I’m currently preparing a new bed for planting raspberry canes. I really miss the raspberry patch from our previous kitchen garden, snacking on fresh juicy raspberries from the garden was one of the highlights of summer. So, I’m putting this right by making a start on the first raspberry patch here in the garden smallholding.
Bare-rooted canes are available to purchase from November and usually cheaper than potted canes, so I’d better get my skates on because I’m battling couch grass at the moment and I really want to be sure I’ve got rid of it, or as much as I possibly can before planting my canes. I’ve decided to grow autumn fruiting raspberries in this new bed, extending the picking season through to October. The berries of autumn-fruiting varieties are often larger than summer ones, and dare I say it, tastier. They’re also easier to prune (although summer canes are really not too difficult once you know how) and there’s usually no need for support posts.
As easy as raspberries are to grow, a little extra effort should be afforded when preparing a new bed. It’s important to clear the site of perennial weeds before planting as these are difficult to control once raspberries are established due to their shallow and delicate roots. I’m going to plant 5 canes in the new bed, a variety called ‘Polka’ has grabbed my attention. Once the bed is thoroughly weeded and well dug over I will add plenty of organic matter such as well rotted chicken manure (thanks girls!) before planting my canes.