August 5, 2011

Growing Raspberries in the Pacific Northwest

If you live in the Pacific Northwest and have room, you must grow raspberries. Talk about an easy thing to grow!

Raspberries love mild winters and cool summers. So yep, it's perfect here.

Where to plant raspberries:
  • Well drained soil is a must. Raspberries are prone to root rot.
  • They are invasive, so plant them in a location that will allow for them to spread. Raspberry plants have suckers that will grow underground and can shoot up to 10 feet from the plant.   You can dig a trench around the plant that is about a foot deep and place a wood or plastic barrier in the trench vertically. Your neighbors will thank you for doing this. 
  • I've read that they need full sun. However, my mother has the biggest, sweetest raspberries I have ever seen and her plants are in a very shaded backyard. They receive maybe 2-4 hours of sun per day. 

Types of raspberries:
  • Summer-Bearing: raspberries will ripen towards the end of the summer.
  • Ever-Bearing: Raspberries will ripen in midsummer and again in early fall. 
Caring for your raspberry plants year round:

  • Plant new canes.  Don't expect fruit your first season. Make sure to cut your new canes to about 8 inches. Don't worry, I will remind you again in the Spring. 
  • Apply a 5-10-10 fertilizer to established plants.
  • Once you have harvested the last of your fruit (from second year canes), cut the canes you picked fruit from all the way down. This will allow the new canes that sprouted up over the summer to receive greater sun exposure. 
  • Once the leaves have dropped from your plant, cut the canes to 5 feet. This is on the new canes that sprouted up over the summer since you already cut the fruit bearing canes back in the fall. 
  • Eat yummy berries that you grew.

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