Growing Berries in Your Backyard
Raspberries require full sun for best growth and fruit production, but most cultivars may need some afternoon shade for best performance in California's hot interior valleys. Like blackberries, raspberries do well in a variety of soil types, but perform best in well-drained, sandy loam or loam soils with a pH of 5.5 to 7.0. The soil should be well-drained to at least 2 feet deep. If the soil surface is compacted, or if hardpan is present in the top 2 feet of soil, the soil must be broken up or else roots will not grow and water will not drain properly. Alternatively, use raised beds or mounds to provide adequate soil for root growth. A bed approximately 2 feet wide and 8 to 10 inches high works well for raspberries. Incorporate about 1 pound per square foot of fully decomposed organic matter such as compost into the soil before making raised beds. Compost or other decomposed organic matter benefits all soils by improving aeration and drainage, and increasing the water-holding capacity.