Fresh Raspberry CropWho wouldn’t love raspberries?   They look so succulent, fresh, inviting and delicious, right? While all of this is true about the fruit, growing them in your garden is another story.

As the old saying goes “every rose has it’s thorns”, and the same is true about raspberry bushes.  Despite the great appeal of the fruit,  the plants require quite a bit of TLC, which I learned after I planted mine (ignorance is bliss…sometimes).

Before you decide to add them to your gardening plan, please click on the highlighted words above, to familiarize yourself with the whole process.

You will find out that there two different types of raspberries, those that produce fruit once a year, during early summer, like mine, and the overbearing ones, that produce fruit at least twice during the year (summer and fall).

They begin producing fruit in their second year of growth, as during the first year they try to establish themselves, and strengthen their Primocanes, which develop into Floricanes, thus fruit bearing canes.

Raspberry bushes are scratchy and full of fine thorns, thus tending to them requires wearing protective gear, mainly long sleeves and gloves.  The canes need to be thinned out and pruned.

Raspberry bushes

These are my raspberry bushes with new growth this late spring, after I pruned them in early spring.  Here again, read the linked article on the pruning method.  I pruned mine to about 3 feet tall canes, and cut out all the dead canes, and removed the very thin ones (the suckers).

I also would not recommend planting raspberry bushes close to your vegetable garden, like I did, because it creates additional weeding, as the roots spread into my garden, and new (unwanted) plants spring up everywhere.

Lots of Raspberries on these bushes

This picture was taken at the beginning of June, and as you can see, there are lots of raspberries getting ready to ripen, and to be picked.  How exciting is that? So far, the birds have been behaving pretty well, and not beating me to the ripe fruit.  It almost makes me forget how many times I have been scratched by these  prickly bushes.

Raspberry bushes need to fertilized twice per year, pruned regularly, kept weed free, and supported by trellis ( I planted mine against the fence).  Raspberry plants, just like rose plant, do not like to be watered from the top, over their foliage, but rather close to the roots, to prevent the growth and spread of mold and disease.

Since I try to keep my garden as close to organic as possible, I only use natural fertilizer.  Actually, since I planted my raspberry bushes in mushroom soil, two years ago, I did not use any additional fertilizer yet.

I am dreading the Japanese Beetle season, since I try to pick them off, rather than spraying my plants with any pesticides.  They will love to get on these lovely leaves and chew away,  so I really will have to keep an eye out for those pesky beetles.

I used to strategically post these special beetle traps, but found out that these actually attract more beetles to my yard, due to the aroma of the lure, which does lure them towards the traps, but not all of them end up in the traps, but rather attack other flowers and plants they find just as attractive and tasty.

I also, prepare my own organic bug spray, by mixing hot pepper sauce, vegetable oil, water and dish detergent.  It works on bugs, but it needs to be applied often, especially during a rainy season.

Please share your gardening tips and stories with all of us, and leave a comment.

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4 Responses

  1. Suzy

    July 5th, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    1

    Wow, your raspberry garden is wonderful! It does take alot of work. We have a community raspberry farm that everyone gets called upon to work in as a community project.

  2. Suburban Grandma

    July 6th, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    2

    That sounds like a nice project. I never knew how invasive these bushes can get…they come up even in my lawn. No big deal, I just pull them out. My fruit is not nearly as large as the one in the store, but does have a nice aroma to it.

  3. Carol

    July 3rd, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    3

    WHat do you use to control or rid your raspberries of the Raspberry fruit worm? Also will you provide the recipe for your bug spray?
    Thanks

  4. Suburban Grandma

    July 4th, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    4

    I should consider myself lucky, since so far I did not have any bug problems on my raspberries, but looked up a site which you might find helpful in your case:
    http://www.ehow.com/info_8430195_spray-raspberries.html
    Good Luck.


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