Preparing a New Raspberry Bed

raspberries

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.

new raspberry bed

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.

Advertisements

13 comments

  1. I started to replace my Autumn Bliss with Polka last year (blogged about recently) and am very pleased with the changeover. The berries have been superb this year, helped along by lots of rain of course. One thing that I wished I’d done with my raspberry beds was to sink a barrier in at the sides to prevent runners coming up among my veg every year – it’s staggering how far those roots will travel!

  2. Hi Caro, great to hear from you and that Polka is doing well for you. I agree about the raspberry roots, they are rampant! Luckily we have space to give our raspberries their own patch away from the veg garden, but I’m sure they’ll still wander off eventually!

  3. Oh how I miss fresh grown raspberries! Raspberries did Very well in Alaska so they became my favorite berry and still are. They don’t do well in this part of North Carolina though so if I want raspberries I have to get them from the freezer case at the grocery store. Best wishes to you on an ever-abundant raspberry patch!

  4. Can I second Caro’s suggestion of a boundary for the raspberries? Ours are incessantly marching onwards and have appeared in raised beds and inside the tunnel. Clearing and tidying up the raspberries is going to have to be one of my winter projects.

  5. I planted a few canes in a special patch I set up for them this spring. Only two “took” but I am hoping that as the canes grow longer I can get them to self root to start new ones. The Polka sounds wonderful. I have no idea what mine are – some heirloom variety, because I got them from a friend, who got them from a friend, who got them…. and on and on. The original plants are quite old, so I am looking forward to see what turns up!

  6. Ours have just started to shoot and I am ready to get cracking on the weeding. I think I may have pruned them too harshly in winter so time will tell. Bring on the Raspberries.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s