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Transplanting Raspberries

It’s understandably difficult to discard healthy canes that you have pruned to thin your raspberry stand. If you have an empty spot in your raspberry stand, transplanting raspberries lets you preserve some of the strong, healthy canes and increase the productivity of your raspberry stand.

The first thing to do when transplanting raspberries from one spot to another is to make sure it is weed and disease free. Weeding is easy… or at least as easy as it was during the summer! However, there are a couple of ways to determine if the spot is disease free. The first way is easy. If you removed weak or diseased plants from the spot, then chances are the area is not disease free. Contact your county extension agent for a soil test to make sure that the soil isn’t contaminated.

The reason for a barren area also could be that the soil is under or over-fertilized. The results of a soil test will give you all the information to know if your intended spot is fit for transplanting raspberries. Alternatively, if you are reasonably sure that there is no fungal infection, no viral disease, and that there are no disease carrying parasites in the area, you can also purchase a PH test kit from your local nursery or the garden shop of many large department stores. A PH test kit will tell you whether your soil is properly balanced for transplanting and growing raspberries.

Although some gardeners with a very green thumb have success in transplanting raspberries in the fall, most of us need to wait until spring. To preserve your raspberry plants through the winter, cover their roots with moist soil, sand, or wood shavings and store them in a cool place, away from the danger of freezing. An unheated garage, cellar, or basement is a good place to store bare root seedlings over winter.

In the spring, transplant your raspberry canes just as if you had purchased them from a greenhouse. Transplanting raspberries should be done as soon as the last frost is out of the ground.

Soak the roots in a bucket of water for an hour before transplanting raspberry seedlings.
Dig holes that are deep and wide enough to spread the roots with no crowding. Thoroughly water the holes, but don’t let water stand in them. Plant each cane one to two inches deeper than it was before you dug it out. Firm the soil, taking out any air pockets, then water again. Cut each cane back to about eight inches. Then pour yourself a cup of patience as you wait for your raspberry transplants to become growing raspberries.

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