Raspberry canes are reliable croppers, provided the soil is not waterlogged, the canes are supported and the plants are not short of water during the growing season.

For that reason we advise you to mulch the canes, supplying them adequately with well-rotted farmyard manure.

Plant from November to March, best if earlier, in winter, so that the root system has time to develop. Always plant the canes on ridges of 40 cm width and 20 cm height. The top roots need to be an inch below soil level. Newly-planted canes need to be cut back 6 to 12 inches, above soil level.

In June, cut all surplus cane back to ground level. Leave 4 to 6 of the strongest canes per plant.

Summer-cropping raspberry canes crop the following year. Autumn raspberries crop on the current’s year cane growth.

In January, cut back autumn raspberry canes to 3” from ground level.

On summer-cropping raspberries, cut out all canes which had a crop.

Do this as soon as the picking season is over.

Top tips for growing raspberries

Raspberries are a wonderful crop to grow. The soil preparations before planting are fundamental in ensuring that the canes grow well. The following points are of great importance:

  1. Good drainage. Raspberries hate to be waterlogged. Make sure that every season, surplus water will disappear from the root zone, within 48 hours.
  2. Sufficient water. Never let your raspberries go short of water during the summer months. Roots will explore up to a depth of soil of 60 cm.
  3. Organic matter on an annual basis is a fantastic tonic to the plants. Well-rotted straw-based farmyard manure is ideal. Spread it on either side of the canes, without touching the canes. Mulch the canes to stop weeds from competing for moisture.
  4. Plant the canes 40 to 45 cm apart. Use potted canes, or rootwrap instead of bare-root canes. The roots of raspberry canes dry out very quickly if bare-rooted, during unfavourable dry weather conditions.
  5. Good support for the canes. If the canes are growing well, do not let them swing about in the wind. Give the canes good support and tie them from 50 cm and upwards on to horizontal plastic-covered wires. Or you can lead the new growth between 2 horizontal wires, kept apart by short spacers, which are firmly fitted to the vertical stakes.
  6. Virus-free. Only use healthy virus-free canes.
Photo by Jon Sailer on Unsplash

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