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Growing raspberries in your garden will supply you with a crop of tart but sweet fruits that are a wonderful snack or will add a delicious flavour to your summer dishes and drinks. So, find out how to grow your own raspberries at home.

Raspberries grow on canes and can fruit for over 10 years – they’re a brilliant investment! By growing autumn-fruiting varieties as well as summer-fruiting ones, you can have harvests of raspberries from June until October.

The name for raspberries may come from the mid-15th Century word raspise, which means ‘a sweet rose-coloured wine’.

Growing

Before growing, decide if you are growing summer fruiting or autumn fruiting raspberries. Summer-fruiting (floricane) flower and fruit on the previous season’s growth. The fruited canes should be cut back to ground level after harvesting is done, don’t leave a stub.

An early summer-fruiting cultivar is ‘Glen Moy’ that has great flavoured fruits and a heavy crop. For an early-mid season harvest, ‘Malling Jewel’ is a great pick.

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On the other hand, autumn-fruiting (primocane) should be cut down to ground level in February, and in summer canes can be cut back slightly if the growth is overcrowded. ‘Polka’ is a fantastic choice, with fruit right from mid-summer up until the first frosts – what a treat!

Firstly, these berries prefer a moisture-retentive, fertile soil that’s slightly acidic, in a sunny position. However, they can tolerate partial shade. Due to the dormant period in the chillier months, bare-root plants can be planted between October and April.

When planting, it’s a good idea to plant them in rows that run from North to South so that they don’t shade each other, because they grow tall.

Their tall growth means you should have support in place.

To plant, add well-rotted manure and general fertiliser or fish blood and bone to the site. Then, plant with 45-60cm apart, adding a thick mulch of organic matter. Once planted, prune the canes to within 25cm of the ground.

Also, keep the compost moist and during growing season feed with a liquid general-purpose fertiliser monthly.

Care for your crops

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Pruning regularly will lead to healthier plants and great crops. With your summer-fruiting raspberries, once harvesting is done cut the fruit canes to ground level. As new canes develop, tie them in, pruning out any week shoots.

On the other hand, autumn-fruiting varieties produce canes that flower and fruit the same year, so should be cut down in winter.

To protect your crops from peckish birds, cover them with nets.

On a dry day, harvest the berries and either eat them fresh, freeze them, or make them into jellies or jam.

Container growing

If you have a balcony or patio garden, raspberries can be grown in containers. A single raspberry plant can be grown in a container filled with all-purpose compost, with bamboo canes for support.

Keep the compost moist and try to water with rainwater if your areas tap water is hard.

Lavender-sprigs-in-lemon-drink

Full of goodness

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Raspberries are a brilliant berry. As a kid, my dad grew raspberries in the garden and now we have raspberries at home too, and our kids love them.

You can pick them and eat them fresh from your garden. What’s more, they will provide your body with nutrients such as vitamin C and manganese, as well as vitamin K, which supports strong bones.

Types to try

• ‘All Gold’ produces bright yellow fruits, for something a little bit different, not only do they have a striking appearance, but they have a strong smell and sweet flavour too.

• ‘Autumn Bliss’ is an autumn-fruiting variety that fruit large, deep-red raspberries with a firm texture and wonderful taste.

• ‘Malling Jewel’ is a great compact crop for raspberries in early summer with delicious flavour.

Lavender-sprigs-in-lemon-drink

Add growing raspberries to your list of things to do this year and you will continue to benefit from the goodness of the fruit and their wonderful tastes.

Find out more about fruit you can grow at home:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas:

growing
Growing fruit & veg
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Pinterest Board


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