Top 16 Steps to Boost Raspberry Yield: How to Increase Fruit Size, Quality, and Production

Raspberries are a Rosaceae (rose family) shrub belonging to the genus Rubus. Let’s take a look at the top 16 steps to boost Raspberry crop yield.

Steps to Boost Raspberry Yield
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Top 16 steps to boost Raspberry yield

Step 1: Soil conditions to improve fruit production

Raspberry is a cane-growing plant that grows 1.5 – 2.25 meters high and grows well in neutral to slightly acidic soils rich in humus and well-drained. However, they do not do well in soils that retain too much moisture, nor do they do well in alkaline soils. Raspberries also don’t like lime, so don’t add it to your fertilizer or use mushroom compost.

These plants prefer well-drained or sandy loom, whose pH is slightly acid-neutral. Work to a depth of 8 to 10 inches, and modify the soil with the prepared fertilizer to increase the organic matter content. Raspberries grow cool, mainly in conditions where there is fertile soil and plenty of sunshine, although they can tolerate some shade. 

Step 2: Select Raspberry varieties for good yield

There are two different types of Raspberries: summer bearing and fall-bearing (also called everbearing). Summer bearing plants produce a large fruit crop in late summer. Fall-bearing plants mainly produce two crops a year: one in the early autumn season and one small crop early next summer season. 

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Raspberry Tree
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Raspberries come in three standard colors: red (varieties like ‘Latham,’ ‘Autumn Bliss,’ and ‘Heritage’), black (varieties like ‘Blackhawk’ and ‘Bristol’), and yellow (such as ‘Honeyqueen’ and ‘Fallgold’). Red Raspberries are stronger, more challenging, and more productive than black and yellow Raspberry plants.

Step 3: Selection and preparing a planting site to increase crop yield

Raspberries grow best in sunny places, but they will grow well in partially shaded areas, unlike many fruits. The more sun, the more fruit. Planting areas need full and well-drained soil, strong air circulation, and wind protection. Avoid windy areas along with wet areas, as Raspberries do not like to stand in water and do not dry out completely. Feed your Raspberry plants two inches of manure or old manure each year. Dig a week or two before planting. Plant away from wild-growing berries. Otherwise, you risk spreading wild pests and diseases in cultivated Raspberry plants. 

Step 4: Planting process for getting more fruits

Plant spacing is essential because they reproduce through runners, quickly filling the gaps between plants. Insert a cane into a hole one foot wide and one foot deep. Raspberry plants are spaced about 24 inches apart. Water well after planting. 

Step 5: Fertilizer for plant growth and yield

Adjust the amount of fertilizer applied depending on the plant growth and yield. Fertilizer, especially when it is heavy in nitrogen, encourages new growth. It’s good in the spring but can be dangerous in the summer and fall. Don’t be tempted to fertilize later in the season, even if the plants are weak. Some of the basics of Raspberry fertilizer that help you make sure your berry plants are getting the nutrients they need to thrive;

  • A high-quality organic fertilizer for berry plants 
  • Apply the only amount of fertilizer to Raspberries as suggested on the package. 
  • Water the Raspberries after feeding. 

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Step 6: Raspberry bush flowers, but no fruit?

Unless there is proper pollination, the Raspberry bush will bloom but will not bear any fruit. Use an electric toothbrush to stimulate the bee movement and touch the flowers of the Raspberry bush and pollinate them. Also, remember that Raspberry canes will not bear any fruit in their first year for summer bearing varieties. Temperature, soil problems, and malnutrition can also play a role in reducing fruit production.

Step 7: Planting systems for higher yields

The first year of cane growth is usually prostrate, so help may be needed to improve growth and early production. Subsequent development is straightforward. 

Narrow Hedgerow – Red Raspberries should be spaced 2-1 / 2 to 3 feet apart. Purple and black Raspberries should be kept at 3 to 4 feet. The width of the last row should be 12 to 15 inches. A narrow row provides adequate sunlight for the inner branches, is easy to pick, and has strong canes. The distance between the rows will vary depending on the plow or harvesting equipment, but it is usually 6 to 12 feet.

