Raspberries are as easy to grow as they are delicious to eat! Given their price in the super market, it would be a pity not to plant any!
Common name : Raspberry
Scientific name : Rubus idaeus
Family : Rosaceae
Category : Fruit plants
Type of plant : Perennial
Invasive once planted, the raspberry is a fruit bush with slightly prickly stems, kin to brambles and blackberries, with brownish-reddish wood and tender green foliage.
There are two types of raspberries: the summer-bearing type which produces a lot of fruit during the summer, and the double, or "ever-bearing," type, which produce fruit in early summer as well as autumn—sometimes very late! There are also red, white, and yellow varieties of raspberry, all very sweet and in love with the sun.
Sowing & planting
100 - 200
6 - 7
Identify my raspberry
Raspberries are straight-stemmed shrubs that can grow from 1.5 to 2 meters high. The branches are biennial and will die in the second year after fruiting.
The root is perennial, and puts out new suckers every year. These are armed with small, prickly thorns, with pinnate, leaves. The leaves at the base of the plant are composed of 5 or 7 serrated folioles, while the superior leaves are trifolate.
The white flowers are joined in groups of 5 to 10, and the fruits take the form of clusters of tiny drupes, which are not stuck to the bract — the fruits easily come off the plant when mature. The lack of an adherent bract is a distinguishing characteristic of raspberry fruit, especially when comparing them to other types of brambles — for these, the bract remains in the fruit.
Plant my raspberry
You can plant bare root plants from October to March, and until May for potted plants. Avoid planting in frost periods as much as possible.
Raspberries like a full, indirect, sunlight, but will handle partial shade, especially if backed up against a wall that will help keep them warm. They enjoy most types of soil but heavy — and of course richer soil means better fruit production.
Dig a 8 to 10 cm deep trench, and bury the green sprouts of the young basal shoots.
Ideally, plant in a north/south bound line. Leave 1 to 1.2 meters of space between each plant, and 1.2 meters between the rows.
Be careful: don't bury the root collar, as this will slow the growth of your plant.
Plant or seed forget-me-nots at the base to chase off moths!
Trellise my raspberry
Direct the growth of your raspberries before they become too large, partially to slow their development, which can turn out to be fairly quick, but also to insure optimum fruit production.
If you have a full row of raspberries — lucky you ! — plant them in a line marked by small stakes, with wire connected to both sides of the stakes at a height between 40 - 80cm. Leave about 60cm of space between each plant. Your raspberries will grow and then stay contained between these wires, which will help you avoid scratches when picking! Keep a close eye on the branches of the plant, and put any rebellious, spreading growth back in line!
If you only have one or two plants, you can use stakes to support the stems, but they need to be checked on regularly, even changing the stakes over the course of the season!
Reap my raspberry
Eating fruit straight from the tree is hard to resist! The whole question is knowing if you should eat these berries that could still use a bit more sun right now, or if someone will have eaten them before you come back to the garden!
Mulch my raspberry
Mulch in April to maintain humidity and to avoid repetitive, boring weeding.
Remember to carefully remove weeds from the base of the plant before mulcing in order to protect your raspberries from a variety of diseases!
Water abundantly and cover with a thick layer of mulch. You can use dried grass clippings, wood chips, bark, straw or dead leaves.
Water my raspberry
Raspberries don't need a lot of water outside of the first few weeks following planting, unless in a planter or in case of serious drought.
Prune my raspberry
Raspberries multiply themselves through the basal shooting — essentially, they produce suckers underground which then become new sprouts.
You need to watch for and remove excess basal shoots all year long.
There are two pruning periods, depending on whether your shrub is everbearing or not.
For non-everbearing varieties, which only fruit once a year during summer, cut back any branches that produced fruit this year to ground level. Keep 6 to 8 sprouts from the year.
For everbearing varieties, which fruit at the end of spring and the end of winter, cut off the ends of any stems that fruited at the end of winter.
Unsure whether you have an everbearing variety or not? It's easy — don't prune at all this year, and wait for autumn. If you still have fruit in October, you have everbearing plants!
Propagate my raspberry
If your raspberries become less and less productive over the years, don't worry, it's pretty normal.
To fix the problem, divide them at the end of winter. Dig up the plant, separate and remove old roots, and keep only the healthiest cuttings. Transplant the cuttings in light, nutrient rich soil — water copiously for a few weeks.
Check on my raspberry
Treatment against diseases or parasites is rarely necessary — you can generally grow raspberries without worrying about the following issues.
Raspberries are sentitive to aphids, raspberry worms, moths, and botrytis fungus
Aphids feed primarily on leaves, especially in spring. Aphid infection is rarely serious, but if the roots of your plant are getting devoured, you can find organic solutions in a garden center.
Raspberry worms are actually a type of caterpillar which lay their larvae in the fruits — your raspberries will appear damaged and eaten, with black and whitish patches.
The caterpillars only spend a short time on the exterior of the fruit depositing their larvae. This makes them pretty hard to notice and get rid of!
Treat your raspberies in the beginning of may with an organic, plant-based, anti-caterpillar insecticide. Renew after 15 days.
Later in May, place pheromone traps to attract male butterflies and thus limit fertilization.
Collect fruit that fell from the plant before maturity as they are often ridden with moths.
You can also seed scorpion grasses among the feet of your raspberries.
If your plant demonstrates marks on it's leaves, it's being attacked by a fungus — botrytis. This isn't something to take lightly in regions with lots of precipitation. Remove any infected leaves, as well as all the mulch, while loosening the roots to aerate them — this fungus likes moist, confined spaces.