Raspberries

The best of the berries. We have summer fruiting and autumn fruiting varieties, as well as an ‘allseason’ which crops right though. They need to be pruned differently – with the summer berries you leave the new canes and cut out the old; the autumn berries are easier – just cut everything down to the ground. The allseasons can be treated either way, but in Newstead, probably tending toward autumn bearing is best. Raspberries prefer cool, moist conditions, so in the heat of our summers may need shadclothe protection, or from the pepper or gum trees, and lots of mulch. This is why autumn types grow better in our conditions.

Propogate raspberries in autumn, by transplanting any piece of root material that has a bud or young cane on it. But they will reproduce readily themselves; keeping them constrained is more of an issue. Train the canes between horizontal wires and use soft tape to tie to avoid damage.

MAIN TASKS:

Autumn – Summer varieties – cut out spent and old canes, tie up the new. Autumn varieties – pick fruit, feed, and they may need bird protection. Continue to weed.

Winter – Prune. Cut back all the old spent canes to ground level of the autumn varieties. For the summer types, tie up the new season’s canes, cut back the dead or spent ones and feed both sorts well with compost.

Spring – Weed. Raspberries are shallow rooted and don’t compete well with other weeds and also need mulching heavily. Feed every 3 to 4 weeks with seaweed, wormjuice or compost tea diluted 10 to 1. Watering; longer and less often is better than a sprinkle regularly.

Summer – Summer types begin to fruit December through January. You may need to net them to protect from birds. Continue to tie up new canes as they grow and spread. Weeding, watering continues. Tie up the new canes of the autumn varieties.

Generally – Summer fruiting berries are sensitive to direct sun, so if they are not getting some shade during the summer, it may pay to drape with shadecloth during the hottest part of the season. Tansy, marigold and the alliums (leek, garlic, onions) are said to be good companions and strawberries nearby. Keep away from spuds because of aphids.

Eating – Like strawbs, take them out of the frig before eating to let flavours develop. They are fragile fruit, and best eaten straight of the bush. Raspberry leaf tea.

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