Caring for raspberries – tips and things worth knowing about the popular fruit

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Matching products: raspberry

Interesting facts about raspberries

Botanical name: Rubus idaeus
Other names: Hollowberry, raspberry, hind berry, raspberry
Use: immediate consumption and processing, bee pasture, juice extraction, leaves for tea, container plant, for raised beds
Origin: Europe
Harvest time: depending on the species from June to October
Flowering time: depending depending on the variety from May to June, cream-white
Special features: Snack directly from the bush and get the maximum amount of vitamins. As a rarity, plants with yellow or black fruits are available.

Like blackberries, raspberries belong to the rose family and are hardy plants that grow as shrubs. With a fine aroma and juicy taste, the fruit is one of the most popular fruits of all, along with strawberries. From a botanical point of view, the raspberry is a so-called aggregate drupe, which is made up of 20 to 30 individual berries. Cultivation is fairly easy, maintenance is low, and yields can be substantial.

With a long flowering period of 4 to 5 weeks, the shrubs are important foraging plants and therefore valuable for bees and other insects. Raspberry leaves are a valuable food source for over 50 different caterpillars. Choosing the right location and careful planting are important. The cultivars originally came from the European forest raspberry. This small, sour fruit was already cultivated in monastery gardens in the Middle Ages. Today, depending on the ripening time, it is divided into summer raspberries and autumn raspberriesdistinguished. Both groups contain provitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C and the minerals potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron. The berries taste best fresh in the garden from the bush as a snack, but also as jam, for cakes and desserts, raspberries leave nothing to be desired and a large number of recipes invite you to try them out. Black or yellow raspberries are also an enrichment in your own garden and in the kitchen.

buy raspberries

In which location does the raspberry plant feel most comfortable?

The right location for all raspberry species is a sunny spot that is sheltered from the wind, half-shade is also possible. Stagnating heat, strong wind and waterlogging are not tolerated. The soil is also an important factor in raspberry cultivation. A humus-rich location that can store moisture and nutrients well and has a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 is ideal. When planting on light sandy soils, you have to work with a lot of high-quality potting soil. Since raspberries are shallow-rooted, you should avoid underplanting and chop as little as possible. Regular mulching with mature compost or mulch encourages soil life, suppresses weed growth and maintains soil moisture.

Our gardening tip: selected varieties are also suitable for large tubs or raised beds, so you can enjoy growing them on the balcony or terrace. It is important that the raspberry plants have at least 20 to 30 liters of soil in the containers.

How to plant raspberry bushes in the garden?

Find out everything about planting raspberries, the right planting time and possible planting partners.

When is the best time to plant raspberries?

It is best if you plant raspberries in late summer or early autumn. If you missed the best planting time for raspberries, you can plant the popular soft fruit in spring.

Potted raspberries are usually well rooted and grow quickly under optimal conditions. When planting in summer, care is a little more complex and the first harvest is small.

It is therefore advisable to plant raspberries in periods when they have little foliage and can develop roots well. However, as long as the ground is not frozen, you can plant raspberries all year round. Immediately after planting the raspberries, it is important that the soil does not dry out, but that it never becomes waterlogged.

Which plant partners go well with the raspberry?

Raspberries grow best in a sunny, warm, sheltered spot. As a permanent crop, raspberries stand in the same place for a relatively long time. A mixed culture with raspberries and vegetables has proven to be successful.

With the planting partners for raspberries, make sure that the plants do not root too much. You can plant garlic, bush beans, onions, marigolds or marigolds as possible partners for raspberries. These annual planting partners are suitable for raspberries, in some cases they promote the vitality of the berry bushes. Raspberries are shallow rooters that spread their roots close to the surface of the soil, so it’s important that you till the soil lightly.

