If you live in Texas then you’ll know that things get a little heated, especially in summer.
So many of us love raspberries for their sweet, tart taste but raspberries grow best at a climate between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
The average summer temperature in Texas can easily exceed 100 degrees!
However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to grow raspberries in Texas.
If you take good care of the plants and follow the tips in this guide, you’ll find that your raspberries thrive.
It’s also really important to choose the right type of raspberries that will do well in the Texas climate.
Choosing The Right Cultivar
Before you do anything else, you should spend a bit of time thinking about the best variety of raspberry to grow at home in Texas.
This is such a huge state that some areas have a different climate to others.
You’ll find a lot of different growing zones throughout the state so it’s worth checking where you are to find the most suitable plant. Doing this is one of the best ways to ensure success.
Did You Know? The most commonly grown raspberry in Texas is the Dorman Red.
However, while it does do well here, it does need a lot of TLC if it’s going to thrive.
When the fruits come through, they’ll be big, firm and very sweet which is another reason why it’s such a popular choice.
If you want to grow Dorman Red then it’s best to do so in zones 4 to 8. That said, there are some people in zone 9, in the Houston area that have seen success when the area is carefully prepared.
According to Mississippi State University, the Dorman Red is ideal for Texas as it is largely drought resistant as well as being resistant to disease and heat.
Other Raspberry Varieties
However, there are other varieties that will do well in Texas, depending on where you are.
For example, the Oregon 1030 world well in zones 6 through 8 as does the Southern Bababerry.
That said, you probably will need to pay a little closer attention to these cultivars and make sure that they get plenty of shade during the afternoon…but more on light conditions later.
In some cases, you may find that the Sunmer variety of raspberry does well in certain parts of Texas, particularly in zones 6 to 8.
Again, taking good care of the plant and providing optimum conditions will give you a higher chance of success.
Finally – If you want a super sweet type of raspberry that is easy to grow in Texas then choosing the Caroline cultivar will work well.
These raspberries are normally grown in zones 5 to 9, especially in places like Florida.
They do very well in Southern parts of Texas and don’t mind heat or humidity. However, you’ll need to pay close attention to the soil type as it’s vastly different in Texas compared to Florida.
What’s The Best Time To Plant Raspberries In Texas?
As well as choosing the right type of raspberries to grow in Texas, you’ll also need to make sure that you plant them at the right time.
You’ll find that nurseries have raspberries plants in twice each year and there are two different sorts.
You can get potted canes which you can buy all throughout fall and into the early part of winter.
There are also bare root bushes and these normally come into nurseries in the spring. Whichever you buy, you’ll need to make sure you plant it at the same time as it is being sold.
However, it’s again worth considering which part of Texas you live in as the climate will play a part in which type is better for you.
If you’re in the central part of the state then planting in fall is probably a better idea.
This is because of the less intense temperatures and even through winter, the plants will do well as things are still pretty mild.
If you do choose a spring variety then you need to keep in mind that your watering schedule over summer will need to be strict and regular.
Should I Grow The Raspberries From Seed?
You absolutely can grow raspberries from seed but you should be aware that this requires a lot more attention and a good degree of patience.
That’s because you won’t see any fruit for at least 18 months when growing raspberries from seed.
If you do want to then you’ll need to use seed starting cells and plant just before winter.
Over the course of the cool season, make sure to keep the cells outdoors or indoors without heating. You’ll want to make sure that the seedling gets plenty of light and water.
Getting The Soil Conditions Right
One of the major problems with growing raspberries in Texas is that the soil isn’t the most favorable for these types of plants.
In most places, there is a lot of hard clay and this does nothing for the growth of raspberries.
However, that doesn’t mean that it’s an impossibility. This is where that extra attention we talked about comes into play.
You’ll need to modify the soil and provide the best conditions for the raspberry bushes. The best type of soil is one that is moist but well-drained.
The good news is that changing up the soil isn’t a huge challenge. One of the best things you can do is to grow your raspberries in a raised bed.
Works Well – If you don’t want to or can’t do this then you might consider adding a good quality organic compost to the existing soil along with some mulch.
