Raspberry plant in pot

Are you convinced that you can’t grow anything at all and have a completely brown thumb?

I guarantee you – there is hope! Growing raspberries is like trying to grow weeds, seriously.

You’ll be able to grow a bounty of delicious raspberries, promise. They’re so easy and yummy that they make a perfect beginner crop for kids too.

They can handle minimal care, less than ideal soil and will happily live in containers for years too.

They’ll even take some drought and still recover to produce beautiful berries for you all season long. They thrive best in climate zones 3 to 8. They are hardy and will grow back each year unless it’s abnormally cold for a long stretch.

Raspberry Varieties

What kind of raspberry plant to choose? There are so many types!

Each colour and variety has slightly different characteristics and growth habits. All of the different varieties are bred to make them more suitable to different characteristics, climates and temperature zones. It’s a safe bet that if the particular plants are for sale in your area, then it’s likely that they are good to live in your area.

If you live in an exceptionally cold place or a place that has sharp or long cold winters your raspberry plant might not survive very long in a container. This happens because they don’t have the insulation of the (underground) ground around the roots to keep them warmer. The container will freeze more quickly and more solidly than the ground soil will.

If you are using a raised bed or very large container then it will likely fair better.

These are just few of the many varieties of raspberry available:

  • Autumn Bliss: ripens early fall, large fruit, medium height canes
  • Meeker: zone 4 – 8. Upright variety, low maintenance, no need for staking usually
  • Heritage: Ever-bearing, 2 crops per year, one in early summer and another in August. Self pollinating.
  • Nova: ripens early, tart flavour, does best in zone 5 or greater
  • Boyne: ripens early, small fruit, winter hardy, very productive
  • Tulameen: ripens very late, large fruit, good choice for home garden, does best in zone 5 or greater
  • Latham (red) – Extra sweet, hardy, ripens mid June, self pollinating
  • September (red) – Ripens early summer and late August, self pollinating
  • Fall Gold: Ever-bearing, yellow-gold fruit, unique very sweet flavour, harvest from June to October, no need for staking

The availability of different varieties varies greatly around the continent. You will likely be able to find varieties I have not mentioned here and/or you may not be able to find the ones that I have listed here.

Choose a variety that is local to your region and bred to withstand the weather of the area. This will ensure you get a lower maintenance plant and an easier growing season with a more rewarding harvest.

I recommend that you try the golden variety, the Fall Gold is what I have. These are a beautiful golden yellow colour and is distinctly different in taste. These have a unique flavour and are sweeter than the red ones.

Fall Gold raspberries won’t need staking like some of the other varieties as they only grow about 5 feet tall and have strong biennial canes to support the weight of the fruit.

Black and Purple Raspberries

Brandywine Purple
Royalty Purple
Bristol Black raspberry
Black Hawk – Heat resistant, mid season crop, self pollinating
Cumberland black raspberry – Ripens mid July, self pollinating, strong flavour

Royalty Purples are delicious but taste nothing like any of the other colours either.

Black raspberries are more dense and have a different, slightly more tart flavour to the rest of the colours and varieties.

If you have wild blackberries growing in the surrounding areas then you will have a greater chance of picking up pests from there such as the Raspberry Crown Borer.

Both purple and black raspberries have a vining nature and do need a bit of space to spread out, so if you only have a little then don’t bother with this plant. Stick with the red and golden varieties.

The Gold raspberry varieties are delicious, unique and will more than adequately fill the spot in the garden.

There are several yellow varieties in the stores, availability varies by region:

  • Anne
  • Fall Gold
  • Goldenwest
  • Golden Queen
  • Honey Queen
  • Kiwi Gold

Contain Your Raspberries

Even if you have an in-ground garden, I strongly recommend a containment system for your raspberry plants because they spread very quickly by underground shoots known as rhizomes.

A large 24″ toy tub will be more than adequate for growing raspberries as well as just about any other berry too.

If you are working with a raised bed, I recommend a long and narrow 2′ wide bed because it’ll be easier to reach all the berries from both sides and it helps facilitate better airflow as well.

The reason for the extra thought when choosing the place to plant them is worth the time and effort because they have a relentless underground sprouting system.

Once they get established they can easily become hard to control and keep contained.

They will spread themselves as far and wide as they can find soil. This isn’t necessarily bad but it needs to be considered beforehand.

It’s technically a weed and that’s the same characteristic that makes it a tough, perfect plant for beginners and brown thumbs.

Don’t let them loose!

If you’re in a rush and eager to plant for the harvest to come and choose not to pre-plan the containment system for them and just plant them loose in your yard then you’ll likely regret that decision after just a couple of years. They will be growing happily in all directions and everywhere you don’t want them.

Containment Creativity

If you really want them to look like they are planted in the ground and have the space options open to you, then you just need to create a containment system for them under the surface of the soil. This is just a matter of creativity and ingenuity.

It can be as simple as planting them in a standard container and then dig a big hole to bury that whole thing. Then your plant will look like it’s growing in the ground but without the hassles.

One suggestion is to make a rectangle frame of any plexiglass type material with the corners screwed together really well, make sure it’s at least 18″ deep to contain the deeper roots and shoots.

The method is simply to dig a narrow channel in the very same shape to sink the frame into…essentially making a buried raised bed.

The sides will contain the fast spreading rhizomes. If the soil you have is lacking then you can dig it out from the center of the frame and fill it with nicer planting mix.

Raspberry Pests

There are some insect pests that will attack your raspberry plants. These include pests such as skeletonizers and spittle bug nymphs, cane borers, and crown borers.

Safer Brand makes this all purpose spray for Spittle Bug Nymphs that is certified organic and OMRI listed. It will take care of them in short order and not damage the ecosystem.

To ensure that your plants do not get Raspberry Crown Borer it’s helpful to spray down the root ball and entire plant with Spinosad two or three times in the early spring and just after the flowers open.

Spinosad is a microbial pesticide that attacks worms and larvae only. It’s harmless to humans and pets, it’s safe for food crops and is widely used in the organic gardening industry.

This product is harmful to bees –but only when wet and freshly applied– so use this product at night when the bee activity is lowest. The danger passes when the liquid dries up.

Pruning Raspberries

For the vining varieties that grow long and far, I recommend just keeping them trimmed to a manageable size and height. The plant will adapt and produce fruit anyway.

The red and yellow varieties grow a set of fresh green canes called Primocanes each year which grow 4′-5′ tall.

The first year the plant will grow primocanes which do not produce fruit in their first year.

Over the winter, these canes will mature and turn brown. By the next growing year they will mature and be called floricanes. These canes are the ones that will be ready to produce fruit in the summer.

Then during that year the plant will grow another set of green canes.

The fruit grows only on the older, second year canes that grew in the first year. This is called a Biennial Growth Cycle.

Fertilizer

Raspberries will produce a good harvest on their own without a lot of care and attention, but at the same time they will respond well to the addition of fertilizer and nutrients to the surrounding soil.

Using raspberry fertilizer, such as this one made by Gardens Alive! will increase yields and help feed the canes throughout the spring and summer. “Super Grow for Plants” is a natural enzyme plant booster that’s suitable for all plants and also a good option for feeding them.

Applying good quality fertilizer will help develop a stronger healthier plant which in turn produces larger and more flavourful harvests.

End of Season Clean Up

Once they are done fruiting, leave the largest green canes in tact but cut the little spindly ones down to about 1″ high.

Then for the brown canes, these are the ones that grew last year and produced fruit this year…cut out the damaged and the smallest of these to allow the larger canes to receive more of the plants energy to produce fruit.

The ever-bearing varieties will give two harvests each season, so wait until late fall before cutting those types down. The second crop grows on the very ends of the tall green canes.

During all pruning be careful not to damage the new green shoots that just grew this year, they are delicate. Those will be the ones that produce the fruit next year.

Fall Clean Up

Cut the tallest canes down to a more manageable height, usually about 4′ or 5′ is good. This stops the plant from getting too leggy. Thin them out so that only 3-5 of the strongest canes (per linear foot) stay standing for the winter.

In the spring, usually around March (depending on your zone) you’ll see the new shoots emerging on last years canes and also you’ll see new green shoots coming out of the soil.

Leave the largest of the canes that are making sprouts and cut the dead tips of these canes above where they are making shoots. This will help to ensure a very healthy plant that produces large berries on large healthy canes.