Bad planting partners for raspberries are aubergines, strawberries, potatoes, peppers and tomatoes. These plants promote Verticillium wilt, which is feared on raspberries. When planting on trellis systems, raspberries can be combined with blackberries. Both types of berries have similar soil requirements and are identical in terms of growth. Green manure plants such as mustard, vetches or sweet lupins can also be good partners for raspberries. The underplanting serves to protect against evaporation and sustainably increases the humus content. From the 2nd year, raspberries have sufficient leaf mass and a large number of shoots, so there is no need to sow them with a foundation.

Do raspberries need a climbing aid?

Raspberries grow differently depending on the type and variety. Basically, a climbing aid or trellis system helps with care and harvesting. Without climbing support, raspberries easily break or the slender shoots are bent in summer with good growth and harvesting is more difficult. Climbing aids for raspberries are used for stability, but also for plant health.

3 reasons for climbing aids for raspberries:

  • Raspberry canes don’t break easily.
  • The shoots are arranged vertically and can grow undisturbed.
  • The fruits do not lie on the ground and mold formation is avoided.

The planting of raspberries on house walls or walls is very rare. Row planting with a trellis is best. You should support individual plants with sticks. The raspberry tendrils can be fixed to wires with the climbing aids. A raspberry trellis consists of 2 posts and 3 horizontal wiresbetween. Some trellis systems for raspberries also have 2 wires each, here the raspberry rods can be in the middle and attached to the wires if necessary. Trellis systems for raspberries will be more stable if square timbers are used in construction. In principle, wood or metal can be used as a material for trellis systems for raspberries. As a guideline, a height of 1.80 m is ideal, depending on the raspberry variety, the canes grow between 1.2 and 2 meters. The first wire is stretched at a height of 50 cm, the wires above it follow at a distance of 30 to 40 cm. The horizontal wires of the trellis system ensure that the raspberry tendrils can be securely attached.

Our gardening tip: Wire, plant clips or string are suitable for attaching the raspberries to the trellis or trellis.

Step-by-step instructions for planting raspberries

Once planted, raspberries are very robust and easy to care for. It is important that you do not plant raspberries directly in the same place where raspberries grew before. Before planting raspberries, make sure that the soil is well loosened and there is no waterlogging. Heavy clay soils are unsuitable. Small fruits may form on light sandy soils in hot summers. Therefore, careful soil preparation before planting the raspberry bushes is advisable. Light sandy soils are planted with good quality potting soiland improved compost. In heavy soils, working in sand can help prevent waterlogging. Soil pH should be between 5.5 and 6.5 for raspberries. Raspberries can be planted directly in the ground, in raised beds or in sufficiently large tubs (30 to 50 liter capacity).

  • Planting distance for raspberries within the row: 0.5 metres
  • Row spacing for several rows of raspberries: 1.8 to 2 meters

    Planting raspberries in the ground – step-by-step instructions:

    1. Remove all weeds and loosen the soil well. A humus-rich, deep and well-drained location is ideal for raspberries.
    2. Dig a planting hole twice as wide and at least 10 to 15 cm deeper than the root ball.
    3. Put 5 to 10 liters of potting soil in the planting hole.
    4. Water the raspberry plants deeply before planting. The so-called immersion method has proven itself well. To do this, place the blackberry plant with the pot in a container filled with water and immerse the root ball until no more air bubbles rise. This will ensure that the root ball is completely wet.
    5. Remove the pot, loosen the root ball slightly with your hands and place the berry bush in the middle of the planting hole. The potted raspberry plants are planted in such a way that the edge of the root ball is flush with the planting hole at the top. Planting too deep is not recommended for raspberries.
    6. Scatter Kölle Bio Root Power in the planting hole. The organic natural fertilizer promotes root formation due to the mycorrhizal fungus cultures it contains. Root formation is sustainably improved and soil activity is increased.
    7. Fill in the space between the root ball and the planting hole with a mixture of excavation and potting soil.
    8. Kick the soil firmly with your foot so that the root balls get good contact with the ground. Make sure the bush is straight.
    9. Finally, the raspberry is poured with 5 to 10 liters of water and covered thinly with mulch. The mulch layer minimizes evaporation, suppresses weed growth and sustainably improves soil life. Pro tip: Please note that raspberries are runner-forming. Therefore, a certain distance to other plants and digging in a rhizome barrier are advisable. The offshoots (young new rods) can be planted in a new location. If there is no need, the foothills can be cut off directly on the ground.

