Everything You Need to Know to Grow Raspberries
Updated: 3 days ago
Who doesn't love the sweet, with a touch of tartness, taste of raspberries? They are normally quite expensive to purchase in the grocery store but easy to grow in your backyard. They are one of the limited fruit varieties we have in zone 3 that grow well in our cooler climate. Once established in the right location, raspberries require only a small amount of maintenance and will provide you with plenty of fresh berries year after year. If you don't yet have a raspberry patch now is the time to start one!
Raspberry plants are classified as either summer bearing or ever bearing. Summer bearing produce fruit from July to mid August whereas ever bearing produce from mid to late August until the first frost in the fall. A mixture of both varieties gives you raspberries all summer long.
Summer bearing varieties (grow floricane and primocanes) - see the "Pruning" section below) include:
Boyne - Probably the most common variety and known for being very hardy. A great raspberry variety to grow in zone 3 Alberta.
Festival - short, hardy canes.
Killarney - Produce a firm fruit.
Honeyqueen - A yellow-fruited variety.
SK Red Mammoth - Bright red, sweet berries.
Ever bearing varieties (only grow primocanes - see the "Pruning" section below) include:
Red River - medium sized berries.
Double Delight - small berries.
Summit - small to medium size berries.
Autumn Bliss - large, dark red berries.
Fall brook - large, bright red berries .
Where to Plant Raspberries
Raspberries produce best in a full sun or a full sun with afternoon shade, location. They prefer to be planted in a place protected from the wind. When choosing a location keep in mind that raspberries will spread and send out many suckers (new plant shoots off their roots). If you do not want them to spread, cleaning out suckers can be a big task each spring.
Best Soil to Grow Raspberries In
Raspberries benefit from rich soil that has had compost added to it as they require high nitrogen levels for maximum fruit production. A perfect soil PH for raspberry plants is slightly acidic PH, from 5.5 - 6.5. Adding fresh compost to your raspberries each spring will aid in keeping berry production at its best. If you don't have easy access to a good compost, another option is fertilizing the plants with a 10-10-10 when the snow melts and again in mid May.
Prior to planting your new raspberry plants, soak roots in water for one hour. Avoid placing roots in the sun or wind while transplanting to protect them from drying out. Water plants soon after planting to fill in air pockets. If plants are taller than 9 inches, trim cane down to a 9 inch height to promote good root growth. Place plants 12 inches apart with rows 3 meters apart for easy picking.