Raspberries are indeed yummy and healthy fruits which most people enjoy snacking on. They’re rich in vitamin C and fiber and other amazing nutrients. In fact, they’re richer in fiber than any plant foods. The fiber makes up for 20 percent of the berry’s weight.
Low in calories and abundant in folic acid, they’re a fruit you shouldn’t be missing out on. Plus, when you eat them, you boost your vitamin A, beta-carotene, manganese, and calcium levels, all of which are pivotal nutrients for your health!
Why You Should Grow Your Batch of Raspberries?
The longer they’re stored, the more do the nutrients in raspberries degrade. So, it’s best to consume them as soon as possible after picking them to reap their advantages.
And, when you have them in your backyard, this is much easier. A small cup of this delicious fruit will supply you with your vitamin C RDA.
Luckily for you, this is an easy fruit to grow and even inexperienced gardeners can do it.
What’s good about them is that they’re highly resistant to pests and illnesses common in other plants. Therefore, choose the best raspberry variety, put on your gardening gloves, and let’s go!
Raspberry Growing: Detailed Guide
- Choosing a place
Before you plant them, it’s important to find the best spot in the garden. Raspberry canes will need support in the form of trellis or fence. These plants need full sun exposure to grow optimally and can tolerate only a bit of shade.
Pay attention to good air flow and soil drainage, as well as wind protection. Slight slope planting is perfect because it enables fast drainage. Don’t plant your raspberries in areas where peppers, tomatoes or potatoes have recently grown.
This is because these plants often have fungal spores that lead to verticillium wilt and raspberries are prone to it. You don’t want them to waste your raspberries before they establish.
- Choosing the plant
Usually, raspberries need a cooler climate; however, there are some varieties available today that can grow between USDA Zones 3 to 9. Choose the most appropriate cultivar for your zone.
Find potted raspberry plants in your local garden which are the most adequate for your zone. You can also find high yielding varieties from different growers in the country; however, they usually ship bare root canes. They need to be planted earlier, i.e. when the ground thaws.
You have summer raspberries which bear one crop per year, from midsummer until the end of the season and the everbearing- two crops per year, in fall and the following summer.
The red ones are the most common; however, you can also grow black or purple, as well as golden yellow raspberries. You will also need to make a choice between regular or thornless types.
- Choosing the time
Spring is the season to plant your raspberries. The barefoot ones need to be planted in early spring to become established prior to summer. With pots, wait for risk of frost to pass and then plant them.
- Starting the planting
Traditionally, this fruit is grown on trellis; however, some allow them to ramble. Trellis is great for yield optimization, good sun exposure, and air flow.
Vertically growing your raspberries will also ease the pruning and harvesting. To make a trellis which is simple, yet strong, string a heavy-duty wire between two posts. As the plant shoots canes, attach them to the wires with ties or twine.
- The soil quality
Choose quality soil and add compost or manure. Dip holes that are 18 inches deep and wide for each plant. Place the holes three feet apart for proper spreading space.
For black and purple varieties, leave four feet. Put the plants in the holes and fill them with soil. Keep the crowns an inch above the ground. Make sure you pack the soil around them to ensure they’re steady and upright.
For bare root canes, you need to soak them in water an hour before planting.
- Watering your raspberries
Raspberries require regular watering and the soil needs to have moisture to ensure the plant thrives. You could place a soaker hose around them. And, proper drainage is crucial.
If the raspberries are in rich soil and have a sufficient amount of organic matter, you needn’t feed them regularly. After planting, apply a balanced and organic 10-10-10 formula.
Apply nitrogen-high fertilizer in early spring if you want to encourage vigorous growth. Dress it with organic manure once per year. Don’t fertilize in the fall and summer or over-fertilize.
- Harvesting your delicious fruits
Expect the first yield in the second year of planting. For 2-year old potted raspberries, the next season may offer a small crop. The everbearing ones bear fruit on new shoots and you may see a fall crop in the first year.
During the summer heat, the berries ripen fast and may be ready in two weeks. Since they’re quite soft, collect them gently by hand. Don’t pull too hard or tug them.