      Planting raspberries in the tub — step-by-step instructions:

      1. Choose a compact growing dwarf variety. These raspberry varieties are best suited if you plan to plant raspberries in pots.
      2. Choose a container for the raspberry that has a drainage hole and a capacity of at least 20 liters.
      3. Put a drainage layer on the bottom of the pot. Expanded clay is ideal for this.
      4. Then put a layer of pot fleece in the container as a separating layer between the drainage and the potting soil.
      5. Water the berry bush thoroughly.
      6. Fill some potting soil on the pot fleece.
      7. Place the potted raspberry in the center of the container and fill the space between the root ball and the pot with potting soil.
      8. Press the soil lightly so that no voids are left.
      9. Pour the raspberry in the pot thoroughly.
      10. Provide the raspberries in the bucket with a climbing aid, a stake or a perennial ring. In this way, the raspberry plant can develop ideally and the shoots are kept upright.

        How do I properly care for my raspberries?

        Basically, the popular soft fruit is easy to care for. Apart from cutting, fertilizing and even soil moisture, only tying is necessary. Cultivation is easiest with the help of a trellis, which consists of two posts and wires stretched between them. In this way, long shoots can be fixed and harvesting the berries is easy because you don’t have to bend down as much. The trellis system is particularly recommended for summer raspberries. Autumn raspberries are usually more compact in growth and can therefore also be cultivated without a climbing aid, but the growth behavior depends on the variety.

        How do I water my raspberry plant properly?

        The noble soft fruit forms flat roots and is very sensitive to drought and standing water. Waterlogging damages the roots, and the plants succumb to drought and form fewer flowers. Therefore, watering is only necessary in phases without precipitation. It is important that you use 5 to 10 liters of water per plant and that the soil dries well before the next watering. Basically, it is recommended to water in the morningand not to blast over the foliage. Mulching has proven itself for raspberry bushes, as the soil is kept evenly moist, soil life is activated and nutrients are made available. Raspberries in pots urgently need a drainage layer at the bottom of the pot so that waterlogging never occurs. When watering the potted culture, you need to have a sure instinct.

        How do I fertilize raspberries correctly?

        Raspberries are frugal shrubs, but a good supply of nutrients has a positive effect on the quantity and size of the fruit. Start in spring with the first fertilization with a special berry fertilizer. With this fertilizer you promote budding and flowering with important nutrients. Uniform soil moisture is important for the effectiveness of the mineral-organic special fertilizer. If it is too dry, the fertilizer cannot work properly. The second fertilization is done after harvest to encourage new shoots and strengthen the plants. This additional fertilization can be done with organic natural fertilizerdone, an organic special fertilizer that stimulates and promotes the formation of humus and soil life. Fertilize by the end of July at the latest, so the nutrients can still have an effect and the trees are well mature and not too vigorous in autumn. Before winter you can cover the soil with well-ripened compost, this activates the soil life and the roots are better protected from frost. Horse manure can also be applied in autumn as a natural fertilizer, it warms and decomposes until the following summer. If the plants take care of you, you have to fertilize the raspberries and, as with other plants, you will soon see success with growth and large fruits.

        How do I prune my raspberry plant?

        The pruning of the raspberry plants is essential for the hanging. When cutting, a distinction is made between the types:

        Cut summer raspberries

        In this group, pruning takes place immediately after harvest. Cut off last year’s shoots at ground level and remove them from the stand. Leave the new shoots on the plant as so-called carrying rods for the next year. Fruit shoots only bear in one season. If no pruning is done, the plant will become too dense and suffer from too much old wood. If you cut too much (new, green shoots that have just formed) you will wait in vain for sweet fruit in the coming year.

