What a treat to be able to pick and grow your own raspberries in your own garden or allotment. Like strawberries they are an unforgettable reminder of summer. They are a versatile fruit that can be used to make delightful puddings and tasty home-made jam.
Raspberries can be picked right the way through from summer through to late autumn. However one of the very first things to understand about raspberries is there are two different types. The first category is the summer fruiting varieties that are biennial. This means that the canes grow one year and fruit on that same cane the following year. Autumn fruiting varieties grow and fruit in the same season. This is an important point to understand when buying your raspberry canes from the garden centre.
Summer fruiting varieties will need a strong support system. Two sturdy stakes with three wires evenly placed should be adequate for the canes. After fruiting the old canes are cut out and the new canes tied in and supported ready for next year.
Autumn fruiting raspberries are quite sturdy and do not need to be trained and tied in the same fashion as their summer fruiting cousins. Keep an eye on them and if they do need some support tie them around a post to support them but do not restrict them.
The Raspberry Calendar
November to March: Prepare the area where your raspberries are intending to go remove all weeds and add plenty of well-rotted manure to the bottom of the trench. Plant your container grown or bare rooted canes 45cm (18 “) apart in a row. As long as the ground is not frozen the canes can go in at any time during these months.
February: Prune autumn fruiting raspberries by cutting the canes back to the ground.
April: Add a balanced fertiliser around the plants.
June: The first summer fruiting raspberries can be harvested.
July: Summer fruiting raspberries will be in full flow.
August: The last of the summer fruiting raspberries will need to be picked and the very first of the autumn varieties will start to be ready.
September: Once the summer fruiting varieties have finished being harvested cut back the canes to ground level. The new canes will have presented themselves by now and these should be tied in to replace the old canes. This will be next year’s fruit.
October: Finish harvesting from your autumn fruiting varieties.