Raspberry (Rubus idaeus)
Raspberries are very tasty and extremely popular with small and large berry fans. However what you must consider when buying is that some raspberries bear fruit in the summer and others only reveal their delights in the autumn. The autumn-bearing raspberries are more suitable for growing on balconies than summer berries. They are more robust, easy to care for, grub-free and very bountiful.
Raspberries are not often seen in snack gardens as they are relatively bushy and can quickly grow very tall. All raspberries need a stable trellis for the canes. Raspberries can grow up to a height of 2 metre in a large pot leaning against the house wall and attached overhead.
Raspberries are self-pollinating, so one plant is enough to form fruit.
Buy the appropriate container at the same time as you buy raspberries. Tubs with a minimum volume of 25 litres are ideal. Make sure that terracotta pots are frost-resistant. Before planting, add a few centimetres of gravel or lightweight aggregate to the bottom of the pot for drainage. Mix a peat-free, special potting soil into the container to give the tree a good start. The best time to plant is in the spring or autumn.
Recommended varieties for autumn-bearing raspberries are Aromaqueen, Autumn Bliss, Himbo-Top and Polka. Suitable summer-bearing varieties are Elida and Remette (have a shorter canes), Schönemann, Tulameen as well as Rubaca.
Raspberries thrive in a sunny location. Keep them moist as is normal, avoid waterlogging as raspberries are very sensitive to this. Don’t forget to water on frost-free days in winter.
Feed once in spring with Organic Multipurpose Plant Food. In autumn apply a potassium-based fertiliser, to improve hardiness. The best time to plant is in the autumn.
Fruit from summer berries are formed on two-year shoots. These should be cut down after harvesting in the second year. Autumn-bearing raspberries form fruit on this year’s wood, so completely cut down all shoots in late winter.
Raspberries can be harvested from June to September depending on the variety.