Raspberry Fertilizing Needs – When To Feed Raspberries

"Close-up of ripening raspberries (Rubus idaeus) on the vine.Taken in Watsonville, California, USA.Please view related images below or click on the banner lightbox links to view additional images, from related categories."
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By Liz Baessler

Raspberries are a very worthwhile crop to grow. Store bought raspberries are expensive and bred to be able to travel long distances without squishing. If you want fresh, cheap berries, you can’t do better than growing them yourself. If you do grow them, of course, you need to know how to take proper care of them. Keep reading to learn more about raspberry fertilizing needs and how to fertilize a raspberry bush.

Raspberry Fertilizing Needs

Raspberry fertilizing needs are very basic and not hard to keep up with. Raspberry plant fertilizer should be heavy in nitrogen, although a balanced type is often preferred. For instance, the best fertilizer for raspberry bushes is a 10-10-10 fertilizer or actual nitrogen at a rate of 4 or 5 pounds per 100 feet of row.

If you’re looking for organic raspberry plant fertilizer, you can substitute with manure (50 to 100 pounds per 100 feet of row) or a combination of cottonseed meal, lambeinite, and rock phosphate (in a 10-3-10 ratio).

When to Feed Raspberries


Fertilizer for raspberry bushes should be applied soon after planting, once they’ve had some time to establish. Make sure to place it 3 to 4 inches away from the stems – direct contact can burn the plants.

After your raspberries are established, fertilize them once per year every spring at a slightly higher rate than the first year.

Always fertilize your raspberry plants in the spring. Fertilizer, particularly when it’s heavy in nitrogen, encourages new growth. This is good in the spring, but can be dangerous in the summer and fall. Any new growth that appears too late in the season won’t have time to mature before the cold of winter and will likely be damaged by frost, which causes the plant unnecessary harm. Don’t be tempted to fertilize later in the season, even if the plants seem weak.

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