Growing Raspberries from the Bridge Cottage Garden

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Growing Raspberries

Growing Raspberries

As I write, it is July and raspberry season is in full swing. Every day I go out into the garden, and come back with a big bowlful, eating them for breakfast with our homemade yoghurt, or freezing to use later. It’s a very busy time in the garden, and we make the most of sunny days outside, but rainy days are busy making jams, jellies, vinegars and puddings. Raspberries are so easy to grow and seem to love these Northern climes. I remember well the summer job I had as an eighteen-year-old, up in Inverness at a raspberry picking farm, but I’ll leave those tales for the memoir!

Let’s take a look at growing raspberries. Firstly, where to get raspberry canes from? Any fellow gardeners or allotment holders who grow raspberries will be sure to have a few spare canes they can pull up for you. Don’t be shy, ask! Here in Hexham, we have a Facebook group, Hexham Plant Swop, and it’s a great place to source plants such as raspberry canes. Do you have one in your area, or could you set one up?

Growing Raspberries

Growing Raspberries

The ’cheap shops’ – Aldi, Lidl etc are also great places for soft fruit and can be relatively inexpensive. We’ve brought some great fruit trees and fruit bushes from Aldi.

Then of course, there are your garden centres, which will have a variety of summer and autumn fruiting varieties when the season is right.

If you grow a variety of summer and autumn raspberries, you will have this delicious soft fruit all summer long, extending into autumn. What a treat!

How to plant, grow and prune raspberries

Plant raspberry canes about 45 cm apart, in rows about 1.8 m apart. We grow them along the fence to the chicken field. Give the roots a good soak before they are planted. Raspberries like an open, sunny position, and will need to be tied in as they grow.

You may like to grow them in a clump or in a large container if space in the ground is short. You can use a central support for this.

Some people net their raspberries, to keep the birds away, but we have so many, I don’t mind sharing them with the blackbirds, who sit cheekily on top of the fence as I pick, or fly out from underneath the canes with pieces of ripe, red, juicy fruit in their beaks. They are welcome to a few, as long as they don’t take the piddle!

Mulching raspberries with grass cuttings

Mulching raspberries with grass cuttings

Give your raspberries some organic feed in the Spring, and mulch around the roots to prevent weeds and to keep the moisture in. We use grass cuttings for this.

Raspberries like to wander, and you’ll soon find canes popping up where they are not welcome. Just pull them up, donate to a friend, or consider establishing a new patch. It’s a good idea to move your raspberry patch every few years. You can let a new one grow where the suckers have popped up or dig up and transplant. This keeps them free or tolerant of virus diseases. If you do keep them in the same place indefinitely, the canes will become weaker, and the fruits smaller.

Are your raspberries summer fruiting or autumn fruiting?




Summer Fruiting Raspberries

Tie summer fruiting raspberry canes to a fence or stake

Tie summer fruiting raspberry canes to a fence or stake

July is the month when the summer fruiting raspberries are at their best here at Bridge Cottage, though further south this may well be June. Summer fruiting raspberries produce fruit on last year’s growth. You need to tie in your raspberry canes, either by using string to tie to a fence, as we have done in the photo here, of by providing a fence or stakes for support. As the fruits appear on the stems you have tied up, new shoots will appear in front, with green, young stems. These will bear the fruit next year.

When you have finished harvesting, which for us will be in August sometime, cut the fruited canes at ground level, and tie in the new, green canes. This can be done in winter, although I like to get it done as soon as the fruited canes have finished preventing the new ones becoming too battered by the wind.


Autumn Fruiting Raspberries

Autumn fruiting raspberries start to produce fruit for us at the end of August and will go through to the end of September. The canes with autumn raspberries tend to be shorter, and as such don’t need as much staking as the summer ones. Mine don’t have any staking at all. These will need pruning after they have fruited. Cut right down to the ground. This can be left to do in the winter.

growing raspberries

growing raspberries

Considering how expensive raspberries are in the shops, growing raspberries yourself makes great sense, especially considering how easy they are to grow. You’ll be reducing your single plastic use, by not buying fruit in plastic punnets, and reducing your carbon footprint by reducing the transport miles of your food. You will be able to enjoy fresh, organic food, at a fraction of the cost.

Raspberries and homemade yogurt

Raspberries and homemade yoghurt

There are so many ways to use raspberries, and I’d love to hear from you of some of your favourite ways of eating this delicious fruit.

We make our own yoghurt, so this is a simple but favourite way to enjoy raspberries for breakfast.

  • Make Your Own Yoghurt


Here are some of ours, and if you hop over to the Bridge Cottage Kitchen, you’ll find recipes for:

As ever, we’d love you to share your thoughts, either by leaving a comment here or on our social media pages, where this article will be shared.

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You might enjoy some of the writing and ideas in other section of this website, as we look towards leading more sustainable lives by growing our own food and creating dishes in line with seasonal eating, or head to our handy ‘Month by Month’ guides to find out what is seasonal and on topic:

Many thanks for reading.

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Tim & Sue in the Bridge Cottage Way garden

Thanks for reading. Best wishes, Tim and Sue Reed


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