Some trellising or support systems may be needed where the plants are strong. Support will allow taller plants to produce higher yields. There are other advantages of clean fruit and near distance support system. 

Hill – This system is best suited for black or purple Raspberries that do not produce root suckers. Place the plants 3-4 feet apart and allow each plant to grow in a hill of 6 to 8 canes. A stake must support each hill. The distance between the rows must be the planting material. 

Step 8: Trellising increase the size of the Raspberries

Many Raspberries are firm and use a support system such as a trellis to help protect the canes from wind damage. The trellis should be constructed before or after planting, so that young Raspberry plants are not harmed once they are in the ground. The traditional way to support red Raspberry cans is by post and wire system. This method involves running two wires at a 60 cm (2 feet) distance vertically between the wooden poles. The lower wire should be placed 90 cm (3 ft) above the ground and the upper about 1.5 m (5 ft) above the ground. 

The canes can be tied with strings. The second option is T-trails, similar to the post and wire, but the wooden vertical lines each have two crossbars to connect the wire. Two sets of wires run parallel to each other, one on top of the other. The vertical lines should be 3.6–4.6 meters (12–15 ft) apart, with the lower wire 90 cm (3 ft) above the ground and the upper 1.5 meters (5 ft) above the ground.

In the home garden, Raspberry plants are usually grown from bare-root plants or tissue culture plants and planted in early spring when the risk of severe frosts has passed. Plants are planted in a row, and the suckers fill in the gaps to form a hedge. Plant at a distance of about 70 cm (27.5 inches), keeping a distance of 2.4-3 meters (8-10 feet) between rows. Installing a trellis frame is unlikely to affect the size of your Raspberries. Adding trails enhances the aesthetic appeal, but don’t be fooled by the fact that it can increase the size of the Raspberry. 

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Raspberry Farm
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Step 9: Raspberry plant care for improving the flavor of berries

If you are planting bare roots, you will need to pre-soak them in water as some seaweed fertilizer is added to the water. Soak for 30 minutes before planting. Use the soil line to make sure that you plant them at the same height as they were planted earlier. If you buy canes in earthen bags from your local garden store or supplier, make sure they are not already in the address. Buying them when they are already in the leaves will damage your plants as you try to separate them when planting.

Pour a handful of blood and bone under the trench, sprinkle it on the soil, and dig wells. When the flowers appear in spring, take 4.5 liters of water and add two teaspoons of Epsom Salt and two teaspoons of Potash Sulfate. It will promote plants by providing magnesium and potassium. Magnesium is essential for energy production, and potassium is essential for protecting plants from disease and improving the flavor of berries. 

Step 10: Pruning Raspberry plants to ensure good growth

Leave the summer-fruiting Raspberry canes pruned in their first year. They will bear next season’s harvest. In the second year and subsequent years, cut all the fruit canes only to the ground level after picking all the fruits. Raspberries have been bearing fruit on canes since last year. They need to be pruned at ground level, and green canes must be tied at stake to ensure good growth. Every year, Raspberries must be pruned.

Raspberries are perennials, but it is essential to remember that fruiting branches (or canes) survive only two summers. Fresh green cane grows plants for the first year. After that, the brown bark of the cane comes off, becomes dormant in winter, and in other growing seasons, it is known as floricane. Floricane bears fruit from early summer to mid-summer before dying. New primrose plants are produced each year, ensuring that fruit production continues yearly. Every year, you should cut the dead canes.

Step 11: Water requirement to improve the size of your berries

The water you supply your Raspberries will make a big difference. Although the plant can function well without a lot of water, you should know that it will affect the size of your berries. For example, many people prefer a drip system to water their berries. Ideally, it is best to water your Raspberries deep every four days. They have to be soaked for several hours on the day you give them water. Some people don’t even mind the flood of Raspberries.

If you notice a difference in the structure of the plant and it looks dehydrated, you need to change your water cycle. For example, if the plant feels thirsty on the fourth day, you can reduce your water cycle to three days. Raspberries are full of water, and every fruit needs it very much. If you water the plant in large quantities, your berries will be more palatable. Drip irrigation systems are a great choice because they save a lot of water during the process, making sure they only reach the roots. 