That’s all until spring

That’s all you have to do until next spring. In the spring the new green shoots will emerge and the green shoots of last year will have turned brown and are now ready to make flower buds and eventually produce fruit later in the summer. Use your pruners to cut the dead top ends of the canes that are not making new shoots.

Spring Feeding

In the early spring, give them some good organic seaweed fertilizer or fish fertilizer mixed with water and sprayed on the plants with a hose end sprayer.

It’s a little bit smelly but the plants LOVE IT!

Include other nutritional options such as worm castings, guano or good compost.

Give them a feeding of organic fertilizer in the mid summer as well, twice a year is enough.

If you have just a small area or a few containers then use a watering can and mix the solution in there.

I recommend Neptune’s Harvest Organic Fish and Seaweed Fertilizer because it’s a combination product with both seaweed and fish fertilizer in one. Save time and spray both together.

You should find raspberries generally very easy to grow. Let me know how your raspberry garden goes!

Please leave a comment below and tell me your experiences with growing raspberries.

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Growing berries in containers: How to grow a small-space fruit garden

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Few things are as satisfying to a gardener as picking a homegrown, sun-warmed berry right off the plant and tossing it straight into your waiting mouth. If you’ve never grown your own berries because you think you don’t have enough room — or you think it requires too much effort — boy, do we have some great news for you! Growing berries in containers is the easiest and most foolproof way to grow your own small-space fruit garden. Plus, it’s fun!

To show you just how easy it is to grow berries in pots, we’ve teamed up with THE source for backyard container berry plants, Bushel and Berry™, to bring you all the know-how you’ll need.

Why grow berries in containers?

Berry plants are great candidates for container gardening, especially if you pay careful attention to which varieties you choose to grow. For gardeners with limited space or for apartment dwellers who grow on a balcony, porch, or patio, growing berries in containers affords a level of flexibility you won’t get when growing these plants in the ground. Containerized berry plants can easily be moved from one side of the deck to the other to maximize sunlight exposure throughout the day, so even if you have a semi-shady space, you can still grow plenty of fruits. Oh, and the pots can easily be moved to a new apartment when your lease runs out!

Growing berries in containers also means the plants are very accessible for harvesting; simply park the pot right outside the back door and you won’t even have to take your slippers off to pick a handful of berries for your cereal. Plus, you’ll have more control over watering and fertilizing.

As if all of these great reasons to grow berries in containers aren’t enough, the icing on the cake is that potted berry plants also make gorgeous decorative accents for your outdoor living space.

Delicious, homegrown berries are within your grasp, if you grow them in a container fruit garden.

The best berries for growing in containers

Now that you know why you should grow berries in containers, it’s time to talk about the best plants for the job. The truth is that not all berry plant varieties perform well in containers. For example, many varieties of full-sized blueberry bushes can top out at five to six feet tall and you’d need a super-big container to make them happy. And the rambling roots and long, prickly vines of raspberries and blackberries are notorious for taking over the garden, making full-sized varieties of these two fruits very poor candidates for containers.

Growing a small-space fruit garden requires selecting varieties bred to thrive in containers, like these Peach Sorbet® blueberries.

Thankfully, plant breeders have been hard at work developing short-statured, container-friendly varieties of all three of these fruits. These particular cultivars are the ones you should seek out; they’ve quite literally been made for the job!

Here’s the skinny on some of these container favorites.

Blueberries:

The best blueberries for containers are those that reach a mature height of just one to three feet. Look for Bushel and Berry™ varieties at your local garden center that have been bred specifically for growing in containers, such as Pink Icing®, Blueberry Glaze®, Jelly Bean®, and Peach Sorbet®.

Another perk to using these container-friendly cultivars is that they’re all self-pollinating. “Regular” blueberries require pollen from one variety to pollinate another because they’re not self-fertile. In other words, to get berries on those bushes, you’d need two or more bushes of different varieties in order to get berries. With self-pollinating blueberries, on the other hand, all you need is one plant. They make growing berries in containers super easy. For more information on how to properly prune blueberries, check out our blueberry pruning guide.

Compact blueberry varieties are the perfect fit for containers. And they’re beautiful, too! Photo courtesy of Bushel and Berry

Raspberries and blackberries:

Cane fruits, such as raspberries and blackberries, were once relegated to the “back 40” due to their tendency to take over the garden. Until a few years ago, these aggressive growers were practically impossible to grow in containers with any amount of success. But compact cultivars, like Raspberry Shortcake® raspberries and Baby Cakes® blackberries, have changed that.

Their dwarf stature and thornless canes make growing these cane fruits in pots not just possible, but also fun! The plants top out at about three feet tall and do not require staking. I have several Raspberry Shortcake® plants in one of my raised beds and the fruits are full-sized and delicious.

Growing blackberries in containers is easy – if you pick the right variety. Baby Cakes® is a short-statured variety that’s perfect for pots.

Strawberries:

Strawberries are one of the most prolific plants for a small-space fruit garden, and gardeners have been growing them in pots for generations. Whether they’re grown in hanging baskets, pocketed strawberry jars, or upcycled containers, you don’t really need to purchase a specific type of strawberry to have success. Most varieties will do just fine in containers.

But, if you want berries that all ripen together in early summer, pick a June-bearing type. Or, if you want a handful of berries every day all summer long, plant an ever-bearing (or day-neutral) strawberry variety instead. You can also grow tiny alpine strawberries in your pots. These fragrant little berries produce all summer long and have a delicious, subtly floral flavor.

Strawberries are an easy fruit to grow in containers. Just about any variety will do.

Growing berries in containers: The best route to success

After you’ve decided on which small fruits to grow in your container fruit garden, it’s time to get planting. Beyond variety selection, the biggest factors in successful container gardening are picking the right container and filling it with the right potting soil mix.

Container size:
When growing berries in containers, selecting the right pot size is essential. If your pot is too small, you risk affecting the health of your plants, and ultimately, reducing their growth and yield. Smaller pot sizes also require more watering and fertilizing to keep the plants fit and productive.

When choosing a pot, always opt for the largest container possible. Plan on needing a minimum soil volume of five to eight gallons per blueberry bush. For cane berries, eight or more gallons will support a nice colony of plants. And for strawberries, wide-rimmed containers allow for more plants per pot. Plan on three plants for every twelve inches of surface area.

Regardless of its size, there should also be a drainage hole in the bottom of the pot.

You can save even more space by growing blueberries and strawberries together in the same container. Just make sure the pot holds enough potting mix to support them.

Potting soil mix:
As with all types of container gardening, growing berries in containers requires careful attention to building a good foundation for your plants. To keep your plants happy, fill the containers in your small-space fruit garden with a 50/50 mixture of high-quality potting soil and compost (either commercially produced or homemade). The potting soil ensures the pot is well-drained, keeps it lightweight, and if the potting soil has an added organic fertilizer, it helps feed the plants, too. The added compost aids in water retention, introduces beneficial soil microbes, and releases nutrients to the plants over time.

Caring for your container fruit garden

Watering is the most critical step in growing berries in containers. Unfortunately, it’s also often the most neglected. Without proper irrigation, containerized plants will suffer and yields will definitely be affected. The amount of water your pots need is dependent on the weather conditions, humidity, the type of container you used, and the maturity of the plants themselves. The easiest way to know when it’s time to water is to insert your finger into the soil. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water. If it’s not, wait another day and check again. It’s really as simple as that. In the summertime, I water my container fruit garden on a daily basis, if we don’t get rain.

If you selected a high-quality potting soil that already has an organic fertilizer included, there’s no need to add supplemental fertilizer during the first year of growth. But, in subsequent years, an annual spring fertilizer addition is a good idea. For blueberries, top dress the soil with a 1/4 cup of an acid-specific organic granular fertilizer. For cane berries and strawberries, lightly scratch a 1/4 cup of a balanced, complete organic granular fertilizer into the top inch of soil every spring, being careful to keep the granules off of the foliage. Avoid using synthetic chemical fertilizers on edible plants.

Use an organic, granular, acid-specific fertilizer to feed containerized blueberries once per year.

Pruning dwarf raspberries and blackberries

Pruning is an important task when it comes to growing dwarf cane fruits, such as blackberries and raspberries, both in the ground and in containers. In this video, our horticulturist shows you how to properly prune both Raspberry Shortcake® raspberries and Baby Cakes® blackberries.

What to do with potted fruit plants in the winter

If you live where temperatures regularly dip below freezing, when cold temperatures arrive, you’ll have to ensure the roots of your container fruit garden are protected from deep freezes.

