How to Grow Raspberries


raspberries bear red fruit but a few have white or yellow
berries. Most ripen in July, some in September or October,
and some in either season according to when they are
pruned. For varieties fruiting in summer, pruning is
carried out immediately picking has finished, the old
canes being cut out completely and replaced by the new
canes from the perennial rootstock which will then fruit
the next year. With autumn-fruiting varieties the fruited
canes are cut back during the dormant season (usually
in February) and the new canes which appear in spring
will fruit in the autumn of the same year (for individual
varieties see table: ‘A selection of raspberries’).

A selection of raspberries

Fair flavor -Larger fruits, heavier cropper than Malling Promise, to which otherwise very similar Vigorous- Heavy cropper. Good flavor
Very vigorous-Large fruits of good flavour
Outstanding flavor-Specify ‘New Zealand’ strain
Moderately vigorous- Fairly large berries of good flavor
Vigorous- Large fruit, good flavor
Fairly vigorous- Very fair flavor. Some berries large. Good variety for heavy land
Very vigorous-Heavy cropper. Fruit firm with acid flavor. Good for preserving
Vigorous- Large berries
Vigorous-Good cropper. Pleasant flavor. Bright red berries of medium size


are very subject to virus diseases but the health of
commercial stocks has been greatly improved in recent
years by the scheme of inspection and certification
carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries
and Food. For this reason it is particularly important
to start by planting only canes obtained from a completely
reliable source.

do best in full sun but this condition is not always
easily provided in a small suburban garden and, if necessary,
the fruit will tolerate some slight shade. The most
important more acid soil than most. In an alkaline soil,
raspberries are seriously affected by iron and manganese

the bed
Although a well-drained soil is essential
for success, a sandy soil will need to have plenty of
organic matter incorporated in preparation. Raspberries
need a plentiful supply of moisture throughout the growing

is sound practice to dig over the prospective raspberry
bed during the summer prior to planting; taking particular
care to pick out the roots of all perennial weeds which
may be encountered. Bindweed and couch grass are often
a cause of much trouble and, because raspberries are
shallow rooters, deep cultivation after planting is

A generous
amount of rotted garden compost or farmyard or stable
manure should be worked in as digging proceeds -up to
5kg (10lb) per sq. m sq. yd), more on sandy soils. Provided
the soil is definitely acid, matured mushroom bed compost
may be used with advantage but this material is slightly
alkaline and should, therefore, be avoided if the soil
is already neutral or nearly so. To insure against any
possible shortage of phosphates, also dig in a dressing
of 28g (1oz) per sq. m sq. yd) of superphosphate.


the bed
After planting the supply of organic matter
and plant foods in the soil will be maintained by an
annual mulch of farmyard or stable manure at a rate
of about 2.5kg (51b) per sq. m (sq. yd). Where natural
manure is unobtainable peat or straw may be used instead
to supply organic matter plus a spring dressing of 28g
(1oz) of sulphate of ammonia, 28g (1oz) of superphosphate
and 14g (0.5oz) of sulphate of potash, per sq. m sq.
yd), to provide necessary nutriment. An excess of nitrogen
will stimulate the growth of the canes but without any
corresponding increase in the crop. A deficiency of
potash, on the other hand, will soon show itself in
reduced yield. Incidentally, the site, soil and manurial
requirements of the raspberry apply equally to all other
cane fruits.

may be planted either in the open or
against a fence or wall. In the latter case, the canes
can be secured simply by lengths of strong string tied
to staples at the ends of the row and at intervals of
46cm (18in) or so. A freestanding row, however, will
require substantial posts at each end of the row and
these should be put in before planting. Concrete or
angle iron posts make a good permanent job and should
be embedded in concrete. Struts should be arranged on
the inner sides of the posts to take the strain. Two
lengths of gauge 12 or 14 galvanized wire will be required
at 0.6m (2ft) and at 1.3m (3ft) from the ground (or
1.6m [5ft] where very vigorous varieties are planted).
The canes should be planted 06.m (2ft) apart in the
row and, if more than one row is wanted, rows should
be 2m (6ft) apart.

autumn is the best time to plant but planting is permissible
at any time between autumn and spring, always provided
the soil is dry enough to be friable and is not frozen.
Should the soil be too wet when the canes arrive from
the nursery, heel them in temporarily, in as dry a spare
spot as may be available.

they arrive when frost prohibits planting, keep them
wrapped up, and store in a cool shed where the roots
will not dry out. Plant them or heel them in out of
doors as soon as conditions permit. If the roots appear
at all dry when planting, soak them in a bucket of water
for an hour or so.

deep planting is a common error with raspberries: the
roots should be covered by no more than 8cm (3in) of
soil. If the canes have just arrived from the nursery,
it is usually possible to see the old soil mark on the
stem, indicating the correct depth. The quickest way
to plant a row of raspberries is to take out a shallow
trench the width of your spade. As you set the canes
in position, spread out the roots evenly and trim off
any damaged parts. Replace the soil in the trench, holding
each cane erect in turn as the soil is placed over its
roots and made firm. When planting as shallowly as this,
however, it is unsafe to use one’s heel, as a rammer-gentle
pressure with the sole of the boot will be sufficient.
Immediately after planting cut back the canes to a height
of 0.6m (2ft) and finally lightly rake the soil to break
up the surface.

February, mulch the bed with a good layer of rotted
garden compost, rotted dung or mature mushroom bed compost
(again, provided the soil is already definitely acid).

In spring, as soon as the growth buds on
the raspberry canes may be seen to be swelling, cut
back the canes still further-to a visibly live bud about
25cm (10in) above soil level. The idea of this is to
leave just sufficient top growth to keep the roots active.
No cropping must be permitted the first season and,
after this cutting back, new suckers will spring up
from the roots and these shoots are the ones, which
will fruit, in the second season. Once these new shoots
are growing well, the old 25cm (10in) high pieces should
be cut down to soil level.

the second summer, when the fruit has been picked, cut
down all the fruited canes right to soil level. New
canes now springing up should replace these. If there
are more than five or six, select the best of even size,
removing any odd extra-vigorous canes and any growing
up between the rows at a distance from the main rootstocks.
All pruning should at once be burned to prevent the
spread of disease or pests.

new canes should be tied in to the horizontal wires
individually as they grow.

the following February the canes should be tipped, making
the cuts to growth buds some 16cm (8in) above the upper
wire. This will stimulate better growth lower down where
the berries are less liable to suffer wind damage.

varieties should have canes cut out in February and
the new growths will then fruit the same year.

Fruit Trees for your garden:

Apple tree
Cherry Tree
Peach & Nectarine trees
Pear Trees
Plum tree



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