There’s something a little magical about eating a bowl full of freshly picked raspberries, not to mention raspberry jams, pies, and crumbles.
Home-grown raspberries just taste better than the store-bought kind.
Growing your own raspberries is also significantly more affordable than buying them from a store.
Raspberry canes are even pretty simple to care for once you know how.
Ready to get started? These fertilizers will help make sure your soil has everything your raspberries need to give you a bumper crop this year.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- Why you need to fertilize your raspberries
- When and how to fertilize raspberry canes
- Which kinds of fertilizer work best for raspberries
- And Much More!
Below is a quick list of my favorite fertilizers for raspberries. Keep scrolling to learn more of my top tips to choose and use the best fertilizer for your raspberries
Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules
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Burpee Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer
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EcoScraps for Organic Gardening Berry Plant Food
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Southern Ag All Purpose Granular Fertilizer
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Down to Earth All Natural Acid Mix Fertilizer
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My Overall Top #1 Pick: Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules
Miracle-Gro is a well-known name in gardening circles, and for good reason! Their Organic Edibles fertilizer is one of the best performing fertilizers you can get for your home garden, and it works for a wide range of different crops.
This fertilizer will help show a huge improvement in your plants within as little as 7 days after you’ve fertilized. Its complete nutrient profile helps keep your plants, especially your raspberry canes, healthy and pest and disease-free.
I also really appreciate that this is an organic and eco-friendly option. The natural ingredients offer more complete nutrition for your raspberry plants, which translates to brighter better-looking, and better-tasting fruits. It’s eco-friendly formulation releases slowly, which provides consistent nutrition without damaging vital organics living in your soil.
Unlike a lot of overpowered unbalanced fertilizers, this formula will only help your soil.
I also love that Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules are designed specifically to support a bigger harvest. That way you can get more raspberries out of the canes you already have.
Better yet, you don’t need as much space to get a great raspberry harvest when you’re using this fertilizer.
Top 5 Best Fertilizer for Raspberries
In a hurry? Check out our top 5 picks below! Keep reading to learn more about these fantastic fertilizers!
- Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules (My Top Pick)
- Burpee Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer (Best Pick For Established Plants)
- EcoScraps for Organic Gardening Berry Plant Food (Best Eco-Friendly Pick)
- Southern Ag All Purpose Granular Fertilizer (Most Well-Rounded Nutrient Composition)
- Down to Earth All Natural Acid Mix Fertilizer (Most Convenient Pick)
Why Do You Need a High-Quality Fertilizer for Raspberries?
Raspberries are known for being a relatively low maintenance berry. They don’t need a lot of care and attention through the year, raspberry canes are hardy and resist most kinds of damage, and most varieties are self-spreading and don’t need any encouragement to colonize healthy soil next to the existing plants.
There are a few reasons you need to fertilize your raspberries, even with all those advantages the plants already have naturally.
The first is that raspberries can keep growing even when the soil isn’t great for them, but they won’t produce as many berries. Like most berry shrubs, raspberries produce the most fruit when conditions are good. They’ll dry up and produce poor harvests if they don’t have the nutrients they need.
Raspberry canes also don’t produce berries every year, much like blackberries, which you can also get specialized fertilizer for. Your canes have a two-year cycle. The first year of canes won’t produce fruit until they’ve matured into a second year. Only second-year canes are fruiting canes.
Why does it matter that raspberry canes have a two-year cycle?
Because raspberries need consistent nutrition the whole time or they might not produce as many berries.
Worse, malnourished raspberry canes might not survive the cold of the winter. If your canes don’t survive into their second year you won’t get a raspberry harvest.
It’s also important to make sure you’re getting a high-quality fertilizer that’s well-designed for raspberries.
Why is the quality of the fertilizer important?
Any time you’re fertilizing edibles, especially fruits, the quality of your soil and fertilizer will have a huge impact on the taste of your harvest. Plants that have the minerals and nutrients they need are able to invest more resources into growing their fruits. More resources mean larger fruits, a bigger harvest, and a sweeter better flavor in your raspberries. I notice a huge difference in taste when I fertilize my strawberries as well.
Raspberries also love acidic soil. In fact, one of the products on this list is a soil acidifier, which I also recommend as a blueberry fertilizer. Most berries enjoy acidic soil, and all of the fertilizers on this list are specially made for acid-loving plants.
High-quality fertilizers deliver nutrients more consistently over time. They also are better balanced for the fruit you’re growing and generally don’t include filler ingredients that don’t benefit your soil.
Not sure how to care for your raspberry plants? This video’s got you covered!
How to Pick the Best Fertilizer for Raspberries?
There are a few things you need to consider when you’re choosing the best fertilizer for raspberries. The content of the fertilizer is the most important factor, but there are a several other variables you should consider as well.