There are a few different ways you can overwinter your plants when growing berries in containers.

  • Insulate the pots by surrounding them with a cylinder of chicken wire fencing that’s about a foot wider than the pot itself and filling the empty space between the pot and the fencing with fall leaves or straw. Remove the insulation in the spring, when the threat of prolonged cold weather has passed.
  • If you have a compost pile, sink the pots into it up to their rim. This protects the roots from freezing. Come spring, simply lift the pots out of the compost pile and move them back to the patio.
  • You can also overwinter the container berry plants in an unheated attached garage or cold cellar. I drag my potted blueberry bushes into the garage every winter; they get watered once, in early February, and that’s it. When early spring arrives, I put them back out on the porch.
  • If it doesn’t get too cold where you live, you can also try overwintering the plants by simply moving the pots to a protected area, right up against the house. Blueberries are especially hardy and often survive in containers down to -10° F.

As you can see, growing berries in containers is both fun and rewarding. With a little forethought, it won’t be long until you’re picking plump, juicy berries of your own!

A big thank you to Bushel and Berry™ for sponsoring this post and allowing us to share these great tips on growing berries in containers. to find a Bushel and Berry™ retailer near you.

GROWING RASPBERRIES IN CONTAINERS

Raspberries are very expensive to buy in the shops even when they are in season. A few raspberry canes grown in containers will give you a reasonable crop for very little outlay.

With good care the plants should last five or six years. Raspberries are very easy to care for and suffer from few problems.

KEY DATES FOR GROWING RASPBERRIES IN CONTAINERS

See the notes further down this page for each of the dates mentioned below because they will vary depending on the climate in your area. The dates in the table below are good for average areas in the UK.

Dates for summer fruiting raspberries marked S
Dates for autumn fruiting raspberries marked A
Dates for both are marked B

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
PLANT B B

B

PRUNE S S A
FERTILISE B B
EAT S S B A A

SUMMER VERSUS AUTUMN FRUITING RASPBERRY VARIETIES

When buying your raspberry canes you need to decide when you want to harvest the fruit. If you want raspberries from late June for a month or so then buy the summer fruiting raspberries. If you want the fruit later in the year, from mid-August to late September, then opt for autumn fruiting raspberries.

The two types above require pruning at different times of the year so it’s best to plant one type only in a container.

RECOMMENDED VARIETIES OF RASPBERRIES FOR CONTAINERS

All varieties of raspberries are suitable for container growing but it’s best to avoid tall growing varieties. These will be more adversely affected by strong winds when grown in the light soil of a container.

SUMMER FRUITING RASPBERRY VARIETIES FOR CONTAINERS
Glen Ample
A strong growing raspberry which produces larger than normal fruits. The raspberries are ready for eating from early July through to August. Good disease resistance. The canes are free from spines and they grow very upright reducing the need for support. Awarded an AGM and one of the most popular varieties.

Malling Jewel
Probably the best summer fruiting raspberry for containers because they have low growing and very sturdy canes. The fruit is a typical raspberry red colour and they are exceptionally tasty. Awarded an AGM, this is our choice for containers.

AUTUMN FRUITING RASPBERRY VARIETIES FOR CONTAINERS
Autumn Bliss
This is our choice of the autumn fruiting raspberries for containers. Raspberries are produced from mid August until early October. The canes are short and sturdy requiring almost no support in a container. Good disease resistance, especially as far as aphids are concerned. The fruits are slightly larger than normal.

WHEN TO PLANT RASPBERRIES IN CONTAINERS

The timing for planting raspberries in containers is the same as for planting in the open ground. The best time is from November to early March.

The reason for this is that the bare-rooted raspberry canes (by far the cheapest) are only sold in winter. Raspberries are sold ready planted in containers throughout the year. The picture above (click to enlarge) is of a bare-rooted raspberry cane.

HOW TO PLANT RASPBERRY CANES

First, fill your containers with potting compost. The ideal mixture is 80% general purpose potting compost plus 20% of loam based (John Innes for example) compost. The loam based compost will give the soil some body and help the roots to secure themselves firmly.

One or two raspberry canes can be planted in a container which is 45cm / 18in or more wide. Dig out a hole wide enough to take the roots spread out slightly. The depth is important, they should be planted to the same depth as they were grown. You will be able to see a soil mark near the base of the cane, plant them to that depth.

Firm the soil around the planted raspberry cane. Support can be a single bamboo cane or three pointing inwards and joined with string at the top. As the raspberry plants grow, tie them loosely to the canes to provide some support. Summer fruiting raspberries need more support compared to autumn fruiting ones. Water the container well.

CARE OF RASPBERRIES IN CONTAINERS

Raspberry plants like moist soil at all times, but especially when the fruits are forming. The frequency of watering will depend on the size of the container. The larger the container the less frequent watering will be needed. In very warm weather it may well be necessary to water daily if the fruits are forming. If you can’t be around to water for a few days then move the containers to a shady position protected from wind.

This will greatly reduce the water intake of the raspberry plant. They will survive deep shade for a week without any serious damage, but may well be killed if left for a week without water in full sun.

To help with water retention apply a mulch of stones, chipped bark or similar to a depth of 5cm / 2in, it dramatically reduces water evaporation.

The best water for raspberries in containers is rain water although tap water is OK as long as you aren’t in a hard water area. If you are in a hard water area then invest in a water butt (see here for more information about water butts) and use tap water sparingly.

Feeding raspberries is best done with both a long lasting fertiliser such as blood, fish and bone or bonemeal and top that up with a monthly liquid feed of a general-purpose feed.

Sprinkle a handful of long lasting fertiliser on the surface of the soil in March and June. Gently work the fertiliser into the top 2cm / 1in of the soil with a trowel and then water. The general purpose liquid fertiliser should be applied monthly at the concentration specified on the pack.

Raspberry plants are frequently strong growers and after a year or two growing in a container they will start to produce more than one stem. This can result in the container becoming overcrowded and you need to keep an eye on the situation. If the raspberries are autumn fruiting and multiple stems appear (keep the number of stems to two per 45cm / 18in pot) then select the strongest growing and cut the remainder back to ground level. check your plants once a month from April onwards for multiple stems and cut bck unwanted ones.

Preventing summer fruiting raspberries from over-crowding the container is a little more complicated. Bear in mind with summer fruiting raspberries that they produce fruit on canes which started growing last year. So in the summer when last year’s cane is starting to produce fruit you will also need to have one or two more canes which are growing for fruit production next year.

Pruning aside (see below) that’s all the care that your raspberry plants will need. The containers do of course need to kept weed free. Position your container in full sun or part shade. If your area is windy then position the container where the plants will be protected from the worst of the wind damage.

PRUNING RASPBERRIES IN CONTAINERS

Pruning raspberries is different for autumn and summer fruiting varieties because autumn fruiting varieties produce raspberries on canes which grow this year. Summer fruiting raspberries produce fruit on canes which started growing the previous year.

If you have autumn fruiting raspberry canes then pruning is simply cutting the canes back to 3cm / 1in above soil level in mid-February. It sounds harsh but this will encourage them to spring back to life in mid-March for another year’s crop of delicious raspberries!

Summer fruiting raspberries should be pruned as soon as they stop producing fruit. Cut all canes which have produced fruit this year to ground level. Select one or two canes which haven’t produced fruit this year and prune all the remaining ones to ground level.

It’s relatively easy to distinguish between canes that have produced fruit this year from those that haven’t. The new canes will have light green stems and they will generally look to be growing well. the canes that have produced fruit this year will be darker in colour and generally look a bit tired out!

HARVEST RASPBERRIES

Raspberries are best harvested when they are dry and the best time of day is either in the morning or evening when the temperatures are cool. This will help them last longer stored in the fridge.

To freeze raspberries lay them out one a shallow tray (in one layer only) and let them freeze. If you are lucky enough to have lots then bag up the frozen raspberries, place them back in the freezer and start freezing the next batch in the same way.

Bagged up, they will keep in the freezer for at least three months. When you defrost raspberries they will never have the texture of fresh raspberries but that’s not a problem if you want to use them in cakes, sauces or drinks.

One tip for making frozen raspberries look good is to remove them from the freezer only a few minutes before you need them. They will stay in shape for a couple of hours and initially will have a delightful sugar-frosted look – see the picture of the Chocolate and raspberry cheesecake below.

