Q&A: Growing Raspberries

I would like to grow raspberries this year. Do you have any advice?—SS, New York

Answer: Raspberries are fairly easy to grow. They do require support. Grow them against a wire fence, or hammer in stakes and string wires between them as supports.

Raspberries prefer a neutral, very well drained soil and full sun. Plant the canes from late winter to early spring, once the soil is workable and has dried out some. Set them in shallow holes about 2 inches deep, and spread the roots out in the hole to encourage suckers, which will form new canes. Plant the canes 1.5 feet apart. If you are planting more than 1 row, make the rows 6 feet apart.

Once you have planted the canes, cut them back to about a foot tall, making the cut just above a good bud. Mulch well to conserve moisture.

As soon as they are tall enough, tie them to the wires. Weed well throughout the season and harvest when the fruit is ripe.

When the plants have finished fruiting, cut back the brown woody canes, because next year’s fruit will grow on new wood.

Over the years as new canes appear, cut out the old ones. Allow 6 to 7 canes per plant, but do not select your canes until late spring, since this is when you will be able to choose the best. Make sure to remove any that show signs of disease.

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