Raspberries thrive in moisture-retentive, fertile, slightly acidic soils, which are well-drained and weed free. They dislike waterlogged soils and shallow chalky soils. For best results, plant in a sheltered, sunny position; although they will tolerate part shade.
In early March apply slow-release general fertiliser, fish, blood and bone for example, at 34g per sq m (1oz per sq yd), then mulch with well-rotted organic matter. If the growth is weak, apply sulphate of ammonia at 34g per sq m (1oz per sq yd) or dried poultry manure pellets at 100g per sq m (3oz per sq yd).
Keep raspberries well watered during dry periods.
Raspberries can be planted any time during the dormant season, between November and March, providing the soil is not frozen or waterlogged.
Raspberries are usually planted in rows and trained along a post and wire system. But, if you have a smaller garden, you can still grow raspberries, either in containers, or train them up a single post (see below for more on training techniques).
- Before planting, dig at least one bucketful of well-rotted organic matter per square yard into the soil and fork in slow release general fertiliser at 100g per sq m (3oz per sq yd)
- Plants should be 45-60cm (18in–2ft) apart, and if planting in rows, space the rows 1.8m (6ft) apart, ideally running north to south, so that they do not shade each other
- Prune the canes to within 25cm (10in) of the ground after planting
Single raspberry plants can be grown in 38cm (15in) diameter containers of 80 percent multipurpose compost and, to add weight for stability, 20 percent loam-based potting compost, training the canes up bamboo poles.
Keep the compost moist (using rainwater in hard water areas) and feed with a liquid general-purpose fertiliser on a monthly basis during the growing season.