Good recipes for raspberries (frozen and unfrozen) can be found at the following links:

Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake

Baked Raspberry Cheesecake

Eton Mess

PESTS AND DISEASES

Raspberries grown in containers suffer from the normal pests and diseases which affect those grown in the open ground. Rather than detail them here we provide a link here to a good page that deals with how to identify them and how to treat them.

READER COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS PAGE

11 March 2017 From: Mike Excellent Info, I am just about to plant up my raspberrries in large 70ltr very deep containers using 70% General Purpose Peat basedCompost with added JInnes plus 20% addtiional JH No3 and 10% Perlite, and a P{H of 6 With 2″ of Pine bark chips as Mulch. I will post how well it turns out. 18 February 2015 From: Sharon Very helpful information 07 December 2014 From: Shyam Sharma I am first time planter and needed this info. Thanks. 08 June 2014 From: Sharon I have avoided planting raspberries in my garden because they grow much TOO well in our climate and can become a nuisance. Someone suggested containers for raspberries… and it sounds like a really good idea. I have two questions though. First, can the pot take some freezing with the roots above ground in the container or would it be better to heel it in for the winter? Second is approximately how much fruit will one pot with two canes in it produce? I’m thinking not really very much and 3 or 4 pots would be a good amount for two people. We would probably like to eat them fresh while they are producing well and freeze them when there are too many to eat.
ANSWER: I live in the Midlands and they overwinter in containers just fine. I do move them close up against a hedge out of the wind during winter, against a house wall would do even better. In my experience they produce just as much fruit as canes planted in the ground. Four pots should keep you handsomely in raspberries! Three pots would be my guess but it depends how many you can eat. Remember, you will crop more in year two compared to the first year. 20 April 2014 From: Shyam Sharma Very good info for a first time grower as myself. 10 August 2013 From: Barbara Very very helpful. All the info I needed in one place! 25 July 2013 From: Mel Clear, detailed and informative. 5 June 2013 From: Sue Very helpful 21 April 2013 From: Grace Helpful, all the info I need to get started! 17 April 2013 From: Not Given Planted my first one! 🙂 16 April 2013 From: Not Given Just what I was looking for. 07 February 2013 From: Pat Great information!

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I Tried to Grow Raspberries in a Container Pot and Failed Miserably—Here’s What I Should Have Done Instead

Jenny McCoy

If I had to pick one flavor that represented summer to me, it would be ‘raspberry.’ That’s because my grandma used to have a raspberry garden in her backyard, and as a girl, I would spend afternoons in early August eating the sun-warmed berries straight off the vine. Now, as a 20-something with garden goals of my own, I’ve wondered what it would take to replicate that patch of magic myself.

From some light Googling, I learned: not much. Raspberries are relatively easy to grow, said the Internet, and though the bushes naturally thrive in cooler climates, there are now many different varieties that can flourish in an array of conditions—including hot, dry climates (like my home in Colorado) and even in container pots, which is perfect, because I don’t *technically* have a backyard (#apartmentlife).

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So this summer, feeling nostalgic about my youth and craving more homegrown berries in my life, I decided to give raspberry growing a whirl. It turned out about as well as when I decided to get side bangs in seventh grade, which is to say: horribly.

It all started off with the best intentions, AKA a 5-gallon container pot, a pile of compost soil and an adorable baby raspberry stalk. The stalk was a transplant from my parents’ raspberry garden (which actually came from my grandmother’s OG patch!), and after I transferred it, I watered it thoroughly, let it drain and set it up on the sunniest spot on my balcony.

Within 24 hours, the plant wilted dramatically. And within 36 hours, it was dead (seriously, here’s a photo).

Image zoom Jenny McCoy

Feeling upset-slash-disturbed that I’d managed to kill such a healthy plant in less than 2 days, I turned to two gardening experts to understand exactly where and how I went so wrong. In memoriam of my deceased stalk—and for the sake of innocent raspberry bushes everywhere—here is their counsel.

Variety matters

The first thing I learned was actually uplifting: I’d chosen the correct type of raspberry for my climate and circumstances.

Fall-bearing raspberries, also known as the ever-bearing variety, are the best bet for Colorado in general, and also for container planting, Don Burnett, a certified arborist and gardening guru in Kelowna, British Columbia, tells me. This varietal produces fruit in late July and August, compared to the summer-bearing varietal, which flowers in June. So I at least got one thing right!

Timing is key

This is where I went quite wrong. I did my transplant in July, which is a big no-no.

“You have to be a really big green thumber to dig up a plant in the middle of a growing season and plant it into another pot,” says Burnett. “It’s like cutting into someone without putting them to sleep.” *Cue feelings of intense guilt.*

If you are to attempt this risky mid-season transfer, make sure you water the plant well the day before you plan to dig it up, advises Burnett. Then, after the transplant, spray it with Wilt Pruf, he adds. This special formulation will stop the transpiration of moisture out of the plant and better its chances of survival.

All that said, by far the better and easier method is to transplant the stalk when it’s dormant. “That way you’re not shocking the plant at all.” Burnett recommends doing this in March or April.

When finding a stalk for transplant, go to a nursery, says Tyler Davis, certified horticulturist and Plant Expert at Orchard Supply Hardware. Transferring raspberry stalks between gardens is “a great way to share plants, but this also risks exposure of your garden to plant disease, as raspberries are very susceptible to soil-borne diseases and fungi and these can be transmitted when transplanting,” he explains.”The best plants to start with come from nurseries, where plants that are offered can be certified virus-free.”

Proper watering and drainage is important, too

You don’t want your plant to “get bone dry like a cactus,” says Burnett, “but you don’t want it to be constantly wet either.”

The correct amount of water for any container plant depends on two things, says Davis. The first: where it’s located, and the second: how much wind and sun it receives. “In areas where the weather is windy and hot, a container raspberry would likely need daily watering,” he advises. In cooler, non-windy climates, watering every other day would likely suffice.

Another factor to consider is the amount of rain the container receives, though this does not always provide enough water for potted plants, caveats Davis, and supplemental water might still be needed. In thinking about my own plant (or rather, the memory of it), since Colorado tends to be super dry, relatively steamy and frequently windy, I’d likely have had to water it daily.

While figuring out the right watering schedule for your plant, err on the side of too dry, advises Burnett. “Plants would rather get on the dry side than be constantly wet, because that can prevent the roots from breathing and cause root rot.”

On that note, it’s important to ensure good drainage in your pot. Simply putting gravel in the bottom of your pot won’t help, says Burnett. “You will still have root rot and salt build-up,” he says. Instead, pick a container with holes in the bottom and place a saucer underneath. Be sure to empty the saucer after the water has drained through the pot and the berry has had a chance to soak up what it needs from the saucer, adds Davis.

You’ll get a break from all this during the winter. That’s because raspberries lose their leaves and go completely dormant in colder months, which means regular watering is not usually needed. “Potted berries can be watered once a month in the winter if no winter rain is present, as this keeps the roots healthy,” says Davis.

The right pot size and soil type

The size of the container depends on the size of the root ball (i.e. the main mass of roots on a plant) that you are planting, says Davis. Though my 5-gallon pot was likely ok for my mini stalk, says Burnett, the best rule of thumb is to find a pot that is 2 to 3 inches larger in diameter than the original nursery container, says Davis. “This allows some room for root development and growth in the future and also won’t shock the plant,” he explains. “If a small plant is put into a too-large pot, the success rate is lowered because the plant roots think they need to hurry and fill a large space.” Instead, it’s best to gradually increase the size of a pot by transplanting every few years. “This is also a great time to add fresh potting soil that will help root development and plant growth,” he adds.

As for soil type, opt for well-drained, open potting soil—not garden or compost soil, says Burnett.

Fertilizer can help

Quality fertilizer is a good idea for container plants in general, says Davis. If you use a potting soil with fertilizer in it, start using low-strength supplemental fertilizer after about six weeks, he says.

Be sure to read the labels on all fertilizers for application instructions. Liquid fertilizers are taken up quickly by plants but don’t last long in the soil. A fertilizing schedule that utilizes both liquid fertilizers and slow release granular fertilizers is always a good idea, he says.

Sunny conditions are best

Potted raspberry plants need full sun—at least 8 hours per day, says Davis. That said, if you’ve attempted a transplant (despite the caveats mentioned above!), leave your plant in the shade for the first 10 days to let it ‘get a foothold,’ says Burnett. “Once it starts looking like it’s catching , you can move it into a full sun spot.”

