Growing raspberries

Growing raspberries in your garden is easy and can bring indefinite fruits to your table once it is properly cared for. You should know the variety suitable for you before growing raspberries.

There are two types of raspberries: summer-bearers bear one crop per season, in summertime. Ever-bearers bear two crops, one in summer and one in fall. The latter is ideal for growing in containers on the patio as they don't need supporting. They are also great for beginner gardeners as the pruning is very simple.

Once you have decided which type of raspberry to grow, plant it in the early spring on a fertile, well-drained soil. Choose a sunny spot for your raspberry, although shading is tolerated but likely to produce lesser fruits than those grown under full sun.

Here are the other requirements in growing raspberries:

  • A couple of weeks before planting, you should prepare the soil by adding aged manure or compost.
  • Space plants about 3 feet apart, in rows 8 feet apart. Plant far from wild growing berries to prevent the spread of pests and diseases to your garden.
  • Try soaking the roots for an hour or two before planting as raspberries love moisture.
  • Summer-fruiting raspberries will need supporting by a fence, wall or other type of framework as they can grow to 1.5m tall. Autumn-fruiting raspberries are normally fine without a support. Establish you support system on the time of planting to avoid disturbing the plant as it matures.
  • After planting, cut back the canes of your raspberry plant leaving 8 to 10 inches.
  • Water your raspberry regularly with one inch per week and mulch around the plant to conserve moisture and keep weeds away.
  • Nourish your raspberries regularly with a high potassium fertilizer throughout the growing season to encourage lots of fruit.
  • Prune in the fall. Leave about 6 of the thickest, strongest green canes and cut off all canes that grow sideways. Take note that ever-bearers require less care and pruning is not required for this type in its growing season.
  • Most varieties will begin to produce fruit in their second season. Berries will ripen over a time of about 2 weeks in the early summer. You will need to pick berries every couple of days and keep bumper crops in the refrigerator where they can stay fresh for up to 5 days.