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The best condition for growing raspberries

Although raspberry seeds are seldom planted, hundreds of varieties are available from nurseries and sold several different ways. The two most popular ways to buy raspberry plants is in the dormant (bare-root) form and as nursery mature plants. Nursery mature plants are those that are actively growing small plants that have been started in cells or plugs in the nursery greenhouse.

Although they have perennial roots and crowns, raspberry canes are a biennial plant, which means the seedlings you plant the first year will only live for two years and then die. However, if you follow a few conditions for growing raspberries, your raspberry stand will give you years of enjoyment!

Your raspberry plants will need a well-drained location that you have prepared by eliminating all perennial weeds and enhancing with rich organic matter such as manure or compost. The location of your raspberry stand should also receive a minimum of six hours of full sunlight each day.

Also, take care to develop your raspberry stand away from stands of wild raspberries and blackberries, which may harbor disease. Raspberry transplants should also be grown in a part of the garden that has not held tomatoes, potatoes, peppers or eggplant, for at least three years.

Raspberry plants need a cool beginning to do their best. Transplanting raspberry seedlings should be done in early spring, just after the last frost is out of the ground. Also, choose a cool cloudy day for transplanting raspberries.

Raspberries need plenty of fresh water, but avoid standing water. When transplanting raspberry seedlings, first dig the hole; then moisten the hole. Put the plant into the hole and cover the roots firmly removing all air pockets. Then water the seedling before filling the hole with dirt. Fill the hole, covering the cane one to two inches above where it shows previous growth marks. Then water the seedling one last time.

In subsequent years, your raspberry patch will need pruning at the end of each harvest and occasionally in the spring, but during the first year of your raspberry stand, your main activity will be to weed and watch for signs of disease. Therefore, as a final condition for growing great raspberries, you will need a measure of patience!


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