Raspberry

Raspberries are divided into two groups, summer-fruiting (July and August) and autumn-fruiting (mid-September onwards).

The fruits of the former are carried on shoots produced during the previous season, whereas autumn-fruiting varieties fruit on shoots produced the same season.

Pruning:

The canes of summer fruiting varieties are cut out after harvest to be replaced by the young canes.

To ensure you are cutting out the correct canes, old canes are generally much darker in colour than new canes.

Autumn-fruiting varieties are cut to the ground in late winter to make way for the new canes that will grow from the base of the plant/s

Cultivation

Week 7: Canes of established summer varieties should have been thinned after last year's crop was picked.

Any long shoots should be tipped now to leave 150mm (6") above the top wire.

Established autumn fruiting raspberry varieties should be cut right down to the ground to encourage a crop of new shoots in spring.

After pruning work the hoe down the sides of the row or lightly prick over the soil surface with a fork.

Week 8: Plant out bare-rooted and container-grown canes 400-500mm (15”-18”) apart if conditions allow.

Spread the roots of bare rooted plants out and plant them to the same depth as they were previous to lifting.

After planting prune the canes to 250mm (10") making a sloping cut just above a strong bud.

There is no need to prune container-grown stock.

Avoid chalky / alkaline soil this can lead to poor growth and yellowing leaves.

If possible choose an open sunny site, although they will tolerate partial shade.

Avoid planting summer fruiting raspberries in frost pockets and exposed positions.

Eradicate perennial weeds prior to planting out.

Prior to planting it is advisable to erect some type of cane support.

The following example would suffice;

Erect 75x75mm (3"x3") treated softwood posts at approx. 3m centres (10ft) along either side of the row (e.g. 500mm (18") apart).

Staple four lines of 10-12 gauge horizontally to the posts.

Place the lowest line approx 600mm (24") from ground level then place successive lines at 300mm (12") spacing above the first (lowest)

This method will enclose the row of canes! an alternative method would be to use a single line of posts/wires and tie the canes into these.

Week 15: Feed annually with a fertiliser such as blood fish and bone along the row.

Week 20 onwards: Water the plants during dry weather, to swell the fruit and to increase the length of the canes.

Week 22 onwards: Control annual weeds between the rows by shallow hoeing, a voiding damage to the roots.

Thin out congested newly formed raspberry canes to around 4" (100mm) apart, along the rows.

Afterwards, apply a mulch of compost, manure or peat to conserve moisture.

Week 26: Spray plants that have yet to flower with a fungicide to deter cane spot disease.

Tie-in new plant shoots as necessary.

Hold canes in position by lacing a continuous length of soft twine along wires, or individual plastic twist ties.

As the fruit ripens, birds eating the raspberries may become a problem, avoid this by netting the crop just before it ripens.

Week 27 onwards: after ripening, fruit spoils quite rapidly so harvest it regularly.

Pick raspberries when they have turned red and feel soft when pressed gently between thumb and forefinger.

They taste best when eaten fresh from the garden, but they will keep in the fridge for a few days.

For the best flavour and aroma, allow the fruits to return to room temperature before eating.

If you have a glut, then try freezing them or making them into jam.

Week 32> After fruiting cut out the canes that have carried fruit down to ground level.

Don't leave any short stubs.

Thin out the new shoots to leave five or six strong ones to each parent plant.

Tie in each cane to the supporting wires, spacing the canes 150-200mm (6”-8”) apart.

Pull up unwanted canes while they are small so that there is a minimum of disturbance of the roots.

Week 40: Raspberries can grow from 2.0 - 2.5 metres (6-8ft) high, depending on the variety so they will need supporting.

Support them on three 12 gauge galvanised wires strained at 500mm centres (18”) between 2400mm (8ft) wooden posts set 600mm into the soil.

Allow 1200mm (4ft) between rows.

Week 44: Plant out new raspberry canes 400-500mm (15”-18”) apart preferably in well-drained, acid soil containing plenty well-rotted manure.

If planting out bare rooted plants, spread the roots out and plant them to the same depth as they were previous to lifting.

After planting prune the canes to 250mm (10") making a sloping cut just above a strong bud.

Avoid chalky / alkaline soil this can lead to poor growth and yellowing leaves.

If possible choose an open sunny site, although they will tolerate partial shade.

Avoid planting summer fruiting raspberries in frost pockets and exposed positions.

Eradicate perennial weeds prior to planting out.

Week 45: Lift and transplant vigorous, healthy young sucker shoots.

Retain as much fibrous root as possible.

Plant them 400-500mm (15”-18”) apart where required, cutting each one back to a good bud about 200mm (8”) above ground level.

To avoid these plants bearing fruit during their first season remove the flowers as they appear.





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