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How Do I Plant Raspberry Seedlings?

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  • Written By: Rebecca Harkin
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2016
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Most of the work in planting raspberry seedlings comes in selecting the best area for the plants and then preparing the area where the plants will rest. Once the plot is prepared, strong disease-free plants need to be purchased, the plants need to be hardened off if grown in a greenhouse and then planted. Care for the seedlings after planting includes watering once a week and weeding.

Before the raspberry seedlings are even purchased, an appropriate area should be selected where the raspberry plants will thrive. This area should be well drained, or should dry out fairly quickly after a rain storm, and it should have about seven hours of sun exposure per day. In addition, raspberry plants are vulnerable to becoming infected with a soil fungus called Verticillium wilt. To avoid infection, raspberry plants should not be placed in a space that previously held tomatoes, peppers, eggplant or potatoes, all plants highly susceptible to Verticillium wilt. You can also reduce possible contamination by providing good airflow around the plants, with the rows of plants spaced about 10 feet (3 meters) apart, or separated by this distance from any other plantings or buildings.

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Before raspberry seedlings are planted, the area needs to be prepared. First, all vegetation should be removed so that there are no competing plants extracting nutrients and water from the soil. Second, the soil needs to be conditioned with compost or a good fertilizer. Third, the soil pH should be tested using a kit and, if necessary, you should follow the kit guidelines to align the soil to a pH range between 5.8 and 6.5.

Once the plot is prepared, raspberry seedlings should be purchased from a well-established nursery that is more likely to sell healthy, disease-free plants. Seedlings that were grown outdoors can be planted immediately. Plants that were grown in a greenhouse are not used to direct sunlight and need to be hardened off, or conditioned gradually to the direct sunlight. You should start by placing the plants outside in the shade, and then after a few days, place the plants in the direct sun for an increasing number of hours per day until the plant have been exposed to the amount of sunlight available each day at the planting location.

To plant the raspberry seedlings, dig a hole about the depth of the container the seedlings are packaged in. Remove the seedling from the pot, gently massage the root ball, place the plant in the hole and pack extra soil around the plant. Move along the row, planting the seedlings about 2.5-3 feet (0.7-0.9 meters) apart. Once an entire row has been planted, stop and water all the plants well before moving on to plant the next row. Weekly care for the seedlings should include weeding and watering, if there has not been sufficient rainfall.

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