        Our gardening knowledge: Two-year-old rods are called the wood on which berries have grown. They are darker in color than the fresh green annual young canes. The fruit tree bears fruit easily with proper care and regular pruning, so it is important that you cut off the old canes.

        Cut autumn raspberries

        Autumn raspberries can be pruned in November or in spring. Use sharp scissors to cut off the worn rods close to the ground and remove the shoots completely. A maintenance pass with slight loosening of the soil and application of a thin layer of mulch is beneficial. Compost serves as an organic fertilizer and promotes the vitality of the berry bushes. If autumn raspberries are not pruned, they will bear only a small amount of fruit in the coming year. Pruning is therefore very important for yield and plant health.

        When can you harvest raspberries?

        The harvest time of the raspberries depends on the variety, the location and the weather conditions. Summer raspberries can be harvested from June. New fruits continue to ripen until June. Harvesting of autumn raspberries starts in August and can last until the end of September/beginning of October. Twice- bearing varieties («twotimer raspberries») usually bear a smaller amount of fruit in summer and autumn.

        Pro tip: Plant different raspberry varieties to extend the harvest season. With a bit of luck, you will always have delicious sweets to hand from June to autumn.

        Important when harvesting raspberries is:

        • If possible, pick in the early morning or in the evening.
        • Avoid picking raspberries in direct sunlight.
        • Only pick ripe raspberries, so the taste is fully developed.
        • Ripe raspberries can be removed from the bush without pulling.
        • The fruits should be evenly colored when picked (note, the color varies depending on the variety).
        • Overripe fruits slush and mold quickly, so dispose of them with household waste if necessary.
        • Under optimal conditions, picking raspberries every 2 to 3 days is necessary.
        • The raspberry harvest lasts for weeks.

        Fact: Partially the infestation by the spotted-wing drosophila is increasing and the raspberry harvest is in danger. A thin-meshed net that is placed over the plants is suitable for protecting the fruit. It is important that you protect the raspberry plants in good time. The still green raspberries are firm and therefore uninteresting for the pest. The spotted-wing drosophila stings raspberries that are just beginning to ripen. You should not net flowering raspberries, because fruit set depends on pollination by insects. As soon as the first fruits turn colour, you can attach the protective nets.

        What types of raspberries are there?

        The basic difference in the multitude of raspberry varieties is the ripening time. The raspberry in the classic berry summer is ripe in June and July and the picking takes place within three to four weeks. From the beginning of August, the so-called autumn raspberry ripens. The red treats will be available to nibble on for many weeks, long until the first frost. Furthermore, a distinction can be made according to the color, because in addition to the typical red fruit, there are varieties that bear yellow or black fruit.

        summer raspberry varieties

        Varieties Fruits Harvest characteristics

        Glen Ample (S)

        medium red, firm, juicy, large, aromatic beginning of July

        thornless, high-yielding
        Malling Promise

        dark red, sweet, large early variety from June to mid-July, strong growth, long harvest, with thorns
        Ruby Beauty®

        light red, medium-sized, aromatic June to July dwarf variety, ideal for pots and tubs, 80 to 100 cm high, thornless

        dark red, aromatic, sweet, robust in mid-July, rich harvest, old variety

        light red, firm, very large June to July hardy and robust, high yields
        Black Jewel

        sweet, aromatic, medium-sized, vigorous growth from July to August, requires trellis, special feature!

        black, slightly smaller, aromatic

        Strong growth in mid-July, requires trellis, special feature!

