Planting bare root raspberries

Any suggestions on getting a good survival rate on bare root raspberries? I’ve tried growing them in pots until they are established but that might put the roots too deep. I’ve tried planting them right into the bed with the roots spread out horizonatlly, as recommended, a couple inches below the surface and got absolutely no growth on ten plants. In our hot dry climate, I think the surface dries out too quickly even with daily watering.

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You’re in zone 6 ?
Where abouts ?

Dig a hole for your raspberries.

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New Mexico south of Albuquerque. It’s hard to say what zone. We get down below zero at times.

0 degrees is zone 7. That said they often take an average. This year I had a -15 like they said but in years past when gardening I never experienced a -15. Since is happens they call me zone 5 though.

I made and planted a new bed of raspberries this spring. I basically just break up a strip… about 4 ft wide and in this case 14 ft long… and into my mostly clay soil i add compost… organic fertilizers… and then i work that in and shape the bed to form a borderless raised bed.

I then add 2-3 Inches of mulch… and plant my bare root rasberries as usual… per instructions.

I put 4 bristol blacks, 2 joan j, 2 purp royalty, 1 fall gold in that bed.

About half of them are up now… the others should pop up soon. The one pic above is a bristol black.

I watered them when i planted them… and no more… we do get pretty regular rain here…

Raspberries can penetrate a good layer of bark mulch… and a good layer of mulch would help keep moisture in.

Good Luck.

Raspberries are like a fruit bearing invasive weed, they can put up with a lot. Basically your soil preparation shenanigans are slightly for survival but largely to improve yields.

Slightly raised bed with plenty of organic and sand works pretty good in keeping them hydrated but not too wet; soggy soils and poor drainage leads to root rot. They are voracious feeders. you want a planting medium with a high cation exchange capacity which means lots of organic material in the soil. 50% sand, 50% well cured manure works great.

Don’t fail to apply fertilizer in the late season, crucial for strong next season canes. This is specially important for ever bearing varieties that will soak up everything out of the soil for the current crop, at the expense of spindly growth next year.

I’ve had also poor success with canefruit.

I had canes just wither and die due to phytophthora root rot when heavy rains inevitably come down in east coast. I also had deer chomp one time and the cane just gave up and died. I don’t think cane fruit are as forgiving as other fruit, at least before they are established.

The advice of adding organics like compost and then mulch on top should help with any moisture retention issues.

I am surprised reading about raspberries being problematic for some. Around here if you drop a single bud or stem bit in the grass they grow. And grow and grow.

Could not have said it better.

It is probably the only thing I cannot compost here. It will take off and grow out of my composter like the little shop of horrors. The only thing more weedy and invasive are blackberries.

It could be that commercial raspberry production is dominant in west coast for a reason.

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I have had mixed results as well and with good cultivars mind you. My blacks survived but never fruited (black being Bristol and Ohio’s treasure). I bought Caroline raspberry and none took off but some fruited first year but the fruit withered. I bought Ann and the Ann have done ok and taste really good. Same with blackberries. My prime arch freedom took off like no tomorrow from Raintree but my Ponca never took off. I had an unknown variety of blackberry from Home Depot but it called it quits after a few years and never came back. My salmonberry and thimbleberry never took off. Meanwhile my Tayberry from Raintree took over in a year but I removed it for the thorns. Here is to hoping the Tayberry stays removed.

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So I just noticed I stuck 2 of my 4 black raspberry cuttings in upside down. The dormant cane cuts were hard to tell which side was up. The good news is they seem to not have felt too bad about it. Crisis averted.

Some canes types propagate by tip rooting, so I don’t think its a problem.

Any particular reason choosing 4’ in width instead of 2’. I have a 4’ x 10’ strip in my yard where I want to plant some everbearing raspberries. This location is facing east and get morning sun, I am looking for some ideas to maximize the available space.

4’ works fine provided you can harvest from both sides. For better producing plants you don’t want them to be too crowded so on 2’ for each side you can prune heavily and still have a bunch of producing canes.

I can harvest from both sides. However, the light exposure is from one side only. I was worried if the plant in the foreground blocks light to the one behind it.

On my short east-west row of red raspberries fruiting spurs mostly grow towards the sun, or south.
With caneberries, it is not a matter of one cane blocking light from the other. Rather it is the density of the overall row(s) and how the individual canes are trained. For maximum number of non-stunted fruiting spurs you would have to avoid tight bundling of multiple canes and use lots of trellis tie-points to keep primocanes separated. A few inches of separation will do.

the spot I am considering runs north-south and facing east. I am thinking to plant Joan J thornless raspberry and manage it for one fall crop to keep the maintenance simplified. So in my case does the fruiting spur grow towards east where the sun rises and stays for 4-5 hours before moving south or do they grow towards south. I was planning on installing a T trellis, separation on primo canes means stagger them a few inch?

Mine are like that. Thin your canes and they’ll produce. One side may produce more than the other but you’ll still get more than a single 2’ strip.

Are they everbearing? As I said you need to thin the canes aggressively for better fruit and fertilize throughout the entire season right until first frost. Listen to the plants; if half way through cropping the leaves are yellowing it means that they are spending all the nutrients pushing fruit and can use more. Late season fertilizing is to ensure that you will get big healthy canes the next season. Else you’ll notice that the plants keep getting smaller.

Also watch out for water logging, they hate that and you should mound them if so. Best soil is high in organic (nutrient and water retention) and sand (drainage and they just like it). 50/50 well composted animal manure and sand makes them really happy as long as you keep pumping fertilizer to replenish it.

Joan J is everbearing variety. However, I’d like to keep the maintenance low by not selectively pruning the canes for summer and fall harvest. I am thinking about cutting them down to canes in fall to the ground and just get a fall crop. I don’t know if the total yields are going to be similar split in two seasons vs. one big crop.

I normally fertilize them with Espoma berry tone to Down To Earth Acid mix both are organic fertilizer

Planting them in a 18" raised bed mixed with 7 way soil mix and abundant compost. I am thinking about putting a 4-5 layers of heavy duty landscape fabric at the bottom so that they don’t spread outside the raised bed.

I am also thinking to stagger the planting in a zig-zag fashion this will result in less number of plants but might help with all plants getting good sun exposure.

Other option is to plant one row of Joan J in the back and plant another row of Raspberry Shortcake variety in the front which is a bushy plant that only gets 3 ft tall. The flavor of this variety is good but its not been productive in even in a 20" pot.