Transplanting Raspberries to Grow More Fruit: A How-to Guide

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The best time to transplant raspberry canes is anytime from early spring after the new canes start to grow, to early summer flowering. Learn how to transplant raspberries to grow more fruit! These tips will work for summer-bearing raspberries and ever-bearing raspberries. If you have a friend willing to share suckers with you, you can start growing your own raspberries and all you need is a shovel.

My Raspberry Patch Started with Gifted Transplants

My raspberry bushes started with a few transplants given to me by a friend over 10 years ago! At that time, I planted one 15-foot row of red raspberries. After several years, I transplanted new plants from this row and made a second row. This year I expanded once again and made a third row. You just can’t have too many fresh raspberries.

a new raspberry row next to an established raspberry patch

Best Time for Transplanting Raspberries

The best time for transplanting raspberries is in the spring when the new shoots are coming up. It is best to transplant the new raspberry plants before the fruit appears on the established canes. Another good time to transplant raspberries is in the late fall after the growing season when the weather has cooled down.

Raspberries can be transplanted later in the year, but special care will need to be taken if you transplant in the heat of summer. Making sure your young canes have adequate soil moisture to establish roots is of primary concern.

a newly transplanted raspberry cane

Selecting the Site

Raspberries grow best in well-drained soil in the full sun.

Raspberries need at least 6 hours of sunlight per day for maximum production. While raspberries will grow and produce in partial shade, their fruit production will not be what it could be in full sun. Find a sunny spot to establish your raspberry patch to get the best raspberry harvest.

If your raspberry patch is in a less than ideal location, you can use these tips to transplant and move some of your young plants to a better location.

Raspberries love fertile soil that is well drained. If your soil quality is less than ideal, it’s a good idea to incorporate 3-4 inches of compost or well-rotten manure before you transplant your new canes. If you have already planted your new transplant, you can add compost on top of the soil, but make sure your soil isn’t waterlogged as this can cause root rot and fungal disease.

a shovel digging up a raspberry sucker

How to Transplant Raspberry Suckers

  1. Prepare your new location and planting holes. Dig holes 12 inches wide and 6-8 inches deep. Space the holes 5 feet apart to provide good air circulation and growing space. Incorporate compost if needed.
  2. Dig suckers. Use a shovel to dig the new growth canes. Make sure you dig at least 6 inches away from the raspberry cane you are moving and dig on all sides to separate the sucker from the parent, original plant.
  3. Don’t delay planting. Transplant newly dug raspberries as soon as possible to avoid the roots drying out. Place each transplant in the prepared hole at the same ground level.
  4. Back fill if needed and firm the soil around the plant. Gently press the soil surface around the new transplanted raspberry cane to set it in place.
  5. If transplanted canes are over 18 inches tall, cut them back to 12 inches. Prune canes above a bud to encourage branching.
  6. Apply lots of Water. Water the transplant thoroughly to set the soil and encourage root growth. Provide at least 1 inch of water per week for new raspberry transplants though the first year.
  7. Mulch. Apply a thick layer (4-5 inches) of wood chips, grass clippings, bark, or leaves to keep provide weed control and hold in soil moisture. Add more mulch every year.
  8. Next year, prune old spent canes to provide growing space for new suckers.

Caring for Newly Transplanted Raspberries

Raspberries are so low maintenance once they are established. That’s one of the reasons I love them so much.

  • Provide support to reduce broken canes. Horizontal guide wires connected to t-posts or trellises work great to support raspberry canes loaded with berries. Providing support also makes harvesting berries easier.
  • Water raspberries if the soil is dry. The best way to know if your raspberries need watered is to push your finger into the soil. If it’s dry, water your raspberries. If it’s wet, you can wait to water. Adding a thick layer of mulch will greatly cut down on your raspberry watering needs.
  • Each spring, apply a thick layer of compost to your raspberry patch. This will add organic matter, act as mulch, feed your raspberries and increase your harvest.
  • In the late winter or early spring, prune out dead, damaged, or diseased canes and last year’s canes to provide growing space for new canes.
  • Keep weeds at bay by pulling grass and weeds regularly. This will free up soil resources for your raspberry patch.
a raspberry transplant sitting on a shovel

These simple maintenance steps will set your raspberry patch up for success. You will be enjoying raspberries for the next 20 years if you give your raspberry transplants a good start.

Tip: If you notice that your raspberry transplant is wilting slightly immediately after you move it to its new home, don’t worry! As long as you water it well after transplant, it will be fine. Raspberry transplants do usually suffer from a little bit of transplant shock. They will pull out of it in a few days and look healthy again.

More Helpful Raspberry Tips

How to Prune Raspberry Bushes for a Better Harvest

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