The bottom line

Growing raspberries in a container pot is “very easy if you follow these steps,” says Burnett. Somehow, I think an expert gardner’s definition of “very easy” and my definition of “very easy” are quite different, but maybe—in the spirit of fresh fruit and fresh beginnings—I’ll give it a go again next year.

Growing Everbearing Raspberries in Containers

Growing raspberries in containers has both benefits and drawbacks for backyard gardener. The best choice for container gardening are smaller and sturdier, everbearing raspberry variants, but all other will do fine, if proper conditions are met.

Growing raspberries and other plants in containers has many benefits:

– it is easier to adjust the soil and optimize it for the plant that is actually grown in container,

– plants with containers can be moved around as required or needed,

– growing raspberries in containers prevent them from spreading around the garden, etc.

One of the drawbacks is that raspberries require more or less constant moisture in the soil in order to grow properly developed and healthy fruit – you can’t simply leave them for days without watering during summer heat and expect them to grow and bear fruits. Raspberries that are grown in the garden soil patch also must be regularly watered, but they are less susceptible to drought than raspberries grown in containers.

Preparing the Soil in Containers

Soil for raspberries must be slightly acidic (pH 6.0 – 6.2), must retain nutrients well, but also must have good drainage.

Depending on the raspberry variety and desired number of plants, 40cm (16 inches) round pots are large enough for single plant. Larger pots, 50-60cm (20-24 inches) or even larger, are suitable for several plants.

Start filling the container with 2-5cm (1-2 inches) of gravel that will help with the drainage – be sure that container has enough drainage holes. Fill the rest of the pot with mixture of good potting soil, aged manure and humus/compost. Also, add some balanced NPK fertilizer with gradual release of nutrients. If you don’t have aged manure, add fresh one to the mix, cover the pot and let it settle for a month – don’t let rain to wash away nutrients from the soil mix.

There are other possible combinations based on available raw materials – peat moss, perlite and similar. If you have relatively heavy soil and plan on using it for a soil mix, add some sand, perlite, aged manure, peat moss and similar materials in order to increase water and nutrient retention, with good drainage of excess water.

Adding hydroton pebbles can increase water retention, but also aeration of the soil – as water evaporates from hydroton pebbles or as it is absorbed by plants, fresh air enters the soil and pebbles themselves.

On the other hand, hydrogel (water) beads, pearls and powders absorb water and change volume, without forcing fresh air in and old air out of the soil – if ‘right’ conditions are met, such conditions can lead to growing problems, including root rot and various diseases.

Planting and Maintaining Raspberries in Containers

Raspberry plants should be purchased from reputable nurseries as dormant bare-root or as potted, virus-free plants. If you are a novice gardener and you don’t need many raspberry plants, go for potted raspberry plants.

When soil in container is ready, dig a hole large enough to accommodate young plant’s roots. Cover the roots with the soil, press the soil and water thoroughly with stale rainwater. Ordinary water will do fine, of course, just try not to water with cold water. If setting of the soil occur, add more soil and mulch in the form of wood chips, sawdust, straw and similar.

Mulch protects the soil from heat and wind, keeping the moisture in. Also, it helps against weeds even in the containers. However, mulch also must not prevent young shoots from growing, so it should not be too thick and too heavy.

If support is required, add it right away, since pressing the poles in the soil at later time can damage the roots and new shoots.

Although raspberries are heavy feeders, too much of nutrients, especially nitrogen, leads to large, but weak plants prone to pests, diseases and physical damage.

As said before, young raspberries should be planted in slightly acidic soil rich in organic matter, with added aged manure, compost/humus and balanced NPK fertilizer. In the similar manner, in late winter, add some aged manure, compost/humus and balanced NPK fertilizer to fruit bearing plants. As plants grow, add nutrients in the form of liquid fertilizer once or twice per month. If you have NPK fertilizer with gradual release of nutrients and it is combined with aged manure and humus/compost, refeeding is not required for next 3-4 months.

Watering plants in containers is very important – if possible use dripping system that will keep moisture level on almost constant level. If not, water manually 2-3 times per week, depending on the size/volume of container, size and number of raspberry plants in container and temperature. During summer heat, water daily with stale water.

Proper amounts of nutrients and water are very important for everbearing raspberries. Harvest of common raspberry varieties can last 2-3 weeks at most and this can be prolonged by growing several different types of raspberries. However, everbearing raspberries produce berries in the spring and again in the autumn. Mixing everbearing and ordinary raspberries in the garden is the best way to have fresh, great tasting raspberries from your own garden for months, constantly.

Depending on the location, raspberries should be pruned until middle of the May. Remove anything that is damaged or ill, remove two-year old canes and one-year redundant canes. Canes bearing fruits should be cut to the height of 1.2-1.5 m (4-5 feet), depending on the variety. Raspberries in the containers can grow as very thick bushes, so keep the number of the canes at moderate level. Letting the sun and air into the bush, decreases the danger of various diseases.

Common Everbearing Raspberry Varieties

When obtaining raspberries, the best option is to get certified virus-free, one-year old plants. However, those who have time and patience, can grow desired varieties from the seeds. Seeds can be purchased locally or from on-line shops. Most popular everbearing raspberry varieties are:

– Heritage – medium-sized fruits, self-supporting plants,

– Sweet Repeat – large, sweet, red berries, not many thorns (not thornless!), tolerates high temperatures,

– Autumn Britten – large and sweet berries, high yields, very adaptable plants,

– Anne – golden, sweet raspberries lacking tartness of some red raspberries,

– Golden Fall (Fall Gold) – yellow, sweet berry, moderate crops,

– Jaclyn – large, juicy berries, very resistant to wind and rain, requires support due to heavy yields,

– September – tart and juicy, medium sized berries,

– Caroline Red – ripens early, resistant to root rot, large berries,

– Redwing – large and sweet berries, moderate crops, self-supporting plants.

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Everbearing raspberries are hardy and prolific plants, bearing fruits even in the cold, wet weather. However, to avoid losses of berries due to early autumn frost, plants and berries must be protected by some sort of cover (thin nylon, for example). Also, letting the dormant raspberry plants to spend late winter indoors, makes them start to grow earlier in the spring – don’t leave them overnight outside too early in the spring, since late spring frost can make some serious damage to the plants.

Growing Raspberries from Seeds

Raspberry seeds are very small, so handle them with care. Depending on the number of desired plants, fill suitable tray with low-nutrient, sterile, seed-starting potting soil, press it firmly and water with stale water. Space raspberry seeds an inch apart (2.5 cm), cover with thin layer of the same potting soil or fine sand and water again using spray bottle and stale water.

The best time for sowing the seeds is during winter – even if you buy stratified seeds, they need some time to get going.

Cover the tray with transparent plastic or nylon and keep the soil moist. Place the tray near the window facing the north in cool room.

When outside daily temperatures reach 60°F (15°C), place the tray outside in partially shade. Sometimes it takes 4-6 weeks for raspberries to germinate.

Be sure to keep the soil always lightly moist.

When plants develop first pair of mature leaves, transplant individual seedlings into 4-6 inch (10-15 cm) pots filled with good potting soil. In the beginning, keep them in partial shade and water regularly.

One year old raspberries grown from the seeds can be planted on permanent location just as one year old raspberries purchased in garden centers.

Note: it is normal for some home gardeners to choose the best raspberries from the market, let them over-ripen for few days at home, remove and dry the seeds, place the seeds into the refrigerator for a month and then to sow such seeds – results can be surprisingly good with few disappointments here and there 🙂

Common Growing Problems

Raspberries don’t have many growing issues.

If they are grown in well aerated soil with good drainage, root rot will not occur. Regular watering and plenty of nutrients support strong feeder like raspberries.

When buying plants, plants must be healthy and virus-free. When sowing the seeds, be sure to use good, preferably sterile, potting soil.

Raspberries prefer sunny locations, but will, up to the point, tolerate semi-shade positions, depending on climate and varieties. Since they are in the pots, move them if required.

Prune bushes from excess canes and let the sunshine and air in the bush – this way leaves, flowers and berries dry quickly and are more resistant to various diseases.

Some varieties tolerate wind, but winds can break shoots and canes, reducing the yield – grow raspberries protected from strong winds and strong rainfalls.
When berries start to ripen, birds can be a problem – if required, add some sort of protective nets to prevent pest from feeding on ripe raspberries.

