Should I grow autumn or summer raspberries?

The main difference, as you can probably guess, is that summer raspberries produce fruit in the summer, and autumn raspberries produce fruit from late summer through autumn. There are some other differences, too, which may sway your decision as to which you grow:

  • Summer raspberries crop heavily for a short time, whereas autumn raspberries crop more steadily over a longer period.
  • Summer raspberries, as a general rule, are bigger plants and require a support system of horizontal wires, whereas autumn raspberries are smaller and more or less self-supporting (If they do need support it will be minimal – eg a single cane/wire)
  • Summer raspberries grow on the canes that grew LAST year, whereas autumn raspberries grow on canes from THIS year.
  • When it comes to pruning summer raspberries, you will cut back the old woody stems leaving the new green stems to grow. With autumn raspberries, you cut the whole plant right back.
  • Summer raspberries can get munched by raspberry beetle, whereas autumn raspberries tend to fruit after the beetle maggots have matured.

You might be guessing by now, that autumn raspberries are a little easier to grow if you are new to growing fruit. Once you’ve got a year or two under your belt, it’s well worth adding a few summer fruiting raspberry plants to your fruit garden as well – you’ll get a bumper crop and imagine all the jam!!