University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension Raspberries & More

About Raspberries
Nutrition Facts
Pruning & Training
Insects & Diseases
Farms Raspberries & More - University of Illinois Extension

Planting Raspberries

Procurement of Planting Materials

  • Buy disease-free planting materials.

  • Dormant suckers - Bare rooted, tip-layered canes or actively growing tissue-cultured plants.

  • Order plants in fall or early winter for spring planting.

  • Specify a shipping date.

Raspberry Transplants

Traditional transplants

Dormant suckers are for red and black raspberries. Plant in early spring at the same depth they were in field/nursery. Spread roots laterally. Prune stem to 5 inches and water immediately after transplanting.

Tip-layered cuttings are for black and purple raspberries. Plant when still dormant with growing tips of crown buds facing soil surface. Bury crown 3 inches below soil surface. Spread roots laterally and firm soil around them. Water immediately after transplanting and cut the stem at ground level.

Root cuttings - Plant 3 inches into the soil (2 ounces/hill or per 3 feet of hedgerows). Transplant in early spring when 5-8 inches tall and water immediately after transplanting.

Tissue cultured plants

Tissue cultured plants are produced indoors. Plants tends to be more uniform and disease-free. Plant after frost free period is attained. Cover top of root with soil up to a depth of 3/4 inches. Firm the soil around the seedlings and water immediately after transplanting.

Raspberry Planting Systems 

Hill system - Plants grown in hills, wide spacing, weed control by cultivation between and within row, recommended for gently sloping areas. Good for black and purple types of raspberries.

Hedgerow system - Plants are grown in continuous rows about one to two feet wide to form a hedge. Control by cultivation confined to one direction. More space saving, good for cultivars that produce a lot of suckers. Good for red and yellow raspberries.

Linear system - A modification of the two above, no suckers are allowed to grow by cultivating the width around the parent plant. Good for black and purple raspberries.

Spacing and Trellising of Raspberry

Red and yellow raspberry (within row 2-3 ft, between rows 10 ft) with low trellis.

Black raspberry (within row 3-4 ft, between rows 10-12 ft) have spreading and drooping habit with low trellis.

Purple raspberry (within rows 3-5 ft, between rows 12 ft similar spacing for erect raspberries) more vigorous than black raspberry does not require trellis.

Trellising of Raspberry

Trellis is a supporting open frame used for training raspberries. Trellising affects plant growth rate, competition with suckers, harvesting methods, fruit quantity and quality, disease and insect pest management.

Primocane fruiting types (first year canes bear fruits) - Fruits produced on tops of long canes tend to lean to ground hence need support, temporary trellising during harvesting to facilitate movement between plant rows. T-trellis is commonly used. A T-trellis consists of a T-shaped wooden or metal posts, seven foot long, and three foot long cross arms with screw eyes for holding twine rope or wire. The post is set up into a three foot deep hole in the center of each row, which is slightly wider than the post diameter. A 3 foot PVC pipe can be set into the hole immediately after they are dug to prevent them from collapsing. The holes are dug 25-30 feet apart within rows. The posts can be removed and used the following year while the buried PVC pipe is left in the ground. Canes are cut close to the ground after harvest in late summer.

Floricane fruiting types (second year canes bear fruits) - Canes remain intact in winter through the next growing season, needs support for both floricanes and primocanes, V-trellis is commonly used to separate fruiting and vegetative canes. V-trellis consists of two posts placed on the ground at 20-30 degree angle opposite each other at the outer margins of the plant row forming a V-shaped structure. Floricanes are tied to the outside and primocanes grow in the middle of the V-shape. Floricanes are cut after harvest. Primocanes that will bear fruits the following year are thinned to avoid competition. 

Soil and Site Requirements

  • Deep well-drained, loam soils, with good water holding capacity and high organic matter content. Good for root growth which can grow up to 4 feet.

  • Drip irrigation during summer because it prevents wetting of the foliage, flowers and fruit or water while keeping the foliage dry.

  • Requires 1-2 inches of water per week or 35 gallons per 100 feet of row per day.

  • Requires full exposure to sunlight. Plant in elevated areas away from trees and buildings.

  • Needs good air circulation within the canopy but not excessive wind.

  • Plant away from other brambles to avoid viral diseases.

  • Avoid verticillium wilt by planting raspberries where eggplants, tomatoes, strawberries, and potatoes have not been planted for the last five years.

About Raspberries | Nutrition Facts | Varieties | Planting | Caring | Pruning & Training | Insects & Diseases | Nurseries | Farms