Harvesting the Raspberries

Harvesting the raspberries at home garden should be done when berries are fully ripe. Unlike industrial production, goal is to prolong harvesting season and that is done by choosing right varieties.

Raspberries are picked every second or third day from the same plant and with enough plants and varieties, raspberry season can last for months and they can be harvested on a daily basis and consumed fresh or processed into jellies and juices or prepared as part of pies and cakes or they can be frozen for later use.

Raspberry toastCredit:Sally Heath

Raspberries are shallow rooted and love nothing more than to send a sucker out of the designated area, this can start to be a bit untidy. If you build your plot in a lawn the suckers can be controlled by regular mowing, but I prefer containment; so, create a trench around the perimeter and slide some heavy gauge black plastic down into it to form a root barrier.

Bang in four thick tomato stakes 150mm in from each corner and another two in the middle, also 150mm from the edge to form two rows, Then tie a thin tomato stake horizontally at 900mm above the bed and another at 1500mm. These will be the supports for your abundant crop.

The chances are that your soil will be extremely dry and if it is sandy loam, it may even be hydrophobic. This is where the compost will help. Create a well in the middle and soak the ground. At first the water may be repelled by the soil. Leave it sit for an hour and then check to see if the soil has absorbed the water, if it hasn’t then soak it again. Once you are happy with the soil, spread another 100mm of compost on top and leave it for a couple of weeks while you order and wait for your precious plants to arrive.

If you have grown parsley then you’ll know that it’s great for the first year and then the second year it only seems to want to flower and set seed? Well, that’s because it is a biennial, one year to grow and gain strength, the next to be promiscuous. Raspberries have a similar existence. Each new cane is biennial. Therefore pruning is easy. Remove the canes that have fruited, to the ground. This can be done as soon as you like after fruiting is complete. Then in winter gather together the one year old canes and tie them to your supporting structures, if you feel that it is getting too crowded, cut some of these canes to the ground. As with most things natural there are the exceptions and if you plan on having a variety which fruits exclusively in autumn then you can take the slash and burn approach after you have sampled the last delectable morsel and cut all the canes to the ground.

I love growing annual veggies, but raspberries provide a nice break from the needy vegetable garden.

A few years ago, I bought two everbearing ‘Red Heritage’ plants and planted them in the spring. By fall, I had my first modest harvest.

And in just the second season, I harvested a couple of handfuls of fruit every day from July through October – all from two plants.

Now, I love watching new growth spring up from my small raspberry patch each year.

And I mean small. With less than a quarter of an acre to work with, I plant sparingly.

I’ll be making more room for raspberries soon, though. They require very little of me, and yet, they give so much.

And nothing is sweeter than seeing my toddler take a break from swinging to find the biggest, reddest berries to munch on!

So what do you need to know if you want the best harvest? Pruning and trellising should be your main areas of focus, and we’ll cover both.

With very little overall effort, you can expect to get a good harvest from the same group of plants for 15 years or more, which is amazing!

How to Grow Your Own Raspberries

  • Choosing Your Plants
  • Terminology and Plant Types
  • Plant Care
  • Pruning
  • Trellising
  • Pests and Diseases
  • Harvest and Recipe Suggestions
  • What’s Stopping You?

Read on to learn more about growing raspberries – because who doesn’t want to enjoy homegrown and freshly picked fruit on a hot summer day?

Choosing Your Plants

There are a ton of raspberry varieties available, so you’ll want to do your research beforehand.

Varieties range in flavor, growth habit, fruit color, and cold hardiness. So know your growing zone and don’t rush your decision.

I chose everbearing ‘Red Heritage’ because they don’t need much support, and stay relatively manageable. They are also delicious.

Chances are you’ll have these plants in your yard for years to come, so make sure you choose the ones you want.

Terminology and Plant Types

Raspberry varieties fall under one of two types – everbearing or summer bearing.

Before I describe these in more detail, it’s helpful to understand some basic terms.

First, canes refer to the stems that grow from the base, or crown, of the plant.

Primocanes – first year canes – on ‘Red Heritage.’ Photo by Amber Shidler.

Primocanes are first year canes that spring up from the ground every year. They are fast growing, young green shoots.

Floricanes are second year canes. They typically turn brown and develop a woody appearance. Instead of putting all of their energy into producing leaves like primocanes, floricanes produce flowers and then fruit.

So now, more about the two types:

Everbearing

These types fruit on floricanes, the second year canes, in the summer between June and July. But they also fruit on primocanes, or first year canes, in the fall. So you get two harvests!

Summer Bearing

Summer bearing varieties fruit on primocanes only, usually around July.

Floricanes – second year canes – on ‘Red Heritage.’ Photo by Amber Shidler.

Once a cane bears fruit completely on either type, it will die off, at which point you can cut it back to the ground.

Plant Care

Wild raspberries grow throughout the United States. So it’s no surprise that cultivated varieties are pretty adaptable, and most are hardy in zones 2 through 7.

Most raspberries are sold as dormant canes. In their second year, canes reach a minimum of four feet, with a number of varieties growing much taller.

Choose the right location and prep it well before planting. Hopefully your plants will be around for decades, so choose wisely!

Pick a spot in full sun to partial sun. If you live in an area with really hot summers, part sun may be a better bet.

You can get plants in the ground as soon as the soil is workable.

Getting a soil test is always a good idea before planting. Raspberries prefer fertile, well draining soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5.

A soil test will give you a starting point for amending the soil.

Well draining soil is crucial, as raspberries are susceptible to root rot and will not tolerate wet feet.

Amend soil with rich, organic compost to improve drainage and nutrient composition, especially if you’re dealing with heavy clay.

Adding a layer of organic compost in the late fall is a great boost for the coming spring.

Once established, a balanced fertilizer tailored towards fruiting shrubs with an N-P-K ratio of 10-10-10 can be used.

The best time to apply fertilizer is in the early spring, when primocanes start emerging, and again in late spring to early summer.

Raised beds are a good option as well, since you can control soil material and ensure better drainage.

Otherwise, mound the soil 4 to 6 inches high to create a hill. Doing this will raise the canes a bit, and further improve drainage.

Space plants a minimum of 24 inches apart in a row. And keep in mind that it’s best to keep rows less than 24 inches wide.

This means removing all canes that venture out past a certain point.

Newly ripening fruit. Photo by Amber Shidler.

It’s a lot to keep in mind, I know! But your raspberries will be way easier to harvest and prune than they would be if left to their own devices, and they will be a lot less susceptible to disease as well.

You’ll want to dig up any suckers that grow outside of the row. The good news is that you can replant the suckers in a new spot, and grow even more raspberries!

Keep different varieties in separate locations or rows. If you mix everbearers and summer bearers, you’ll have a hard time pruning once they fill in.

I caught this bumble bee, pollen sacs and all, pollinating the raspberry flowers. Photo by Amber Shidler.

Raspberries are technically self-pollinating, but bees and other pollinators play a really important role in improving pollination and overall fruit production.

Water plants well until they are established, and also during drought. As a general rule, plants should get about one inch of water every week.

If you don’t have one already, pick up a rain gauge. This device makes it easy to know when your garden needs supplemental watering.

Pruning

In the fall, once plants bear fruit and leaves begin to die back, cut all floricanes to ground level.

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Photos by Amber Shidler © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Uncredited photos: . With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.

About Amber Shidler

Amber Shidler lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and holds a dual bachelor’s degree in botany and geography. For four years she worked as a horticulturist, but is now a stay-at-home mom. With experience in landscape design, installation, and maintenance she has set her sights on turning her tenth-of-an-acre lot into a productive oasis. Amber is passionate about all things gardening, especially growing and enjoying organic food.

How to grow bare root soft fruit
In general and for the purposes of this article, soft fruit refers to soft skinned, juicy fruit borne on bushes or canes. Other types of soft fruit include strawberries, grapes and melons but this article refers to woody bush types including raspberries, boysenberries, blueberries, tayberries, currants and gooseberries.

Growing soft fruit has become more and more popular as shop prices increase and demand for fresh fruit grows. Berries in particular are seen as healthy choice but I’m always rather dismayed when I see how far many of them have traveled to reach the supermarket shelf. A little bird also told me berries can have very high rates of pesticides on them, it stands to reason if you think about it, the smaller the fruit the more sprayable surface area there is per pound of produce.

But enough of the scary stuff. Homegrown fruit is fresh and pesticide free but is also relatively hassle free and is one of the best investments you can make in your garden.

