Raspberries

There are a number of slightly different raspberries that can be grown easily in a home garden or allotment, but the most common variety is the red, sometimes called European, raspberry. These delicious berries come in a range of varieties which fruit either in summer or autumn, so with the right plants you could have fresh raspberries between June and October.

Growing Raspberries:

Raspberries are delightfully easy. They will grow happily in any size of garden, or even in containers. Raspberries are usually planted from bare root canes in the winter or early spring. These can be planted into rows in planned raspberry bed.

While it is not absolutely necessary, to make your life immeasurably easier when it comes to netting fruit against birds and when it comes to harvesting the fruit, it is a good idea to give your raspberries some sort of support. The most common way is to tie them onto a frame. Depending on how much space you have you may wish to use a single fence, parallel wires or even just a single post to grow a few raspberry plants in a small space. You don't have to net your fruit, but if you don't you may find that birds eat all the fruit before you get the chance to even sample it.

It is a good idea to prune your raspberries every year as it will help make the plants healthy and the yields large. With summer fruiting varieties you should cut back the canes that have fruited directly after harvest, leaving the first year canes to fruit the following year. With autumn fruiting varieties, all the old canes should be cut back to ground level in February.

It is up to you how wild you would like your raspberry patch to be, but it is a good idea to thin suckers that form so there is not any overcrowding that could lead to some of the mould or fungal problems to which raspberries are susceptible. Be sure to water frequently if the weather is dry, but try to avoid watering leaves and fruit and just water the ground at the plant's base if at all possible.

Raspberries will grow in shady areas though fruit yield will be probably be higher in an area that gets plenty of sun. Plant garlic below raspberries to deter pests like the raspberry beetle. Another good idea is to lay a mulch over the summer months to decrease the rate of water lost from surrounding soil and to give nutrients to the plants.

Why grow raspberries in the garden?

Raspberries are a delicious and healthy addition to the repertoire of any home grower. They grow well in our climate and are brilliant at sending up new suckers meaning that once you have a patch established you will be unlikely to have to replenish your stock with new plants year after year.

Once you have established your raspberry patch it will likely reward you year after year with a handsome yield. You may even have a glut of raspberries on your hands – luckily, they freeze well and are also good for making preserves.

If you have chickens, a raspberry patch will be a good spot for them to escape the sun and have a dust bath – their droppings will help the raspberries to thrive. If treated correctly, raspberries could continue to produce fruit for as many as twenty years.

Quick Facts

Latin Name
Rubus idaeus