Raspberry frames

For such a delicate fruit the raspberry needs a heavyweight support system to give of its best. I’ve spent the past couple of weeks investigating other people’s raspberry cane arrangements, so that we could decide what to do with ours. There’s everything from concrete stanchions with solid metal poles running laterally across them through to individual rustic wooden fenceposts with wires wrapped around them. Raspberries grow to six feet tall, quite comfortably.

And so we're busy, constructing the right frames for our raspberries, whenever the weather allows. This is real winter work.

In spring you plant new canes, tying their stems to the supports and then feed and mulch.

Pruning is a little complicated because you prune summer fruiting varieties in autumn, cutting canes that bore fruit to ground level and tying in the strongest new stems to the wires, then in the cold of winter you trim the tops of the canes to about six inches above the top wire. But autumn fruiting varieties get pruned in mid-winter, cutting every stem to ground level. In either case, planted north-south they usually get the most evenly distributed sunlight although they don’t require actual heat.

Our raspberries have invaded the strawberry bed on 201, or perhaps the strawberries took over the raspberry bed, it’s difficult to tell – in either case, they’ve got to be straightened out and taught to live apart. Both fruits are prone to be invasive though, so I can see we’ll be digging up random fruiting plants for years to come.

I wonder why we say a ‘raspberry’ to denote a rude noise made with the lips?

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Friday, December 5, 2008

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