Raspberries prefer fertile, well-drained soil. Before planting, add a mixture of good black soil, peat moss, and manure to the planting bed. Eradicate all existing weeds before planting and use a pre-emergent weed killer. It is important to control weeds because raspberries cannot tolerate deep cultivation around their roots.
Plant raspberries in an area that receives good sun and is sheltered from the wind. Space the plants 30” apart and plant them 1” to 2” deeper than they were growing before. Space the rows 6’ apart. At planting time, drive heavy stakes into the ground and string two rows of strong wire between the stakes. As the plants grow, their canes will be supported in these wires. Keep the plants fairly moist, especially during the time when the fruit is ripening. Fertilize with 10-10-10 fertilizer in early spring using 1 lb. per 100 sq. ft.
There are two kinds of raspberries. Single-bearing produce one large crop every year on canes that were produced the year before. Prune these types of raspberries after fruiting in late summer by cutting out the older canes and leaving the new canes. Everbearing raspberries produce a summer crop on old canes from the previous year and a fall crop on new canes. The fall crop may occasionally be damaged by early frosts. Prune everbearing varieties in fall, winter, or early spring by removing two-year-old canes entirely and pruning one-year-old canes back one-third. On both types of raspberries, remove weak growth and suckers that have strayed too far from the supports.
A spraying program will produce healthier plants and larger, more abundant fruit. It is easiest to use an insecticide/fungicide combination such as Fruit Tree Spray. Use the following timetable:
This program will help prevent problems with borers, spider mites, mildew, and anthracnose. Anthracnose will show up as grey spots on the bark. Prune these areas out and stick with the regular spray program. Discolored, curled leaves are the main symptom of mosaic virus. Remove any mosaic-infected plants and don’t replant raspberries in that area.
Most varieties will survive winter temperatures to -20 degrees. If winter protection is needed, remove the canes from the wires in late fall, bend them over, and cover with soil or a heavy layer of straw. Lift in the spring after temperatures have stabilized.
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