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Cold Climate Raspberry Shrubs – Tips On Growing Raspberries In Zone 3

Cold Climate Raspberry Shrubs – Tips On Growing Raspberries In Zone 3


Raspberries are the quintessential berry to many people. This luscious fruit wants sunshine and warm, not hot, temperatures, but what if you live in a cooler climate? How about growing raspberries in zone 3, for example? Are there specific raspberry bushes for cold climates? The following article contains information on growing cold climate raspberry shrubs in USDA zone 3.

About Zone 3 Raspberries

If you live in USDA zone 3, you usually get low temperatures of between -40 to -35 degrees F. (-40 to -37 C.). The good news about raspberries for zone 3 is that raspberries naturally thrive in cooler climates. Also, zone 3 raspberries might also be listed under their Sunset rating of A1.

Raspberries are of two main types. Summer-bearers produce one crop per season in the summer while ever-bearers produce two crops, one in the summer and one in the fall. Everbearing (fall-bearing) varieties have the advantage of producing two crops, and they require less care than summer bearers.

Both types will produce fruit in their second year, although in some cases, ever-bearers will bear small fruit in their first fall.

Growing Raspberries in Zone 3

Grow raspberries in full sunlight in well-draining soil on a site sheltered from wind. Deep, sandy loam that is rich in organic matter with a pH of 6.0-6.8 or slightly acidic will give the berries the best foundation.

Summer bearing raspberries tolerate temperatures down to -30 degrees F. (-34 C.) when they are fully acclimated and established. These berries can become damaged by fluctuating winter temps, however. To shield them plant them on a north slope.

Fall-bearing raspberries should be planted on a south slope or other protected area to promote the rapid growth of the fruiting canes and early fall fruiting.

Plant raspberries in the early spring well away from any wild growing berries, which might spread disease. Prepare the soil a couple of weeks prior to planting. Amend the soil with plenty of manure or green vegetation. Before planting the berries, soak the roots for an hour or two. Dig a hole that is large enough to allow the roots to spread out.

Once you have planted the raspberry, cut the cane back to 8 to 10 inches (20-25 cm.) in length. At this juncture, depending upon the variety of berry, you may need to provide the plant with a support such as a trellis or fence.

Raspberries for Zone 3

Raspberries are susceptible to cold injury. Established red raspberries can tolerate temps to -20 degrees F. (-29 C.), purple raspberries to -10 degrees F. (-23 C.), and black to -5 degrees F. (-21 C.). Winter injury is less likely in areas where the snow cover is deep and reliable, keeping the canes covered. That said, mulching around the plants will help to protect them.

Of the summer-bearing raspberries suitable as cold climate raspberry shrubs, the following types are recommended:

  • Boyne
  • Nova
  • Festival
  • Killarney
  • Reveille
  • K81-6
  • Latham
  • Halda

Fall-bearing raspberry bushes for cold climates include:

  • Summit
  • Autumn Britten
  • Ruby
  • Caroline
  • Heritage

Black raspberries suited to USDA zone 3 are Blackhawk and Bristol. Purple raspberries for cold climates include Amethyst, Brandywine, and Royalty. Cold tolerant yellow raspberries include Honeyqueen and Anne.


Red and yellow varieties are trailing plants that should be supported on wires or a trellis.
It is a good idea to add this support before planting your Raspberries.
The preferred method is to string heavy gauge wire between stout posts,
with the bottom wire 30" above ground and a top wire at 4-5 feet.
The lateral side branches of the Raspberry plant can then be trained along the wires.

Raspberries can be planted any time from late fall up until early spring before new growth begins.
They should be planted 30"-36" apart in rows that are spaced 8 feet apart.
Plant nursery grown Raspberry plants in a prepared bed, 2" deeper than they were originally growing.
After planting, cut the canes back to 4-6", leaving the stubs to mark the rows until new sprouts appear.


Raspberry Plants

Raspberry plants are a deciduous bush from the Rosaceae family that grow up to 6 feet high. They are classified into two different categories. Floricanes (Summer bearers) that produce one crop during the summer months and primocanes (ever bearers) that produce two crops. One smaller crop in the late Spring/early Summer and a larger crop in the Fall. The Summer bearers will produce on the floricane which is a two year or older cane and ever bearers can produce on a primocane (a one year old cane) as well as the floricane. We have only the best raspberry plants for sale. Raspberry varieties are available in four different colors, red, yellow, black and purple. Buy fruit trees online, both big and small, at Willis Orchards.

