How to Grow Raspberries at Home
Raspberries are one of the traditional signs of an English summertime, they remind you of afternoons spent walking down country footpaths and stopping to sample the local brew and picking a few of nature’s sweets off of the bushes. It is no wonder that many people want to grow raspberries at home in their own garden.
There are a lot of different types of raspberries which you can grow at home and will fruit at different times of the year. You can harvest early in the summer, all the way through to mid-autumn.
When you grow raspberry plants at home, you do not need to have a vast crop to return an ample amount of fruit, which means they can be grown in nearly any garden, greenhouse or window box.
When to plant?
When you start to think about growing raspberries, you should definitely plant in early spring to make sure you give the plants the best chance of taking root and producing a bumper crop of fruit for you to enjoy.
Where to plant?
As with any other plant, you will want a weed free space which you have dug and rotated for a few weeks previously. It is vital to get an accurate planting depth on raspberries to make sure they stand a good chance of producing fruit. The old stems will already have a soil mark on them, showing how deep they were previously planted, you should match this level. This will involve a hole about 8cm deep, and once you have spread out the roots, you will need a width around 30cm.
What do you need?
The raspberry plants will progress best if they are given a support structure, you can use canes for this, but these should be inserted about 40cm apart, making sure the plants have sufficient room to grow.
You could even create a wire structure, using two large fence posts dug into the ground about 3 meters apart. Then using a galvanised wire create a ladder with steps around 70cm, 100cm and 160cm. This will provide the framework for the plants to grow up while still receiving the support they need.
If you do not have the space or the ability to dig two fence posts into your garden, you can achieve a frame by using just one and placing two raspberry plants at the bottom of the stake. The plants can then spread up the post and achieve a great visual effect.
Any essential techniques I should know?
- Your plants should be about 45-60cm apart to allow for the roots to fully take and space out.
- The plants should run in a north-south line, to avoid them shading each other.
- Raspberry plants need annual pruning to ensure they provide a good crop year after year.
- You must keep raspberries well watered when the garden is experiencing a dry spell. The plants should be damp nearly all of the time.
- A raspberry plant will need a lot of food and water. You should ensure that you have prepared the soil with mulch and granular fertiliser before you plant your new crop.
- Keep the soil topped up with a general purpose granular fertiliser during the spring months and then add further farmyard manure as needed.
When do I harvest the fruit?
You should regularly pick off the fruit from all your raspberry plants when it is firm to the touch. Gently pull the raspberry from the plant, making sure that you leave the plug behind. This is the essential part of the fruit that you do not want to ruin.
If you have planted a crop of a summer variety, they will be ready to harvesting around the start of early summer. If you have planted an autumn variety, these will be ready later on in the year and will be ready to be picked towards the end of summer.
You do not have to eat the lovely summer fruits straight away. Whilst it is true that they will make a great summer desert with a sprinkling of cream or a huge dollop of ice-cream, you could freeze them for later on in the year, bake them in a strudel or summer berry pie.
A lot of people will plant a raspberry plant with the express intention of making home their own preserves. The only issue you will face when you are finding the perfect recipe, will be the quantity of fruit it requires. You will probably need to stock pile for a few days in order to be able to meet this need and not decimate your plants.
Overall planting a raspberry plant at home in your garden is a great idea and it will need very little maintenance to produce a great crop fit for any dining table.