Raspberries

Raspberry Cultivation

Sites and Soils

  • Full sun or partial shade (where plants are shaded no more than half a day)
  • Sheltered from strong winds and avoid sites prone to late frosts
  • Choose a site which has not grown fruit before (if this is unavoidable, add mycorrhizal fungi when planting)
  • A well-drained, slightly acidic (PH 6.0-6.5) moist soil is ideal
  • Growing in rows makes it easier to pick, support and weed the plants. They will soon spread to make a continuous row

Preparing the soil for planting

  • Prepare a trench by digging out soil about 18" wide and 9" deep, removing weeds and stones and breaking up the soil
  • Fork in a 3"-4" layer of garden compost of well-rotted manure

Planting

  • Dig a hole big enough to accomodate the root ball and spread the roots out if possible
  • Position canes and backfill with soil. Firm in gently
  • Apply well-rotted manure or compost after planting and a dressing of general fertiliser (growmore or chicken pellets) in early spring

Distances

  • Space plants 40cm-60cm (16"-24") apart
  • Space rows 2m-3m (6.51-10') apart

Containers

  • Raspberries are not suitable to grow in containers

 

Care of Raspberries During the Year

Winter

  • Ensure long canes are securly tied
  • February/early March, cut down the old fruited stems of Autumn fruiting varieties to ground level

Spring

  • Keep weeds down by hand to aoid damaging the canes
  • New canes will begin to grow from April. Remove any not required, or in the wrong place
  • Cut off old stubs from canes planted previous Autumn
  • Apply a mulch of organic compost or straw in May to keep weeds down and conserve moisture. Apply a general fertiliser

Summer

  • Thin canes if crowded, leaving strongest intact. Aim to leave 12 canes per metre (3') for summer-fruiting raspberries, 10-12 for Autumn fruiting
  • Tie in new growth to prevent wind damage
  • Water well in hot weather
  • Canes will start fruiting in their second year after planting
  • Pick regularly in hot weather
  • Remove damaged/fotten fruit promptly
  • Netting may be necessary to protect fruit from birds

Autumn

  • Harvest Autumn fruiting raspberries
  • Complete all tying in of summer fruiting raspberries
  • Leave canes of Autumn fruiting canes loosely supported until cutting fown in February/March

 

Support Systems for Raspberries

Summer Fruiting

  • A post and wire system is ideal for a continuous row of raspberries
  • Stout posts 2m-2.5m (6.5'-8') are driven into the ground space 5m-8m (16'-26') apart along the row
  • Two tiers of galvanised wire should be fastened to the post at heights of 0.6m-1m (2'-3') and 1.4m-1.8m (5'-6')
  • Secure the canes to the top wire at 7-10cm (3"-4") intervals
  • In February trim the canes back to a height of 7cm (3") above the top wire. This removes any damage to cane tips
  • Use twine, clips or soft jute string to tie canes into position 

Autumn Fruiting

  • These raspberries tend to produce a lot of cane so double post framework or "double fence" is a good system to keep the canes supported. This provides a parallel set of posts and wires either side of the crop and the canes growing in between them
  • Where space is at a premium it is possible to plant raspberries in small clusters, e.g. two canes planted either side of a single supporting post

 

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