The beauty of soft fruit canes and bushes is once planted they will produce abundant crops for 10 years or more before the bush starts to decline; all you need to do is add a good layer of manure around the bush in Spring, learn some basic pruning and protect ripening fruits from birds. Soft fruit is also easily frozen and can be used to make your own delicious jams and preserves so you’ll never have too much produce that you don’t know what to do with.

The most cost effective way to grow your own fruit garden is to buy bare root soft fruit varieties in Winter when the plant is dormant and has lost its leaves. Raspberry canes and currant bushes can look no more than a pile of twigs but you will be surprised how quickly they will take off in the Spring.

I can’t pretend to be an expert on soft fruit, I only properly planted up my own garden in the last few years but I do have access to plenty of people who do know what they are doing and have helped me along the way. If you’re looking for a good book on the subject you can’t go wrong with D.G.Hessayon’s ‘Expert’ series with the ‘Fruit Expert’ being no exception, it’s the one I use and the one I have open on the desk as I write this.

Site and Soil
All fruit will do best in full sun but most varieties will still do well in partial shade, when planting fruit to get the most from available sunlight a North – South orientation is best so plants don’t shade each other.

Most soil types will produce a good crop but avoid poorly drained or gravelly soils or sites under or close to trees. Add plenty of organic matter prior to planting, remember other than a top dressing of manure this is the last time you’ll turn this ground for 10 years so a well fed soil is essential. If your site is wet in Winter it is best to build raised beds as fruit (especially raspberries) will die if roots are made to stand in wet, airless soil for too long.

A generous mulch of manure is best applied in Spring after weeding around the plants. Manure should be well rotted (no smell) and added in a thick weed suppressing layer spreading about a metre around the stem. It can also be helpful to cover the manure with a layer of ‘mypex’ stapled to the ground as weeds and grasses growing through small fruit bushes (especially prickly gooseberries) can be a nuisance.

How to Grow Raspberries
Raspberries will need support as canes grow tall and can fall over when heavy with fruit. If you are growing in a small space a single post for every 2 plants will be more practical but if you have the room you are better growing a number of canes along a post and wire support fence.

Single post system
Plant 2 raspberry canes at the base of a single 6 foot post buried approx 2 feet deep in the ground, canes are secured to the post with loops of soft twine. This method is only really suited to very small gardens and can make fruit difficult to harvest, if space allows a post and wire system is recommended.

Post and wire system
A post and wire system is a simple fence of approx 6 ft high with galvanized wire fixed between the posts. A nice neat job here will pay dividends, make sure the end posts are secure enough to take the strain of the wire by bracing with an angled strut. Straining bolts are also very handy for keeping the wire taut; they consist of an eye bolt with a threaded bar which is drilled through the post and attached and tensioned with a bolt and washer. The support wires should be fixed at 5ft, 3 1/2ft and 2 1/2ft heights for Summer fruiting raspberries, you can omit the top wire for Autumn varieties. Raspberry canes are fixed to the wires with soft ties.

Double fence system
This would be my preference as while it takes a bit more work in the beginning it saves a lot of hassle later on, this is the one I use.

The System is the same as the post and wire method above but uses cross sections fixed to the posts to allow 2 wires to run parallel. The advantages are you can grow a deeper bush with more canes per root and you don’t have to tie the canes to the wires. You can also run twine or wire between the main support wires in a zig zag fashion which provides more lateral support and prevents tall canes from toppling sideways.

Planting
As with most soft fruit but very important for raspberries soil must not become waterlogged in Winter or the plans are unlikely to survive. I have a heavy clay subsoil which doesn’t drain well so have built raised beds and filled with a free draining topsoil.

Make a trench approx 45cm wide by 20 cm deep and line with well rotted manure and/or garden compost. If you can’t get hold of well rotted manure I have used a mix Envirogrind compost mixed with a small handful of seaweed poultry manure pellets per bucket and found it excellent. Raspberries like a slightly acidic soil so if your garden is chalky and alkaline you may want to re-consider or add sulphur to lower the ph.

Place the raspberry cane in the trench and and fill leaving the old soil mark as the same level as the new soil. Tread gently around the stem to firm the roots in and water well. Raspberry canes should be planted 50cm apart, if you want to grow 2 separate rows space each row 1.8m apart.

Initial pruning
Most raspberry canes will come as a single stem or whip; you will need to prune the whip down to about 30 cm above the soil level. In the Spring you will notice new growth beginning to appear around the stem, at this stage cut the main stem down to ground level.

Annual pruning
Summer varieties
Raspberries fruit on last years wood so remember if you prune all the canes you will have no fruit for a year. I did this by mistake in my second year (duh) and missed a season but you want to see the raspberries the following year! Pruning is done after the berries plants have fruited as if you leave it till the leaves have fallen off in Autumn it’s more difficult to see which ones to prune (again, I learned this the hard way).

It is easy to see which canes to prune after fruiting as the new growth is vibrant and green while the old fruiting canes will look woody with yellowing leaves. Cut the old wood right back to soil level while leaving 8 -10 new green whips for fruit the following year.

Autumn varieties
Autumn fruiting varieties are treated differently as they fruit on the current years wood. Cut all the canes to ground level in February, you can thin the canes a little in Summer if they begin to look overcrowded.

Feeding
Feed raspberries in Spring by adding a generous mulch of well rotted manure around the plants, don’t manure right up to the stems but leave about 10cm of uncovered soil around the plant. If growth is slow as Summer approaches add seaweed and poultry manure pellets at a rate of 100g per square meter.

Harvesting
The first summer raspberries are ready for harvesting in early summer, whereas autumn raspberries won’t mature until late summer. Pick on a dry day. Eat them fresh, freeze them, or make into preserves.

Where to buy?
We carry a selection of bare root raspberry varieties in the Autumn/Winter. Bare root bushes are best planted in November and December providing the ground is not difficult to work from either hard frost, snow or heavy rain.

Raspberry – All Gold

Raspberry – Autumn Bliss

Raspberry – Glen Ample

Raspberry – Malling Jewel

Raspberry Varieties -Different Types of Raspberries

What are the Best Raspberries to Grow?

So many Raspberry Varieties to choose from … which type of raspberry plants should you choose to grow?

*FTC Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases with no extra cost to you

*FTC Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying
purchases with no extra cost to you

One of the key elements to successful gardening with raspberries is a careful selection of the plant variety.

Are you interested in summer-bearing raspberries, or ever-bearing raspberries? Do you prefer a red raspberry to another colour?

Photo Credit: J Vlietstra (Public domain) from Wikimedia Commons

Once you have made these decisions, you are ready to choose a specific variety.

Some possible variety choices are included below, and, by visiting a garden center, you will probably have additional varieties to choose from.

When choosing a specific variety you must choose a cultivar suitable for your location. That is, if you live in a colder region, choose a winter hardy variety.

When purchasing raspberry plants, most plants have information included to advise you what the hardiness zone is for that particular variety. Be sure you choose a plant variety according to your location in the hardiness zone.

When choosing a specific type of raspberry plant, you must also consider the type of soil you will be growing the plants in.

For example, if your soil is heavy, and does not drain well, then you should not grow a raspberry plant variety that is susceptible to root diseases.

Categories of Raspberry Varieties

Raspberry plants can be divided into categories based on the season in which they produce fruit, or based on their colour.

Raspberry varieties which produce fruit only in the summer are called “summer-bearing raspberries”, and raspberries which produce fruit in the summer as well as in the fall are called “ever-bearing raspberries”.

Raspberry plants can also be divided into categories by colour. Varieties may produce fruit that is red, yellow/gold, purple or black.

Black and purple raspberries are generally known under the name of black raspberry, just as red and yellow raspberries are usually known as red raspberries. Black and purple raspberries are closely related to the reds, although they are larger and more productive and greatly tolerant of heat. They are however, less resistant to cold climates.

Raspberry plants with black berries, which are also called blackcaps, ripen earlier than those with purple berries, but purple berries have bigger fruit and more distinctive flavour. The berries are not as juicy as red raspberries and are used primarily to make appetizing raspberry jams and jellies.

Both the black and the purple raspberries grow in zones 4 to 8.

Varieties of Raspberry Plant Cultivars

What are some of the more common Raspberry Plant Varieties?

Here follows the names of several different varieties of raspberries and some noteworthy distinctions of each, divided into sections: Standard Varieties, Every-Bearing Varieties, Black Varieties and Purple Raspberry Varieties. These are not exhaustive listings, but a guide to the more common varieties of these delectable tender fruits!

