Raspberries are simply delicious – whether freshly picked, on top of desserts, or made into jam. Here are 6 tips to keep in mind when growing raspberries in your garden.
1) Summer or Autumn
Do raspberries belong in summer? Not really: nowadays, there are several varieties of raspberry that only bear fruit in autumn. Summer raspberries are often more prolific and have a more robust flavor, but autumn raspberries are gaining in taste and are less susceptible to pests and diseases. So if you want to enjoy fresh raspberries in both summer and autumn, choose different varieties. If this is too challenging for you, dual-purpose varieties are a suitable alternative. This cross between summer and autumn raspberries often bears abundant fruit in both early summer and autumn.
2) The Right Location
Although a woodland plant, the raspberry does not like shade. It thrives best in sunny spots- in the wild, it prefers sunny openings and forest edges. If the soil is also permeable to water so that it doesn’t get waterlogged, raspberries are doubly happy. Vegetable soil, for example, is ideal for growing berries. To avoid diseases, when planting, make sure that there are no potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and aubergines in the area, as they are susceptible to Verticillium cold rot, which can spread to raspberries.
3) Outside the Wall
Raspberries are very susceptible to root rot. By planting a small dam, you can ensure that they grow smoothly in the garden despite sub-optimal soil conditions. First, the existing subsoil needs to be broken up. Then fill a dam about 30 cm high and 60 cm wide with humus-rich soil. You can now place raspberry plants in the center of this small wall. Incidentally, the potting soil can be used almost all year round. Autumn is ideal, however, as the plants are more likely to bear fruit the following summer.
4) Climbing Frame
Raspberries will grow over your head in good conditions: the spiny bush can grow up to two meters tall. But at such a large size, the plant is often unable to support its weight. A climbing frame can help. The shoots can climb up and spread out. Since raspberries can bear fruit for up to ten years, the climbing support must be made of weatherproof and durable material. Otherwise, raspberries will outlive their home. A simple solution is balconies made of wood and rope. At the end of each raspberry bush, stakes are driven into the ground, and ropes are strung between them at heights of 50 cm, 80 cm, 110 cm, and possibly 140 cm. If you want to create a little more order, the shoots can also be attached to the strings by hand (e.g., twine). Choosing different colors for the one- or two-year-old shoots also makes them easier to cut.
5) Fertiliser and Water
Raspberries like it moist, but not wet. So they welcome a watering can or two in summer. However, over-enthusiastic watering leads to waterlogging and, in the worst case, disease or rot. The plant also benefits from fertilization: a good fertilizer can help a little, especially in the weeks before harvest. However, from June onwards, the plant needs to prepare for winter and no longer be fertilized. Organic fertilizers are particularly well suited to supplying plants with nutrients. If they have previously decomposed, their nutrients are quickly available and even contribute to soil life.
From time to time, raspberries need a visit to the hairdresser. The correct cut depends very much on the variety. Summer berries bear fruit only from two-year-old shoots, so they should never be removed. On the other hand, autumn raspberries bear fruit from new shoots so that the plant can be pruned back every year. About 20 new shoots per meter can be selected in early spring, and the rest cut off at ground level. Summer raspberries, on the other hand, should be pruned in mid-May. The ten most vigorous shoots are selected, and the rest are cut back to the ground. If the shoots of both varieties extend above the highest canopy, they can also be pruned in late autumn. This will encourage the formation of new shoots.
Let us know if these few tips have helped you in the comments below!