Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

How—and When—to Water Your Raspberry Plants

Watering a raspberry plant

Watering a raspberry plant

Raspberries need consistent watering, especially during the growing season—but they hate wet feet. So it’s important to plant your raspberry plants in well-drained soil and water regularly, but not too much. A soggy raspberry patch is an invitation to rot and diseases.

On the other hand, it’s important that you don’t let your raspberries dry out. Hand water at the base of the plants or consider a drip hose or some other drip-irrigation method that will deliver water slowly and deeply into the soil for your raspberry plants. Avoid watering your plants from above, especially when they start to fruit; excess moisture on the fruit and foliage can cause rot.

How often you water your raspberry plants depends on how hot it is and how often they receive water naturally from the rain. In the heat of the summer, your raspberry plants need water once every two to three days—and that includes natural rain water. You want to keep the soil moist, giving it 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water a week from flowering to the end of fruiting. A deep soaking a couple of times a week is better than a light sprinkle frequently.

Tip: Early morning is the best time of day to water your raspberry plants. Avoid watering during the evening or night.

Using mulch can help keep water where the plants need it and also slow down evaporation. Apply a 2-inch layer of straw, grass clippings, shredded leaves, or cured, shredded wood mulch to cut back the need for hand watering and to retain moisture. The mulch will help deter weeds, too.

Rainwater is best for your garden plants. If possible for you to collect rainwater, your raspberry plants will benefit from that!

When you properly water your raspberries, you’ll have healthy plants and a good harvest. Improper watering can lead to the following problems that you want to avoid:

  • Root rot
  • Stunted growth and root loss
  • Susceptibility to pests and disease
  • Reduced harvests and lesser-quality raspberries

How often do you water your raspberry plants? And what time of day do you water? Please tell us how you ensure that your raspberry plants get the right amount of water.


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