Nothing can beat the taste of raspberries picked straight from the garden or allotment. They are not difficult to grow as long as they are planted on well drained soil. There are varieties of raspberry which fruit either in summer or autumn, so by choosing different varieties you can prolong your cropping season.
We stock a number of varieties which will give a long season of fruiting. Please ask a member of staff for details.
The most popular system of supporting raspberries is called “hedgerow” system. Use 22.5m (8ft) long x 75mm(3in) posts driven 75cm(30in) into the soil at each end of the row. Supporting struts should be placed at each end. Using galvanised 12 gauge wire, string one row at the top and two at the half way mark. Canes are planted 35-45cm (14-18in) apart. The space between rows depends on the variety, 1.5-2m (5-6ft) for summer fruiting varieties and 2m (6ft) for autumn fruiting ones which often do not need support as their canes are short and sturdy. Tie the canes in as they grow.
To ensure a good crop you will need to control the number of canes produced, with the hedgerow system this is 10 per metre. Any excess canes can be pulled or cut out in early May and again in mid June.
Preparing the soil before planting allows you to make sure that conditions are right for your plants. To encourage good root growth the soil surrounding the planting hole needs to be good enough to entice the roots out from the planting hole. Improve the fertility of the soil by incorporating fertilisers such as Fish, Blood & Bone, Growmore or Vitax Q4. Organic matter can be added, J.Arthur Bower’s Mulch & Mix, New Horizon Multi-Purpose Compost or Farmyard Manure will all add bulky organic matter to the garden.
- Dig the rows deep enough to allow the surface of the root ball to be level with the surrounding soil.
- If the sides of the trench are compacted, break the soil up with a fork.
- Rootgrow™ can be added to the base of the trench at this stage. This is a mycorrhizal fungi which helps the root system grow.
- Making sure your plants are well watered, remove them from the pot and gently tease the roots out from the root ball.
- Refill the trench, carefully making sure that soil goes between the roots eliminating any air pockets.
- Gently firm, but do not compact the soil.
Top dress in the spring and throughout the growing season with organic fertilizers such as J. A. Bowers Fish, Blood & Bone or granular fertilizers such as Vitax Q4 or Growmore. To do this, simply scatter a handful of your chosen fertilizer around the stem of the plant and cover over with a layer of compost.
For the first two seasons watering is all important in getting the plant established. Check regularly that the roots are moist. Light rain in summer does not penetrate down to the roots, and dry windy conditions will lead to water shortages for the plants. Try to anticipate water loss rather than waiting for the plants to show signs of stress.
Keep other plants away from your newly planted raspberry canes. Hoeing will keep the weeds down and mulching will help in both controlling weeds and grass but also in keeping in the moisture in the soil. Keep the mulch away from the base of woody plants to help prevent rotting of the bark.
Seasonally these plants are available in our Hardy Plant Department. Please speak to one of our plant experts for availability and advice.