Grow sum­mer’s eas­i­est soft fruit Our handy guide to plant­ing and prun­ing sweet and tasty rasp­ber­ries

Care­free, colour­ful and de­li­cious. He­len Bil­liald ex­plains how to plant and prune sweet sum­mer rasp­ber­ries

Garden Answers (UK) - - Contents -

Noth­ing beats the flavour of a just-picked rasp­berry; straw­ber­ries might have a bet­ter PR cam­paign (tie-ins with cream and Wim­ble­don), but given the choice I’d opt for the fra­grant, sweet yet tangy taste of rasp­ber­ries any day. Rasp­ber­ries also carry the crown for the eas­i­est soft fruit on the mar­ket. While straw­berry plants need re­plac­ing ev­ery few years, blue­ber­ries want er­i­ca­ceous com­post and black­cur­rants ar­rive in one massive (de­li­cious) crop, rasp­ber­ries are joy­fully fool­proof. And, if you plant au­tumn-fruit­ing cul­ti­vars, the har­vest can stretch from July to the frosts. If you’re un­sure about the dif­fer­ence be­tween sum­mer and au­tumn rasp­ber­ries, it’s down to the age of cane that car­ries the fruit. Sum­mer-fruit­ing rasp­ber­ries pro­duce berries in July on the pre­vi­ous year’s canes and need a sys­tem of sup­ports to tie the tall canes to. Au­tumn-fruit­ing rasp­ber­ries carry berries on the cur­rent year’s growth, don’t al­ways need sup­port and crop from July right through to the frosts. For a good choice of cul­ti­vars, now’s the time to or­der bare­root plants and pre­pare your site ready for their de­liv­ery from Novem­ber on­wards.

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