Raspberries are prolific spreaders. Once planted, many new canes will pop up every year. Within a few years, a few raspberry plants will turn into a nice patch. Some varieties of raspberries grow on self supporting, erect canes while others are need support by a good trellising system. Raspberries prefer to be planted in well drained, sandy loam with a soil ph between 5.8-6.5. It is very important that the soil drains well as they hate to have wet "feet". In cooler climates, they do best when planted in an area that receives at least six to eight hours of sunlight a day. In the warmer, southern states, raspberries need to be planted in a shaded area protected from direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day.

It is best to plant raspberries in early Spring for northern climates and late Winter for the warmer climates. Space plants three feet apart with rows being eight feet apart. Prune canes back to 8 to 10 inches when first transplanting. Do not plant within 300 feet of wild raspberries or blackberries. Avoid planting in an area where tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers or strawberries have been grown within the last 3 years due to verticillium wilt. Mulching is very important to conserve moisture and suffocate the weeds. Water 1 inch per week.


Raspberries can be cold hardy to temperatures as low as negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit. In areas of the country with mild winters, this is not an advantage because temperatures do not reach temperatures this low. However, raspberries also have a chilling requirement. Many varieties need at least 800 hours of temperatures between 37 and 50 degrees F. When this chilling requirement is not met in the winter, raspberries experience lower yields during the growing season. Coastal and inland gardeners may find that this chilling requirement can become problematic when winters are unseasonably warm.

Inland gardeners battling the effects of high temperatures during the growing season may consider "bababerry" and "Oregon 1030" cultivars. These raspberries are particularly heat tolerant. Other raspberry cultivars will need some kind of shade for their long-term survival in these climates.

Leslie Rose has been a freelance writer publishing with Demand Studios since 2008. In addition to her work as a writer, she is an accomplished painter and experienced art teacher. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in art with a minor in English.


How to Grow Latham Red Raspberries

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Latham red raspberries (Rubus idaeus) are hardy plants that produce an abundance of deep red, medium to large berries in mid to late summer. Their berries freeze well and make excellent preserves. First developed in Minnesota, Latham red raspberries are extremely cold-tolerant and can be grown in U. S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 2 through 8. These raspberries grow best in cooler climates, such as the Northeast or the Pacific Northwest, but with proper care, can also be grown successfully in milder climates.

Purchase plants that are certified disease-free from a reputable garden center. Install dormant plants between late fall to early spring in a location that receives at least six to eight hours of sun daily. In warmer climates, select a site with morning sun and afternoon shade. Provide well-drained, organic soil with a pH level around 6.0 to 7.0.

Mound soil into hills or berms about 2 feet wide and 10 to 12 inches high. Space rows 8 to 10 feet apart to allow good air circulation preventing fungal diseases. Dig shallow, wide holes about a foot deep and 3 feet wide. Space plants about 2 to 3 feet apart. Spread the roots out in the hole, fill in with dirt and water in deeply. The point at which the roots meet the cane should be covered with about 1 to 2 inches of dirt.

Prune the canes back to about 6 inches tall. Spread a thick layer of mulch, such as dried leaves or wood chips, around the plants to keep the soil cool and moist in warm summer weather, protect roots in the winter and discourage weeds.

Create a trellis by running three rows of galvanized wire between sturdy posts about 4 to 6 feet tall. Install Latham red raspberry canes upright, which can grow up to 10 feet tall.

Keep the soil moist but not soggy, giving Latham red raspberries about an inch of water weekly when they are blooming and producing fruit. Avoid overhead watering systems.

Apply a 20-20-20 fertilizer at 2 to 3 pounds for each 100 foot row when growth begins in spring and again at bloom time. Spread dry granules on the ground around the plants and water well.

Prune Latham red raspberry canes in early spring and immediately after harvest. Cut canes back in spring to about 5 feet tall and remove any weak or diseased canes. Thin new shoots as necessary to prevent over-crowding. After harvest, cut fruit-bearing canes to the ground but leave new shoots to grow until next year.

  • Latham red raspberries bear fruit on floricanes or canes that have grown through one winter. Pruning plants in the winter will reduce summer harvest.
  • These plants are susceptible to mildew in extremely humid, moist conditions.

Based in the Atlanta area, Charlene Williams has been writing and editing since 1988. She has over 15 years of experience working as a technical writer in the software industry. She has worked as a freelance writer for the past five years, and is a contributing writer for eHow and Answerbag. Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Kennesaw State University.


Raspberry Plants

Here at the nursery we offer several varieties of raspberry plants, including red raspberry, black raspberry and gold raspberry varieties. All raspberry plants sold are 1 yr. Old #1 Canes

Boyne Red Raspberry: Zone 3-8. A Canadian development in 1960, Boyne is a medium to large red fruit with aromatic flavor. Vigorous, erect and sturdy canes are very productive and hardy. Excellent berry for canning, freezing and dessert.

