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Growing raspberries in the home garden

Quick facts

  • Raspberry plants need full sun to produce the most fruit.
  • Raspberries can be grown successfully in most areas of Minnesota.
  • They're best pollinated by bees.
  • Prune annually.
  • Raspberries will start producing fruit a year after planting.
  • Rabbits love to eat the canes in winter. A chicken wire fence will help prevent rabbit damage.

About raspberries

Raspberries belong to a large group of fruits known as brambles, all in the plant genus Rubus.

Three main types that can be grown in the home garden are red, black and purple. Yellow raspberries are red raspberries that don't make red pigment.

Raspberries can be grown successfully in most areas of Minnesota. They have perennial roots and crowns, but their canes (branches) live for only two summers. Most raspberry plants bear fruit in summer.

Selecting plants

Purchase disease-free plants from a reputable nursery.

Viruses can be readily transmitted into a planting through infected plants, and there is no way to "cure" the plants once they are infected. They can only be destroyed to control the spread of the virus.

Raspberry plants can be purchased as dormant bare-root plants or as potted plants.

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Planting

Early spring is the best time to plant raspberries. Choose a planting site that is in full sun. The plants will grow in part shade, but will not produce as much fruit.

Raspberries prefer rich, well-drained soil. A couple inches of compost mixed into the soil prior to planting will create a high quality planting site. A good rate is about 3 1/2 cubic feet of compost per 100 square feet.

Till the soil well before planting.

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How to keep your raspberries healthy and productive

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Managing pests

Growing healthy, well-cared-for plants is the best defense against pests.

Gardeners need to be able to identify pests and the damage that they cause in order to choose the best way to manage them.

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Reviewed in 2018

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