First, some fertilizer basics. Almost all fertilizers will tell you their ingredient ratios on the packaging in a series of three numbers. A general fertilizer will probably be 10-10-10, meaning that it has equal amounts of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Those three elements are the most important elements for plant growth. They are so important, in fact, that many horticulturists and gardeners call these elements the big 3.
A ‘complete’ fertilizer has some of all three elements. However, some fertilizers will only contain one or two of the three. Those fertilizers will generally have something like this, 5-6-0. The ‘0’ means none of that element is in the fertilizer.
The element content is important for raspberries, but the most important element is Nitrogen. Nitrogen encourages growth and healthy fruiting, so it’s important to look for a fertilizer that has high Nitrogen content.
Berry fertilizers also often have a high potassium ratio because berry shrubs do well with them, and the potassium tastes good and makes the berries even healthier to eat. Berry fertilizers often have element ratios that look like this: 7-6-9. That’s perfect, as long as Nitrogen is either the highest or second highest number.
Nitrogen always comes first, so that’s the number you should pay the most attention to. While you can always buy fertilizer, I would also consider a DIY approach, where you can make fertilizer with your own kitchen waste, which allows you to fully utilize in-home resources (trash you were going to throw away) and be in control of your fertilizer composition!
Do You Need Pesticides?
A lot of gardeners wonder if they need a fertilizer that includes pesticides or herbicides like you can buy for your lawn. Fortunately, raspberry plants are usually pretty good about taking care of themselves and don’t typically need chemical assistance. Keep an eye on your raspberry leaves for aphids, and you can buy ladybugs or praying mantis from your local garden nursery to help eliminate any pest-species you notice.
Raspberries also grow hardy root balls that make it hard for other plants to compete in their soil. Most of the time you don’t need to weed your raspberries, much less use an herbicide.
If you notice a lot of plants starting to compete with your raspberry plants you should perform a soil test to make sure they’re getting the right balance of nutrition and acidity in your soil.
Organic or Non-Organic Fertilizer?
For raspberries, I usually recommend sticking to an organic fertilizer simply because organic fertilizers are usually easier to manage. They’re a lot less likely to cause damage to your soil if you accidentally over-fertilize.
Organic fertilizers also tend to be safer for pets and small children (though you should always check because that isn’t a guarantee!)
But when it comes to your raspberries, they care a lot more about the quality of your fertilizer than whether it’s organic or not.
Organic fertilizers are made from 100% naturally sourced nutrients, and both plant and animal sources can be used.
Non-organic fertilizers can use manufactured chemicals that are produced in a lab, often mixed with some natural ingredients.
As long as your fertilizer is well balanced for raspberries, it’s up to you which kind of fertilizer you would prefer. However, if you choose a non-organic fertilizer make sure the label says that it’s environmentally friendly or your raspberry patch could hurt your local ecosystem.
My Reviews of the Best Fertilizer For Raspberries
1. Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules (My Top Pick)
This Miracle-Gro fertilizer is specifically designed to encourage your plants to grow a bigger crop, and it’s incredibly effective for your raspberries!
It’s a 7-6-9 mix, which offers relatively high nitrogen content, perfect for encouraging raspberry growth.
This fertilizer also has a complete profile of the less important nutrients found in your soil.
That’s important for getting great tasting fruits since the big 3 aren’t enough to give you good flavor.
More complete plant nutrition also helps your raspberries fend off insects and other kinds of pests.
One package of this fertilizer is good for about 220ft of planting. That’s a lot more space than your average raspberry patch needs, so you’ll likely have a little fertilizer left over for the rest of your garden.
The easy-shake container is also designed to help you apply the fertilizer evenly across the ground. You won’t need a separate spreader tool to apply this fertilizer. That makes it a good choice for gardeners who are just getting started, who don’t have a lot of space for extra gardening tools, or who like to keep things as simple as possible.
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ Good nitrogen content|
+ Increases the size of your harvest
+ Trusted brand
+ Good for all kinds of berries
|– Relatively small package (only 2.5 lbs)|
– Easy to overdose your plant because thee application is so easy
2. Burpee Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer (Best Pick For Established Plants)
I recommend Burpee Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer for pretty much any edible plant because it has such a high phosphorus content.
Phosphorus encourages flowering and subsequent fruiting, which is exactly what you want during harvest season.
For best results, apply a few weeks before the harvest. You’ll be canning raspberry jam for days!
The 6-8-0 NPK ratio isn’t too strong, and it has enough nitrogen to promote leaf growth at the same time.
It’s also all-natural, so you don’t have to worry if some gets onto your berries (you should definitely wash them, though!)
That being said, dogs love the smell of bonemeal, so make sure your furry friend can’t get near your bushes or the bag! It’s non-toxic, but could definitely cause an upset stomach.
