When you want to grow your own patch of raspberry plants, one way to do it is from seeds.
It takes a little more patience but the rewarding harvest that goes with it is worth the wait. Just know that you’ll be looking at a bit more effort in order for a good crop of berries to grow.
Purchasing seeds is definitely the cheapest way to go but remember that they do require that extra bit of patience and time to mature them to the point that they’ll produce fruit.
If you want a quick berry harvest sooner, then it’s best to get cuttings from healthy plants or buy fresh root stock from a local grower in your area or buy canes from Amazon, here are red, yellow and purple canes for sale.
It’s best to start with seeds that are bred to withstand your local climate and winters as well.
You can, of course buy packages of raspberry seeds online or you can also harvest your own seeds from actual organic berries that you buy from the local market. The berries must be non-hybrid, preferably organic and non-GMO.
If you can manage not to eat them all, then what you do is mash the berries in a fine mesh sieve like this one that has a wide mouth so you can spread the seeds out and see them nicely.
Carefully separate out the brownish coloured seeds that are now easy to see in the red mashed berries. Rinse them off and then let them dry.
Some seeds are very enthusiastic! I’ve had new raspberry plants sprout on their own in the garden just from the raspberries that fell off the other plants during the growing season.
I live in quite a warm area though where the winters don’t get very cold at all, which is the key I think. It probably wouldn’t work like that if you have very cold winters in your area.
Please be careful buying raspberry seeds on Amazon (or online in general). Do separate research on the seed company itself before you buy, read reviews and try to find out where they ship from. In my research, I found that a lot of seeds are quietly shipped from China and have a very low germination rate.
Search for companies that have good reviews from other gardeners. I’ve found that DH Seeds on Amazon.com ships from within the USA and has a decent success rate for germination.
These instructions are for sprouting seeds in the spring outside if you live in a reasonably warm region. There are detailed instructions here on how to sprout raspberry seeds through the winter.
The supplies you’ll need are:
- Sterile, low nutrient seed starting mix
- Plastic pots or a seed starting tray
- Peat pellets and empty trays
- Raspberry seeds (of course!)
- Plastic bag
- Clean sand
Prepare your planting spot for the seeds first, moisten the peat disks or fill the plastic pots with the seed starting mix, you’ll want to choose low-nutrient starting mix for this.
Once the peat pellets have absorbed water and expanded, they should be soft and easy to put seeds into. They’ll look a lot like the image.
Put two or three seeds in each pot or peat pellet. Place seeds 1″ apart if you’re using some other type of seed tray.
Use a pencil to push them down in to the soil about ½” deep. Once planted, put a thin layer of sand over the seeds and then set them in a sheltered spot outside.
Keep the soil surface slightly moist with water from a spray bottle. Remember that raspberries don’t need a lot of water, so err on the side of caution and don’t spray them too much. After about four weeks of care the seeds should start to germinate. It could take as long as six weeks to see the first ones sprout though, be patient.
Keep an eye on the weather outside and when it reaches 60° F minimum and stays above that then you can move your seeds in the garden.
It’s ok to begin transplanting them to the garden, raised bed or container when they are about 1″ tall and have started to show their first set of leaves.
The young raspberry shoot will have leaves that look a lot like this in the image to the right, but without the brown stick.
It’s imperative that you don’t reuse any soil that’s been used recently for:
Peppers (any type)
This includes any of these things planted in the soil within the last three years. These plants leave behind diseases such as Verticillium wilt that the raspberry plants are likely to pick up.
The Long Wait
Keep in mind that during the 4 to 6 weeks the new raspberry babies don’t need a ton of water, especially if you live in an area that gets spring rain.
Watch them, make sure pests don’t find them and then they should take off and grow quite quickly once the temperature climbs and stays above 65° – 70° F.
Good luck with your raspberry seeds! Let me know if you need help with them.
Featured Image: garden.lovetoknow.com