Growing Raspberries

Choosing a Raspberry Variety

Growing in pots?

Pots are a good choice for raspberries, as you can bring the pots into a greenhouse or polytunnel in early autumn to extend the cropping season. But you need to choose the right variety. A bush variety, like Raspberry ‘Yummy’, is the best option. You won’t need to stake a bush raspberry, you can just plant it in a pot slightly bigger than the one the plant arrives in.

You can grow cane raspberries in pots as well, but you will need to choose larger pots for them.

Should I Choose Autumn or Summer Cropping Raspberries?

The first question is whether you want to be able to harvest your raspberries in early to midsummer, or from late summer to mid autumn. Perhaps both, in which case, choose both summer and autumn fruiting varieties.

The second question, is how confident you are with supports and pruning. As a very general rule, autumn raspberries require less effort to grow – they don’t need a support, and pruning is very straightforward. That said, summer raspberries are not challenging to grow and by planting in a triangle around a single stake, you can keep support systems simple (more on that below.)

Planting Raspberry Canes

Choosing the right site

  • Raspberries need fertile, neutral soil (pH of 6.0-6.7) with good drainage
  • Raspberries will do well in full sun in a sheltered spot that doesn’t get too windy. They will also do well with light shade at some point during the day.

Planting the canes

  • Plant the raspberry canes as soon as possible after receipt, in pots or beds, 45cm apart.
  • Depending on your order, you may find 3 canes growing in one pot – carefully tease these apart at the roots and separate them before planting.
  • We would recommend planting in a triangle, leaving 45cm between each plant. This way, you can put a 1m tall bamboo stake in the centre and tie the canes loosely together around the cane for support.

Supporting Summer Raspberry Varieties with a Stake

As mentioned above, the simplest way to support raspberry canes is by planting in a triangle with a bamboo stake in the centre, tying all three canes together loosely around the stake.

Growing Tips

  • In dry weather water the canes thoroughly once a week, especially during their first spring and summer.
  • Keep the area free of weeds, particularly during their first year.
  • Apply a mulch each winter and/or spring – well rotted manure or homemade compost is ideal.

Pruning Raspberries

  • To prune summer fruiting varieties, in August/September cut out the old canes (they will have turned brown at the base) and train in the new canes (green at the base), tying them to the supports.
  • To prune autumn fruiting varieties, in winter, cut back ALL canes to ground level, clearing the way for the new canes to grow and fruit in the following year.

Harvesting Raspberries

  • Fruits will ripen for harvesting at different times depending on whether they are summer or autumn cropping varieties.
  • The raspberries will keep longer if you pick them when they are dry
  • If you’d like to freeze the raspberries, do so on the same day that you pick them

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