Caroline Red Raspberry: Zone 4-8. This Fall Bearing raspberry produces huge, very sweet, firm fruit. Caroline ripens before Heritage and is very productive. Vigorous growth, disease resistance and superb quality make it a great choice for home or commercial growing.

Heritage Red Raspberry: Zone 4-8. An everbearing variety with vigorous upright canes. Produces large, firm, bright red berries. Good quality and flavor. First fruit mid-July, second crop early September.

Latham Red Raspberry: – Zone 3-8. Unsurpassed in vigor and hardiness. Produces good sized berries over long
period. Excellent flavor for pies, jam, jelly and dessert. It is grown for both home and commercial use.

Bristol Black Raspberry: – Zone 4-8. A 1934 New York introduction, fruit is large with attractive glossy skin. Excellent quality, flavor and ripens mid season. Canes are hardy and vigorous, berries are great for pies, jam or jelly or simply eating fresh.

Brandywine Raspberry: – Zone 4-8. A hybrid cross of black and red raspberry, producing a large rich full flavored purple fruit. High quality, insect resistant, hardy, and very adaptable. Unsurpassed for jam, jelly, and pies. Ripens mid-season.

Fall Gold Raspberry: Zone 4-9. Very prolific. Produces two crops, one in July, the second in September. Large golden berries are sweet as honey and very juicy. Excellent for desserts, jam and jelly.

Jewel Black Raspberry: Zone 3-7. A winter hardy variety producing large glossy berries of excellect flavor. Mid-season crop with rich flavor and great for jams & jelly.

Royalty Raspberry: Zone 4-8. A hybrid cross of black and red raspberries, producing large, rich, full flavored purple fruit. High quality, insect resistant, hardy and very adaptable. Unsurpassed for jam, jelly and pie. Ripens mid season..

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Tips For Growing Raspberries In Raised Beds

Luscious red raspberries ripe for the picking. Source: me’nthedogs

Setting up a trellis system for your raspberries makes care much simpler in the long term. Not only does a trellis provide support for raspberry canes year round, it makes it easier to block out pests by draping a row cover over your plants. Build a trellis that has wooden beams extending out a foot past where the canes are. You can easily drape a row cover over without it getting tangled up in thorns.This can keep away many of the pests that would eat or lay eggs on your bushes.

When the canes are flowering, make sure the row cover is off the berries won’t be pollinated without the help of our pollinator friends! Alternatively, the same trellis can support a shade cloth during the heat of the summer when high temperatures can damage or kill your plants.

For regions with a snowy winter, it’s much easier to build a cold frame around a raised bed than around a ground bed. This cold frame will help to give your soil a kick start come spring so the canes can start bearing early in the season. By building the cold frame to just 6 inches taller than the height you’d want the raspberry canes to reach, it’s easy to gauge where you’ll be pruning to come fall. A cold frame can protect against a surprise last frost. The frame keeps snow off of early developing buds, which if damaged won’t grow into raspberries.

Once your raspberries have been established and begin bearing year after year, be sure to mulch well, especially in summer. By mulching, you’re deterring weeds and retaining water. Try adding 2-3 inches of organic matter in early summer to the soil. This mulch can be dried leaves, pine needles, or wood chips. Raspberries do well with infrequent deep watering, something that’s made easier with a bi-annual application of mulch.

There are a few crops that grow well with raspberries and can even discourage pests. Garlic, chives, onions, and chamomile all do well when grown in the same garden bed as raspberries, and provide a larger bounty for cost-savvy growers hesitant to spend on a bed for a single crop. Conversely, keep certain crops away from raspberries such as tomatoes, eggplant, strawberries and potatoes.

Here’s a rough planting schedule to follow for a 1 year season growing raspberries:

  • Late Winter/Early Spring: Buy & plant out, giving each plant at least 3 feet of space to spread into. Apply a dormancy spray to control the spread of fungal diseases.
  • Late Spring/Early Summer: Cut back previous years fruit bearing canes if not already done. Fertilize with a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer. Begin to water regularly. Apply 2-3 inches of mulch to help with water retention.
  • Summer: Continue to monitor soil moisture and adjust watering as needed. Apply shade cloth if necessary. Monitor for pests. Depending on the variety, harvest.
  • Late Summer: Continue to monitor for pests, soil moisture levels & harvest.
  • Fall: Harvest fall-bearing berries and apply 1-2 inches of mulch to the base of the plants.
  • Early Winter: Plan on pruning fruited canes back before the first frost. Cover the plants with a cold frame depending on your zone.


Watch the video: Tree Nurseries for Cold Climate Permaculture Projects