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flower and fruit gardening guides home > growing red raspberries

Growing red raspberries is one of the most popular activities of the flower and fruit gardening guides home gardener.

When growing red raspberries, most gardeners begin with transplants.

Begin your raspberry stand the fall before you intend to begin growing red raspberries.

Tilling compost or manure into the soil will prepare it for the following spring. Your raspberry plants will need a regular water supply to grow plump, juicy fruit. However, standing water will encourage fungal infections. A well-drained bed, which is rich in organic matter, will help keep soil moist.

Plant red raspberry transplants in early spring as soon as the last frost has left the ground. Although raspberries need at least six hours of sunlight a day, they also need cool, moist soil for optimum growing.

The growth of the red raspberry plant is measured three ways: Primocanes, Floricanes, and New Growth.

The red raspberry primocane is the growth of the established plant in the first full growing season.

Primocanes put their energy into establishing roots and bearing foliage.

During the second growth season, primocanes become floricanes and produce foliage, but put more energy into flower and fruit production. Although the canes of red raspberries are biennial (growing in a two-year cycle), crowns and roots are perennial.

Red raspberries propagate through ?crown shoots? and ?root suckers?.

To help primocanes grow into strong, fruiting floricanes, remove new growth during normal weeding and cultivation. Floricanes will usually produce enough new growth to maintain the productivity of your raspberry patch.

After the last harvest of a growing season, remove all floricanes at ground level. Thin primocanes, leaving four to six sturdy plants per foot removing any that show damage and any new growth that is weak or shows irregularities. Pruning helps to keep your raspberry stand disease free.

The best way to grow red raspberries is along a narrow (not wider than two feet) hedgerow. Once a raspberry stand is established, support canes with a trellis. The raspberry trellis is usually made of two strands of twine or heavy gauge wire attached to poles placed at intervals along a hedgerow. Place canes between the strands and loosely secure them for additional support.

Here are some tips to make growing red raspberries easier and more productive:

  • Consider growing red raspberries in a raised hedgerow. Elevating the plants slightly improves drainage. Just be sure to keep the plants, especially floricanes, well watered for maximum production.
  • Thoroughly water your raspberry stand after the last harvest to put additional moisture into the soil over the winter and help your raspberries get off to a good start the following spring.
  • Mulching between hedgerows makes your raspberry stand more accessible and helps to control weeds and stray root suckers.
  • Plant a cover crop after the last harvest to help your raspberry stand winter and keep disease-harboring weeds from invading it.
  • Plant oats or grasses that will die off during the winter and can be worked into the soil the following spring.[htdocs/annuals/includes/links-article-pages/links-fruit-gardening.htm]

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