        Autumn raspberry varieties

        Varieties Fruits Harvest characteristics

        Aroma Queen®

        light red, aromatic, very intense flavor from the end of August until frost

        new variety, high yields, special aroma
        Autumn Bliss®

        medium red, very aromatic, sweet from the end of August until frost, very robust and hardy, high yields

        red, very sweet, medium-sized to large, undemanding from the end of August until frost, good yields

        bright red, firm from mid-August until frost, robust and hardy, high yields

        dark red, very large, soft August and September, robust and hardy, medium yields, sweet fruit
        Golden Everest

        yellow, large, sweet, robust and hardy from mid-August until frost, fast- growing

        A special feature is the so-called Two-Timer-Raspberry® such as Sugana®, a versatile raspberry variety that has its first yield on two year-old canes in June and the second on one-year-old canes from August to October. The creation of Lubera® is ideal for small gardens and pot culture on balconies and terraces. With a clever combination of summer and autumn raspberries, you can extend the harvest time considerably. Late summer raspberries bear fruit until August and early autumn raspberries start fruiting from mid-August. The best time to harvest is as soon as the fruit has set without much pullingdetach well from the stalk. The color varies depending on the variety, but the red fruits have a high content of secondary plant substances when fully ripe.

        An interesting breed, however, is the tayberry, a hybrid of blackberries and raspberries. The berry of Rubus fruticosis x idaeus, as it is botanically called, resembles the raspberry. The fruits are red in color and longer than raspberries. The up to 4 m long tendrils and the shape of the plant are similar to blackberries. In addition to their hardy nature and high tolerance to cold, it is worth noting that tayberries are low in fructose.

        What pests and diseases can raspberries get?

        Raspberry bushes are robust trees, but the following diseases and pests can occur:

        Raspberry cane disease (cane dieback)

        It is the best-known disease of raspberries and is caused by a mixed infection of two fungi. From mid-May, blue-violet spots appear on one-year-old canes, which become larger dark zones and surround the entire stem. The weakness fungus enters through injuries to the bark. These can be caused by rod gall midges or winter influences. When buying, look for robust and resistant varieties and avoid mechanical damage to the shoots.

        Phytophthora – root rot (Phytophthora sp.)

        The fungus can cause major damage on compacted, wet soils. In particular, young shoots and canes show leaf discoloration, wilting and stunted growth. Fighting is difficult . _ _ Good site conditions and healthy seedlings are important, the susceptibility depends on the variety. The infestation is more common on heavy soils, so make sure you have a good soil and the necessary care tips.

        Gray mold — fruit rot (Botrytis cinerea)

        Especially in rainy, cold summers, the berries are covered with a gray fungus coating. The red fruits are not edible and should be disposed of with household waste. It is important that the plant is cut regularly and that airy conditions prevail. Preventive treatments with bio active agents against fungal diseases also help. Used early, it can prevent or minimize an infestation. Curatively, there is no way to save the crop.

        Spotted Drosophila — (Drosophila suzukii)

        With the still relatively new pest, the female lays her eggs in the ripening fruit. The larvae eat and decompose the pulp around the oviposition site. The white-cream colored larvae are up to 5 mm long and visible in the fruit. The aromatic fruits do not fully ripen, become mushy and are inedible. As a preventative measure, the orchard can be tied up with a thin-meshed net. Make sure the net has a mesh size of 1.2mm. Furthermore, a dry climate and a loose plant structure help against the reproduction of the spotted-wing drosophila. Direct combat is not possible.

        FAQ — Frequently asked questions about raspberries

        Why does the raspberry bush bear little or no fruit at all?

        Above all, a wrong cut leads to the absence of flowers and berries in summer raspberries. If the newly formed rods are cut off by mistake, the supporting rods are missing. Fertilizer or sun can also be missing.

        Can raspberries be planted in tubs?

        Even without a garden, you can enjoy raspberries on the balcony. Use a pot that has drainage holes and has at least 15 liters of soil volume per plant. Put a drainage layer in the pot and plant the raspberries in the container from the beginning of March. The care is analogous to the berries planted in the ground. Dwarf varieties with smaller growth are ideal for pot culture.

        What can you combine the berries with?

        It is best if you plant raspberries alone, because other items would only compete and underplanting of the bushes is not necessary. Combine different varieties of raspberry plants or test black raspberries.

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