My raspberry experience started about ten years ago when I was first starting to tear out grass in favor of planting beds. My neighbor had raspberries bordering his entire backyard and the berries were huge (about an inch long). As raspberries send out runners I had some come under the fence and sprout in my yard. With this inspiration off I went to Home Depot in search of plastic yard edging and some bagged compost (before I began making my own).
I decided to edge an area on my southern fence approximately twelve feet by four feet wide. I transplanted the twenty or so volunteer plants and I went to the nursery and purchased a few more. I made sure I loosened the soil well and I added plenty of the compost, mixing it with the existing soil. I planted the starts approximately 16 inches apart throughout the bed (not rows as I wanted a full bed). Since that time the raspberries have sent out many new shoots and the birds that eat the berries have deposited seeds throughout my yard and I always have a few new plants growing, where I don’t want them, which I give to eager friends.
The raspberries currently have a full flush of berries that will last about a month. With raspberries you have to pick them every day as the berries quickly go from immature to overripe in as little as two days. The berries usually don’t make it into the house as I tend to graze but today I went out an picked a bowl to put in my morning cereal.
Once the berries quit fruiting in mid to late July I leave them alone until fall when I cut back all the canes to about eight inches and I prune out, at ground level, all the dead canes. The area looks a little pitiful when cut down and it does not seem possible that it will fill in but it always does.
Raspberries are easy to grow. Just make sure you don’t just buy a few plants. You need to plant a grouping of plants to get the bed going and the plants will continue to fill in over the coming years.
Here is a picture of today’s harvest (at least what made it in the house).
I love this time of year as I like to explore the garden looking for those surprises which are ready to harvest. Today was the last of the broccoli and fava beans.