If you're like many contemporary gardeners, you're looking to not only grow something that tastes good, but something that's beneficial to your health, too. Well, you can't get much healthier than a crop of plump, juicy raspberries.
Raspberries are high in many types of nutrients and antioxidants. There are tons of different raspberry recipes--raspberry tea and raspberry cake for example--but they also make a great snack on their own.
So how do you grow these delicious, versatile berries?
Location, location, location--always the first, and maybe most important, part of the growing process. Raspberries require sun, and lots of it. You're going to want to choose an area that gets full sunlight for at least 6 hours a day.
Next, you need a good soil that drains well. It's important to keep the berries moist, or else they won't reach their full growth potential and their texture will harden. You'll want to add fertilizer, something like Gurney's Timed-Released Fertilizer Tabs.
It's common to plan ahead when planting raspberries. Most gardeners prepare the prospective planting area well in advance--normally the summer prior to planting, but sometimes as many as two summers ahead. The reason behind this practice is to remove roots of all the weeds within the growing area.
You'll want to plant your raspberries in rows, but the size will vary depending on the color. Red and yellow varieties should be spaced 2 feet apart in rows 6 feet apart, while blue and purple varieties should be spaced 3 feet apart in rows 8 feet apart. After planting, water the new plants well, and keep them moist throughout the first 2-3 weeks to promote proper root development.
It's also recommended that your raspberry crop will benefit greatly from a simple trellis system, which will keep your raspberries free from dirt and disease during the growing process.