Around three inches of mulch is ideal and this will ensure that the soil doesn’t lose moisture.
It’s also worth testing the pH levels of the soil.
Raspberries do well in soil that has a pH of around 6.0. If yours is outside of this, you can alter it by adding things like sulfur and pine needles to increase the acidity.
How To Plant Raspberries In Texas
Now that you’ve got your soil spot on, it’s time to plant your raspberry bushes.
How you do this will vary depending on whether you’re planting a potted plant or a bare root plant. Although the two aren’t hugely different.
With both types of plant, you’ll need to:
- Dig a hole that is a little larger than the root ball.
- Make sure that the roots don’t coil when you put the plant in and then fill the hole up with native soil.
- Once the plant is in, give it a good water to get things started.
The main difference between planting a bare root and a potted plant is that a bare root plant will need to have the root ball soaked in water for at least three hours before planting.
This is to ensure that the roots are fully hydrated before going into the ground so it’s a step that you absolutely should not miss out.
Support For Raspberry Bushes
One of the things that you have to watch about raspberry bushes is their growth pattern; it’s pretty erratic!
If you do not offer the correct support then the plants will be all over the place so using something like a cane is ideal.
If you prefer, you can shop online or at your local garden center for a raspberry trellis kit.
These are easy to assemble and provide excellent support for your plants. That said, it’s just as easy to make your own support if you fancy a quick DIY project.
The Best Light Conditions For Raspberries In Texas
Choosing the right light conditions for your raspberry bushes is essential if you want them to thrive.
However, the afternoon sun in Texas can get pretty intense so a lot of experts would encourage keeping the plants in part shade in the afternoon.
That said, most varieties of raspberry do prefer to be in full sun. It very much depends on where you are and what the local climate is like.
It is possible for raspberries to become sun burned but since they typically need between six and eight hours of sunlight a day, you could split this, giving the plants a break partway through the day.
Watering Your Raspberry Plants
As we have discussed, Dorman Red is one of the best raspberry varieties to grow in Texas.
Once it is established, it’ll stand up to heat and drought very well. But that isn’t to say that you can ignore its water needs.
When you initially plant the bush, you’ll need to make sure to water it at least once a year during its first year.
If there is any chance of the plant becoming scorched in the hot summer, you’ll need to water more frequently to keep it hydrated.
However, after this, Dorman Red especially, will take good care of its own water needs. That’s as long as there isn’t a severe drought, in which case, you’ll need to pay closer attention to watering.
Feeding Your Raspberry Bushes
Watering is important for your raspberry bushes but feeding is just as essential.
If you want to save time then we would recommend using an organic fertilizer. However, if you’re happy to do a little extra work then you might not need to feed the plants at all.
By Adding Compost – You reduce the need to fertilize the raspberries.
This is because, when the soil is healthy, there are plenty of nutrients to feed the plant without you having to worry.
Do I Need To Prune My Raspberry Plants?
When you’re growing raspberry bushes, you will need to prune them from time to time.
This is mainly to get rid of any diseased or dead canes. How often you need to do this will depend on the variety of raspberry you’re growing.
In any case, regular pruning will ensure that the plant continues to grow well.
If you neglect to prune your raspberry plants then the result will be tangled canes and an overgrown bush.
It’s best to cut back smaller or weaker parts of the plant but we’d also suggest taking around three inches off the top of the bush if it gets much taller than 30 inches.
Harvesting Your Raspberries
Now for the fun part…harvesting your raspberries.
These fruits are not only delicious but packed with goodness and are incredibly versatile.
The plants will flower around early spring but you’ll need to wait for another two or three weeks before you are rewarded with any ripe fruit.
You’ll see that the berries are ready when they can be easily plucked from the stem. If you have to force them, give them a little longer.
Texas has a hot climate that isn’t suitable for growing all types of plants.
Since raspberries prefer slightly cooler temperatures, you could be forgiven for thinking that you can’t grow them if you live in Texas.
That isn’t the case. There are some cultivars that grow very well in Texas and as long as you provide the right care, you’ll have a beautiful spring harvest of sweet, tasty raspberries.