Easy to grow, can cope with some shade, summer varieties do well even in colder regions, can provide fruit from July until the first frosts and canes can be productive for 8 to 15 years - why wouldn't you give over at least part of your plot to raspberries. And they offset the sweetness of meringues far better than strawberries to my mind.
The real keys to success with raspberries are to make sure:
- their roots are never waterlogged - like Mary Berry, they don't like a soggy bottom. If your soil does get wet over the winter, grow them on raised beds.
- they are not too exposed, while at the same time ensuring that air can circulate freely around them to avoid fungal problems.
Autmn fruiting varieties make up for their lower tolerance of cold by the fact that, in all but the most exposed loactions, they don't require support. That said, they won't object and it certainly makes them look tidier and makes the fruit easier to pick. Summer varieties, however, will do much better with some form of support. Traditionally, this is two six foot posts at either end of each row, with three lengths of wire stretched tight between them.
Pruning can cause some confusion but is less complex than it sounds:
- Newly planted, regardless of variety: cut down the 'old' cane to 30cm at planting time and then to just above ground level when the new shoots appear.
- Summer fruiting: cut down all canes which have fruited to just above ground level as soon as fruiting is over. Tie the strongest looking 5-8 unfruited canes to the wires, 10cm or so apart, to bear next year's crop. Cut off any growth over the top wire.
- Autumn fruiting: In late winter/early spring, cut all canes down to just above ground level.
The real trick is remembering which is which!
|pH||4.5 - 7.0|