Raspberry Fertilizing Needs – When To Feed Raspberries

raspberry fertilizer
raspberry fertilizer
(Image credit: GomezDavid)

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 to 5 pounds (1.8 to 2.3 kg.) per 100 feet (30.4 m.) of row.

If you’re looking for organic raspberry plant fertilizer, you can substitute with manure (50 to 100 pounds (22.7 to 45.4 kg.) per 100 feet (30.4 m.) of row) or a combination of cottonseed meal, langbeinite, 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 (8 to 10 cm.) 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.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.