Standard Raspberry Varieties

Amber – Amber-yellow berries superior in quality to the other yellows and comparable to most reds (which are generally better than the yellows). Fruits rather late. Not hardy in zone 3.

Boyne – Dark red berries of good quality. Vigorous, very hardy plants. Recommended for colder areas. (My personal favourite)

Canby – Canes are nearly thorn-less. Large, sweet red berries.

Chief – Profuse small red berries, but of only fair quality.

Early Red – Red berries of better-than-average flavour. Hardy and very early variety.

Latham – Probably the most popular standard red raspberry. Very large, mildly sweet, firm fruit of moderate quality. Hardy and tolerant of many virus diseases.

Sumner – Dependable variety, well adapted to heavier soils. Large, red berries ripening over a long period.

Taylor – Excellent large, conical, light red berries in profusion. Delicious flavour. Vigorous, hardy plants.

Willamette – Enormous, conical, dark red berries in abundance.

Ever-Bearing Raspberry Varieties

Fall Red – Very hardy, with large, bright red berries of good flavour and a nice aroma. Ripens very early.

Heritage – Fair flavour. Berries are firm, small to medium in size, and light red. Requires a warm growing situation.

Indian Summer – Soft, crumbly red berries, but good flavour. Brilliant red fruit. Abundant producer.

September – Fair flavour. Berries are crumbly, small to medium in size and very dark red. Only moderately vigorous grower.

Fallgold – Yellow autumn-fruiting raspberry. Sweet, mild flavour. Berries are medium to large in size and conical. Canes are vigorous are prolific growers.

Black Raspberry Varieties

Allen – Large fruits of superior dessert quality. Very productive, hardy and vigorous. Early fruit.

Black Knight – Every-bearing variety cropping in summer and fall, but primarily in the summer. Large, sweet berries.

Bristol – Very popular variety with high-quality, firm, and glossy. Fruits in mid-season. Extremely productive and vigorous variety.

Dundee – Dull black fruits of good quality. Productive, hardy, vigorous plants are somewhat tolerant of poorly drained soils than other plant varieties. Canes easily damaged in windy areas.

Huron – Big, glossy black, high quality berries. Fruits a bit later than most varieties.

Munger – Best variety for Canada Northwest, where raspberries are very widely grown.

Purple Raspberry Varieties

Clyde – Extra large, firm, glossy dark purple berries, ripening in mid-season. Very vigorous, hardy, disease resistant plants.

Marion – Very large, dull purple berries. Very productive. Plants easily injured by severe winter weather.

Sodus – Most popular purple variety. Large, tart berries ripening later than most reds and purples. Vigorous plants suitable to all hardiness zones.

Here below are different varieties of raspberry plants that are available for online purchase at *Amazon.

Click on the images for more detailed product information and for customer reviews.

What is MY Favourite Raspberry Variety?

Perhaps you are wondering, what MY favourite type of raspberry to grow is…

My favourite is the Red Raspberry Variety of “BOYNE”.

This variety produces delicious, juicy dark red berries of good quality. It is a vigorous growing plant, very hardy and is recommended for areas with a colder climate.

The Boyne Variety we grow produces it’s fruit mid July, and is not an Ever bearing variety.

Summer-Bearing Raspberries – “BOYNE” – my Favourite for Growing at Home

Good News!

Like strawberry plants, almost all raspberry plant varieties are quick and easy fruits to crop. They bear a reasonable amount in the second year and full cropping thereafter.

A good average yield is 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. per foot run of row.

You can also grow more than one variety of raspberries to lengthen the harvest season.

Doing this will provide you with mouth-watering fresh raspberries for most of the growing season!

If you already grow raspberries, continue to enjoy gardening!

If you do not grow raspberries … you must try it! … they are really simple to grow, and the reward is DELICIOUS!

For everything you need to know about growing raspberry plants, here follow links (or use the navigation bars) to pages which will be helpful in your berry growing endeavours!

GROWING Raspberries

PLANTING Raspberry Plants

TRANSPLANTING Raspberry Plants
(Dividing/Propagating)

Growing Raspberries from SEED

Raspberry PLANT CARE
(Fertilizing/Watering/Spraying/Sun Requirements)

HARVESTING Raspberries

PRUNING Raspberry Plants

Raspberry PESTS

Raspberry DISEASES

ORGANIC Raspberries

TOP of Raspberry Varieties
HOME to Raspberry-Depot.com’s Homepage

How to Grow Raspberries in Containers

Benefits of Container Growing

The pros may exceed the cons when growing raspberries in containers, even if it is impossible to eventually transplant your container raspberry plants into the ground. Here are some benefits:

  • The growing cost may be less expensive than purchasing market raspberries.
  • Fruit is tastier and fresher than market fruit.
  • It is easier to adjust the soil’s composition.
  • Plants can be moved around to the best environmental conditions.
  • Plants won’t spread outside container boundaries.

Drawbacks of Container Growing

The biggest drawback of growing raspberries in containers is the reduced crop size. Raspberry canes in the ground multiply quickly, producing more and larger raspberries. Canes grown in containers are hindered from spreading and multiplying.

Another drawback of container growing is quicker drying of the soil. A raspberry grower must check the moisture level almost daily. Frequent watering is a must, especially on hot summer days.

Choose the Appropriate Container

The best container for growing raspberries has a diameter and a depth of at least 24 inches (60 cm) and has drainage holes. Use frost tolerant containers if the plants will remain outdoors in very cold weather.

Choose the Right Cultivar

There are dozens of raspberry cultivars, but not all are suited for container growing. Cultivars that grow very tall and spread wide are not appropriate. Here are some of the best raspberry cultivars for container growing:

  • Malling Jewel
  • Malling Promise
  • Autumn Bliss
  • September
  • Zeva

Use the Proper Soil

A soil containing the proper nutrients and good drainage capabilities is crucial for container raspberry plants. A quality potting soil with added compost and natural fertilizer should be sufficient for a healthy plant start.

Planting in Containers

Line 1-2 inches of small pebbles in the bottom of the containers. Fill the containers with a quality potting soil, compost, and organic fertilizer. In each container, dig a hole twice the size of the root ball or bare-root cane. Set one plant or bare-root cane into the hole and fill soil around it.

It is important to completely bury the raspberry’s roots and crown into the soil and firmly press the soil around the plant or bare-root cane. Place one or more bamboo stakes into the soil. Growing canes will be tied to this simple .

After planting, the soil should be watered so that the soil is wet 6 inches or deeper. Lock in the moisture by applying a 2-3 inch layer of mulch. One to two inches of water per week is needed throughout the growing season.

Raspberry Container Care: How To Plant Raspberries In Pots

Ruby-red raspberries are one of the jewels of the summer garden. Even gardeners with limited space can enjoy a berry harvest by growing raspberries in containers. Growing raspberries in containers is no more work than planting them in the ground, and containers can be placed anywhere on sunny patios. If you are interested in container gardening with raspberries, read on.

Container Gardening with Raspberries

Growing raspberries in containers is a great option for those with poor garden soil, shady backyards or very little garden space. The great thing about container gardening with raspberries is that you can place the pots in any sunny corner without worrying about the soil.

What kinds of raspberries grow well in containers? In theory, any berry bush you can plant in the backyard can grow in a container. However, shorter, more compact plants that stand upright without support are easier to work with.

If you want ease, look for raspberry plants at your local garden store marked “ideal for containers.” If you don’t care about putting in extra effort, select any cultivar that catches your eye.

You can grow both summer-fruiting berry bushes and fall-fruiting varieties in pots. The former ripen in June through August and require support, the latter between August and October and grow upright.

How to Plant Raspberries in Pots

When you start growing raspberries in containers, you want to select a container at least 24 inches in diameter. If the container isn’t big enough, the plants are not likely to flourish. In addition, their cold hardiness diminishes and the plants might be killed by cool weather that wouldn’t impact canes planted in bigger pots.

Learning how to plant raspberries in pots is not difficult. Fill your pot with a soil-based compost to stabilize the plant. The “John Innes No. 3” mix works well for this. Then position six canes around the container, pressing the compost around them. Water them in well.

The most important part of raspberry container care is regular irrigation. You need to make sure that the soil/compost mixture doesn’t ever get bone dry.

Raspberry container care also includes feeding your plants. Dose them with a high potash fertilizer according to label directions. This will encourage abundant fruit to grow.

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