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ High nitrogen and phosphorus content for well-rounded growth|
+ Improves crop yield
+ Won’t burn your plants
|– Dogs love the smell|
– Not a vegan or vegetarian product
3. EcoScraps for Organic Gardening Berry Plant Food (Best Eco-Friendly Pick)
EcoScraps is another excellent brand that really pays attention to environmental wellness and protection.
Their fertilizer is more than simply organic, it’s designed specifically to help protect and nurture the environment.
That means protecting the soil without damaging the organisms living in it or contaminating the local water table when the soil drains. EcoScraps accomplishes all of those goals with this fertilizer.
That’s one of the biggest reasons this fertilizer is my Top Contender. Its environmentally-conscious formula is impressive.
This formula is designed specifically for blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. That makes it a great fertilizer for your raspberry patch, especially since this organic fertilizer offers more nutrients than just the big 3 elements.
Speaking of the big 3, this fertilizer boasts a 4-5-4 formula. That’s a little different than most berry fertilizers, and I would have liked to see a higher nitrogen count.
That said, this fertilizer still performs incredibly well, even though it doesn’t use traditional element ratios. This fertilizer is a good option if you’re struggling to get a good raspberry crop with traditional fertilizers since it’s a little different and may have a different effect on your soil.
This fertilizer also has no added manure, which can make it a slightly safer option for pets and small children.
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ No added manure|
+ Organic fertilizer
+ Designed specifically for outdoor berry crops
+ Environmentally conscious formula
+ Easy application
|– This fertilizer’s element ratio may not be ideal for all soils|
4. Southern Ag All Purpose Granular Fertilizer (Most Well-Rounded Nutrient Composition)
This fertilizer is a little different from the three I’ve already reviewed.
Instead of a berry-specific formula, which usually have slightly lower amounts of the big 3 elements and a higher content of other trace elements, this fertilizer is a general fertilizer.
It’s complete and offers the highest balance of the big 3 elements, 10-10-10.
That’s because this is an agricultural fertilizer that’s designed to offer generally similar results no matter what kind of plant you’re growing.
It’s higher element content makes this fertilizer a good option if you’re starting with relatively poor soil conditions or don’t want to keep different fertilizers for different crops.
Fortunately, this fertilizer does still contain good ratios of the other trace elements, which makes it a good general option for raspberry plants. It’s also a good fertilizer if you’re only applying a single product and don’t want to add compost or other soil-boosters.
That said, this fertilizer’s more potent formula needs a little more care to be used safely. Too much fertilizer can cause problems for your raspberries, so make sure you don’t accidentally use too much!
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ General complete fertilizer|
+ Highest safe nitrogen content
+ Great for poor soil
+ Most well-rounded nutrient composition
+ Good as a standalone fertilizer
|– Too much fertilizer can easily burn or kill your raspberry plants.|
5. Down to Earth All Natural Acid Mix Fertilizer (Most Convenient Pick)
Down to Earth’s All Natural Acid Mix fertilizer might be a little more expensive than most fertilizers, but it’s well worth the extra cost if you need this kind of fertilizer.
You only need to apply it twice a year, which is why it’s earned the golden star for ‘Most Convenient’ product on this list.
This fertilizer is designed to do more than just adding nutrients back into the soil.
It’s also designed to slightly increase the acidity of your soil, which is perfect for growing raspberries.
Raspberry plants like soil that’s slightly more acidic than average, somewhere in the 5.0-6.5 range.
You should only use this fertilizer if you’ve had your soil tested and know that it has a neutral PH or is slightly alkaline, otherwise you might make your soil overly acidic.
That said, this fertilizer can be a real lifesaver for raspberry patches that need that change, and can make the difference between a tiny raspberry crop and an amazing crop.
This fertilizer is a 4-3-6 formula, which gives you good nitrogen content along with a lot of trace minerals and other critical nutrients. It’s a good balance overall.
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ Lowers Soil PH Slightly|
+ Good Big 3 Element Ratio
+ Good Nitrogen Content
+ Designed for berries
+ 2 in 1 product helps with multiple problems
|– Not good for already acidic soils|
– You need to test your soil every year before using this fertilizer
Of all the fertilizers I looked at, this product offered the best balance of qualities and ease of use. This fertilizer might not be designed specifically for berries, but you wouldn’t guess it based on the fertilizer’s on the ground performance!
I also really love how fast acting this fertilizer is, and how obvious it is when it starts working. This fertilizer really does encourage faster, healthier, greener growth in your plants.
Final Thoughts On The Best Fertilizer for Raspberries
Growing your own raspberries doesn’t have to be difficult, and you shouldn’t have to settle for tiny harvests year after year. All of these fertilizers will help you grow healthier plants and pick bigger harvests. I already love raspberries, but the taste of homegrown raspberries really can’t be beaten.
Of course, if you really want to get the best possible crop from your raspberry patch you should get the soil tested before choosing a fertilizer. That way you can choose the exact fertilizer that helps your soil most.