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Raspberries

Blowing raspberries at conventional fruit beds

Autumn-fruiting raspberries
Autumn-fruiting raspberries hold their own against a background of flowers

One big mistake I made in my experimental fruit/herbaceous border front garden was planting autumn-fruiting raspberries there.

I had planned to train the canes round in a circle – no such luck. The canes spread on long runners in whatever direction they please, leading to a look like brambles have taken over. A lesson learned.

Between November and March is the best time to plant or replant them. They’re shallow rooted, so it’s not difficult to move them.

It’s just as well, as I had to move them for the third time (along with long-suffering cherry Regina) to shoehorn my greenhouse into the garden.

Autumn-fruiting raspberries
Autumn-fruiting raspberries – very late on November 1

Raspberries like moisture-retentive, fertile, slightly acidic soils, which is a pain if you live in a hard water area like me and need to water them – use rainwater instead.

Plant in a sheltered, sunny position; although they will tolerate part shade. Raspberries can be bought as bare-root canes (cheaper) or in containers.

Space plants 45-60cm (18in–2ft) apart, then add a 7.5cm (3in) thick mulch of bulky organic matter.

In containers, plant three to a 30cm (12in) pot, using a loam and multi-purpose potting compost mix. Make sure plants are well fed and watered during summer.

In early March, apply slow-release general fertiliser and mulch with well-rotted organic matter.


potted-guide-logoPotted guide: autumn-fruiting raspberries

  •  PLANTING TIME: November-March (bare root); July-September (pot-grown).
  •  HARVESTING TIME: August-October.
  •  PLANTING DISTANCE: 45-60cm (18in–2ft) apart, with 7.5cm/3″ mulch; 3 canes to 30cm/12″ pot.
  • ASPECT AND SOIL: Full sun, moisture-retentive, slightly acidic soil; will tolerate some light shade.
  • HARDINESS: Hardy.
  • DIFFICULTY: Easy.
  • PRUNING: Cut back all canes to ground level in February. Reduce canes slightly in summer if they are overcrowded. No wires needed.
  • RECOMMENDED VARIETIES: Autumn Treasure; All Gold (yellow); Joan J; Polka; Black Jewel (black); Primeberry Autumn First; Primeberry Autumn Best; Frambeasy Autumn Amber (apricot).

potted-guide-logoPotted guide: summer-fruiting raspberries

  •  PLANTING TIME: November-March (bare root); July-September (pot-grown).
  •  HARVESTING TIME: June-early August.
  •  PLANTING DISTANCE: 45-60cm (18in–2ft) apart, with 7.5cm/3″ mulch; 3 canes to 30cm/12″ pot.
  • ASPECT AND SOIL: Full sun, moisture-retentive, slightly acidic soil; will tolerate some light shade.
  • HARDINESS: Hardy.
  • DIFFICULTY: Easy – but canes need support and pruning more complex.
  • PRUNING: Cut back fruited canes to ground level after harvesting. Select the strongest six to eight young canes, tie them in 8-10cm (3-4in) apart along wire supports or canes. Remove remaining young stems at ground level.
  • RECOMMENDED VARIETIES: Glen Moy; Glen Fyne; Ruby Beauty; Glen Ample; Tulameen; Valentina; Glen Coe (purple); Sanibelle; Willamette; Meeker.