Step 12: Weed management and mulching to increase crop yield

To prevent competition for resources, be sure to control weeds. Their root systems are shallow, so mechanical weeding should be done carefully. If weeding is done manually, do not hoe more than 1 inch below the soil surface to avoid damaging the roots. Apply a mulch or black plastic layer to help keep herbs down between rows. 

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Raspberry Farming
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Mulches reduce the number of cultivations, add organic matter to the soil, and help preserve the available soil moisture. Straw, bark chips, or other organic matter should be applied to a 3-inch layer of the bed area. Mulches should usually be replenished each spring. Extra nitrogen may be needed to help break down organic mulch. 

Step 13: Raspberry leaves are turning brown

Nutrient Deficiency – When the edges of your Raspberry leaves turn brown, it is likely, that your plants are not getting adequate nutrition. Properly balanced fertilizer can help turn your leaves into healthy green ones.

Excessive Fertilization – While you should use fertilizers for your Raspberries, overuse can cause the leaves to turn brown, just as there are insufficient nutrients.

Dehydration – Dehydration can also cause your Raspberry leaves to turn brown and wilt. If your plant recovers its healthy shape after watering, it may be that you are not hydrating frequently or using enough water. Raspberries need two inches of water (2.54 to 5.08 cm) a week during the growing season and up to four inches of water during harvest. 

Step 14: Reasons why Raspberry plants do not bear fruit 

Improper pruning of Raspberry plants is a common cause, but other issues can also be a problem. Plants that do not bear fruit may be affected by adverse conditions, pests, or disease. Raspberries grow best in beds full of rich, fertile soil. If you meet these needs and prune still but adequately know that Raspberry plants are not growing, then look for clues to these common pests or diseases. Anthracnose, Cane Blight, Crumble Berry Virus, Gray Mold, Raspberry Caneborer, Raspberry Crown Borer, Spider Mites, and Spur Blight. 

Step 15: Pests and diseases control for more yield 

The main problems in growing Raspberries include leaf discoloration, insect infestation, fertilization problems, fungi, and common diseases. Some expected improvements include improving soil nutrition, ensuring that plants get adequate water, and spraying fungicides.  Raspberries are bothered by various pests, but healthy, well-cared plants are more resistant to pests. Leaf borers are common insects that make pinhead-shaped entry holes on canes near ground level.

To treat a plant infected with leaf sap, cut each infected cane under the inner holes. Treat aphids and spider mites – small insects that suck sap from plants – by spraying plants regularly with an insecticide soap spray. Insect repellent soaps are less risky for beneficial insects, such as Lacewings and Ladybugs, susceptible to aphids and mites. Remove caterpillars, such as cutworms, by hand. Clean leaves, weeds, and other debris that hosts insects. 

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Verticillium wilt often occurs when Raspberries are planted where host plants, such as Tomatoes, were first planted. Destroy infected Raspberry plants, as there is no cure for verticillium wilt. Phytophthora root rot, often caused by improper watering, is a fungal disease that causes stunted growth, small berries, and leaves that turn purple, red, or yellow. 

Powdery mildew disease is a fungus that is easily seen due to grayish-white residue on leaves and stems, impaired growth, and powdery, grayish-white residue. Destroy infected canes and leaves, but do not try to compost infected plant material. Adequate watering includes plant-based watering to keep plants dry and prevent fungal diseases. 

Unfortunately, Raspberries are susceptible to pests and problems with viral and fungal diseases. The best method to prevent problems is to scout often and treat the infection immediately. Keep an eye out for aphids, Japanese beets, spider mites, and cane borers, primarily since they transmit diseases like cane blight, gray mold, root rot, and Verticillium wilt. 

Step 16: Harvesting Raspberries to maximize production

Raspberries can usually be harvested in the second year after the initial planting. The berry ripens when a slight pull separates it from the core. Raspberries are hard, and more ripe berries are softer and easier to ripen. Therefore, picking berries every two days is essential to maximize production. When picking, use a small container to prevent berries from slipping under their weight. When the fruits are ripe, pick Raspberries. 


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