• Grow at Home: Raspberries

    raspberriees_canes_with_gnomes_hidingRaspberries are unusual in that their roots and crowns are perennial, while their stems or ‘canes’ are biennial.  This basically means that your raspberry plant will go on and on.  However, the branches (or canes) which bear the fruit live for only two summers making pruning especially important.

    During the first growing season, the shoots of summer raspberries will not fruit - these are called primocanes.  The following year these canes will flower and produce fruit and are now called floricanes. 

    The floricanes produce their fruit in early to mid summer and then die back. New primocanes are produced each year, so fruit production continues year after year. Your main task is to  prune out the dead canes each year.

    Autumn fruiting varieties however produce fruit at the tip of the current season’s growth. 

    It sounds far more complicated than it is! Once you have established which variety you are growing and how to handle the pruning regime there is perhaps no better soft fruit to grow for a prolific and delicious crop. 

    Planting Raspberries

    Although it is possible to grow raspberries from seed, by far the most common and straightforward way to cultivate them is to plant as bare root canes – usually available from nurseries and garden centres. 

    Soil and Aspect 

    Like most fruit, raspberries thrive in an open sunny site, but they will tolerate some light shade.  They prefer a deep, well drained but moisture retentive soil with a pH of around 6.0 to avoid iron deficiency. 


    Lone-raspberryRaspberries, whether bare-rooted or container-grown, should be planted out in late Autumn or early Winter.  Plant them a little deeper than they were previously growing (you’ll be able to see a soil mark on the stems of bare root plants) and space 45cm apart with 1.5m+ between rows. 

    Cut the canes to 15cm above ground and water thoroughly after planting. 

    Raspberries need very little or no feeding, but a mulch applied in the Spring will give the a nutrient boost. 

    Pruning Raspberries

    Summer Fruiting Varieties 

    These need to be pruned twice.  In early or mid-Spring remove all weak or damaged canes to ground level.  Leave the most vigorous canes and aim to have them spaced around 15cm apart. 

    After fruiting remove the spent canes – they will be brown in colour – to ground level after the last harvest of the summer to encourage growth of new shoots the following year. 

    Autumn Fruiting Varieties 

    In early Spring prune back all canes to ground level – no Summer pruning is necessary 

    Harvesting and Storage 

    Raspberries should be picked early in the morning before it gets too hot and are best eaten straightaway.  They can be frozen or made into jam too – they do not keep particularly well in the fridge. 

    Pests and diseases 

    The main diseases that commonly affect raspberries are botrytis (a fungus that affects many plant species) and mildew.  Keeping on top of pruning and watering will help avoid these. 

    Deter birds with a Birdscare tape and protect your crop with a Round Fruit Cage to make sure you get to enjoy a bumper harvest. 





  • Madeleine's Garden 12th February

    Winter jobs in the Garden

    Its a busy February.  And today was a beautiful sunny day here on the Wiltshire/Dorset border.

    We are spoiled by having such lovely warm houses, that going outside can seem a little daunting as it is so cold. So I wrapped up warmly - woolly hat and all, and ventured into 2°.

    Finally my two little garden gnomes saw light as I pruned the raspberry canes down to about 3 inches high and got rid of any dead ones and unwanted weeds. Maybe tomorrow I will spread some manure around their bases to give them a little warmth and nourishment – The raspberries not the gnomes!

    I'm never quite sure how garden gnomes actually find their way into a garden.... they are never invited, they just seem to turn up.  Maybe someone brought them here as a birthday surprise one year, sneaked them in and then forgot to say anything. Anyway, it doesn't seem very fair to get rid of them just because I didn't choose them myself.


    Busy February for the gnomes


    After the Clearing of Haxnicks Garden

    I have decided to plant a beech hedge along our 'drive to be'.  It will be ready for when we can start to use it. I always admire people who can think in advance. So I bought 30 plants from a mail order catalogue. They arrived and this is the perfect time of year to plant them. Hedging and trees like to be planted when they are dormant during the winter months.

    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought online

    Lastly I couldn’t believe my eyes!  When I saw that some of the sweet pea and tomato seeds that I had sown less than 2 weeks ago were appearing. Doesn’t time fly.    It certainly is proving to be a busy February!

    ! A busy February preparing the Garden for Spring with Haxnicks Rootrainers     First signs of Spring plants growing from Seeds in Haxnicks Rootrainers in busy february

  • Madeleine's Garden 10th Jan 2018

    January 10th 2018 – inspecting plants and writing.

    The storms have died down for the moment and the sun is creeping out from behind the mist.  So I am eager to have a look at my garden and see what jobs I could possibly do while the weather permits.

    The fence has been blown down and snapped by the harsh winds on one side of my patch, so that will need rebuilding, and for the moment the wooden entrance is leaning to the south in a rather relaxed looking way.


    I haven’t yet pruned the raspberries from late Autumn, I must have forgotten.


    After inspecting the plants the patch generally needs tidying up.  I don’t want to do too much yet as the ground is very wet though.  And I don’t want to make it any muddier than necessary.

  • Madeleine's Garden

    Madeleine’s Garden 2018

    January 8th 2018 – Inspecting the Patch and buying seeds

    I haven’t had a minute to even look at my vegetable patch for at least 6 weeks, Christmas has been time consuming and the weather has been grotty.

    I passed a garden centre and had a good rummage through their seed selection, in between the left-over Christmas decorations, choosing which tomatoes to sow this year and finding any new fun seeds to sow. For some reason butternut squash seeds are outrageously expensive £3.99-£4.99 for about 8-12 seeds. I chose some normal courgette seeds as actually having tried so many different varieties I decided that I like the green ones best.

    I also saw some onion sets and bought some giant onions and some red onions, wondering when I should plant them. It looks like I shall have to wait until March unless of course I use a Haxnicks poly tunnel………

    Haxnicks Garden Tunnels



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