How to Care for a Latham Red Raspberry Plant

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Latham red raspberry bushes are very cold-hardy and "summer bearing," meaning that they produce one crop of fruit each season. Latham raspberries typically produce a moderate crop of small fruits about midsummer. Like other types of raspberry plants, Latham raspberry bushes require some basic care to produce a good crop of healthy berries. Because Latham is a summer-bearing variety, you'll need to use specific pruning techniques that are different from "ever-bearing" raspberries, which produce two crops per season.

Things You'll Need

  • 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Shovel or garden spade
  • Tiller (optional)
  • Pruning shears or loppers
  • Fertilize your Latham raspberry bushes once each year in early spring before new growth emerges, applying 2 to 3 lbs. of 10-10-10 NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) formula fertilizer per 100 feet of row. Feed the raspberry bushes again in late spring or early summer with the same amount of fertilizer, spreading the fertilizer granules along the rows. If you're growing the Latham raspberries in hills instead of rows, apply ½ cup of 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer per plant, according to the directions on the label.

  • Maintain a 4- to 8-inch-thick layer of mulch on the ground around your Latham raspberry bushes. Add more mulch in spring and fall as needed to maintain the layer's thickness. The mulch will help to suppress weed growth and regulate soil moisture.

  • Dig up or cultivate any suckers or weeds that grow between the rows of Latham raspberry bushes. You can mow between the rows if feasible, or you can cultivate the area using a tiller.

  • Prune your Latham red raspberries twice each year, once in early spring and again right after harvest. In early spring, cut back all canes that have grown taller than 5 feet so they're no more than 4½ to 5 feet long, and then cut all weak, damaged or dead canes back to the ground or main stem. After harvesting the raspberries, cut all the canes that produced fruit that year back to the main stem.

  • Harvest your Latham raspberries in midsummer, when they achieve their deep-red color over a two- to three-week period. Pick the raspberries every few days while they're ripening, harvesting them when the raspberries are easily removed from the white cores.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can plant Latham raspberries in hills or hedgerows. If you grow the Latham raspberries in hills, provide a strong pole or stake to support the plants. For raspberry plants grown in rows, you can erect a trellis system for support using wires and posts with crossbars.
  • Beware of pests like cane borers and crown borers, as well as diseases like anthracnose and cane blight. Viruses are also a concern with Latham red raspberries, causing stunted and dwarfed growth with little fruit yield. Consult your local agricultural extension service to properly diagnose and treat pest and disease problems.

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