Raspberries are a really popular summer and autumn fruit that are very easy to grow. A few raspberry canes will keep you going for years! Here is our simple guide to get the best out of your plants.
Raspberries are best grown in open, sunny situations. If you are unable to provide this then partial shade is acceptable. Raspberries hate heavy clay waterlogged soils, so if you have this situation you will have to add top soil to raise the area you intend to plant, however they do enjoy moisture and should not be allowed to dry out especially the first season. It is wise therefore to add plenty of humus in the form of garden compost from your bin, horse manure, spent mushroom compost or a multi purpose compost from your garden centre. When you transplant a raspberry cane it should be cut off, leaving approximately 9 inches to 1 foot, this will encourage it to throw new canes from the buds at root level, no strong canes will come from the exposed cane stump.
Your canes should be spaced 18 inches apart and 6 foot between rows. Mix some Growmore, Blood,Fish and Bone or Bonemeal into the ground before planting (fork this into the soil at bottom of hole) then fill in soil to level of the old soil mark on the cane. Heal well in then add layer of well rotted manure (or similar compost) Some form of general fertilizer should be added each subsequent March.
Pruning Established Summer fruiting varieties
Cut all canes that have fruited, right back to ground level immediately after fruiting and tie the young unfruited canes to a support (The old canes that have fruited will die off slowly anyway so don’t be afraid).
If canes grow too much above your support there will be no harm done if you shorten them slightly during the dormant season (winter).
Pruning Established Autumn fruiting varieties
These canes can all be cut back to ground level in February, they will make enough growth during the summer to give you a good autumn crop.
Raspberries are gross feeders, so they will enjoy a good feed and mulch each March, a mulch will give nutrients, retain moisture and suppress weeds.