How to plant your own raspberries

John Shannon. INLT 13-802-CON'
John Shannon. INLT 13-802-CON'

Growing your own raspberries is very easy and it’s a great feeling to go into the garden and pick them fresh. They taste much better that way.

Now is a good time to plant raspberries and we have various varieties now in stock. Some are summer fruiting and some are autumn fruiting.

Raspberries come in bundles of five canes in a pot and look just like sticks.

When planting, use well rotted manure or compost in the planting hole. Canes should be spaced 45cm apart in a row and 1.8m between each row.

Raspberries like a sunny position, but will tolerate a little shade. The soil should be not too rich but well drained. Once planted, cut the cane back to almost ground level to stimulate dormant buds in the root system and send up suckers which will form the canes for fruiting in the second year.

Autumn fruiting canes will bear fruit in the first year. After planting, water well and use a dressing of potash, which should be used every March.

Pruning is very important for raspberries, but can be confusing. Summer fruiting varieties should be cut down to the ground after the crop has been picked: the new canes will produce fruit the following year. Autumn fruiting varieties bear fruit August to September and once the crop is picked, cut the canes back to ground level early in the New Year.

It is good practice to put up a support system for the raspberries. Put in a post at the ends of the rows and run wire along to tie in the raspberries loosely as they grow. Canes growing away from the main row can be pruned out.

Raspberry canes can produce good crops for up to 12 years, as long as they are kept well watered and fed during the growing season.

Don’t forget, a fruit cage might be necessary so as not share the raspberries with our feathered friends.

Good luck with raspberries

John