in light shade.
4. A row or hill of raspberries will ordinarily produce good crops of fruit for 10 years or more, before they need to be replaced.
5. Raspberries should NOT be planted in where eggplants, peppers, potatoes or tomatoes have been grown within three years. They they are susceptible to disease associated with those plants. (Oops, the year we planted our raspberry bush it was right next to TWO tomato plants. It survived and is now too big to have anything else nearby.)
6. New plants should be planted in late fall or early spring and set into the soil 2 inches deeper than they were growing.
7. Newly planted summer bearing raspberries should be left alone for the first year to establish themselves. When buds begin to show the following spring, cut back to 3-5 canes per plant.
8. Raspberry plants should be fertilized in early spring with an all purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer.
9. Do NOT let raspberry plants dry out during flowering and fruiting.
10. In spring, shorten the canes to 3 feet and force the growth into lateral side branches along support wires. (I did not know this. It will make harvesting next year SO much easier.)
11. After a cane produces fruit it should be cut to the ground. The only exception is with the ever bearing raspberry. The second crop's canes should not be cut down as those will bear the next year's first crop of raspberries.
12. Never cut off the new canes which haven't produced yet, they will produce the next years crop. (I am guilty of this, but only it is the suckers that spout up where they shouldn't be. Bad canes...lol)
13. Raspberries are easily propagated by pinning the tip of the cane to the ground, where you want it to root. Once it is rooted, sever the new start from the parent plant. You can also propagate from the sucker growths which come up around the parent plant.