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Raspberry Planting Guide

Martha Stewart Living Television

Raspberries (Rubus idaeus) are among the easiest and most delicious fruits to grow in a home garden.

The ancient Greeks cultivated raspberries as early as the fourth century B.C., but it wasn't until 1771 that this age-old favorite made its way to the New World.

Raspberry Pruning
Pruning the canes, or stems, of a raspberry bush in the early spring or late fall is essential to producing a bountiful crop of berries.

First-year canes, called primocanes, become fruit-bearing floricanes the second year. After bearing fruit, floricanes should be trimmed off to make way for the following year's growth.

In the late fall or early spring, Martha cuts out all damaged or dead canes down to the base of the bush. To support the remaining canes during their growing season, Martha attaches them to a wire trellis with twist ties.

When pruning or planting a raspberry bush, be sure to wear gloves and long-sleeved clothing to protect yourself from its sharp, thornlike prickles.

Raspberry Patch Planting
When planning your raspberry patch, you can choose from bushes that bear red, purple, black, and even golden fruit. At Turkey Hill, Martha likes to plant ever bearing varieties, which can be harvested throughout the summer growing season.

She positions her raspberry patch in a sunny, protected spot and plants the bushes in well-drained soil enriched with compost. She spaces the rows about six feet apart and plants the bushes at a depth of 14 inches, leaving three feet between each bush.

She fills the hole with topsoil and gives each bush a top dressing of compost. Then she gives the plants a good soak to get them started. Though these new plants won't bear fruit until next season, with pruning and proper care, they will yield a crop well worth the wait.