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You will want to grow raspberries near your house because they are just too simple not to grow! I have grown a variety of berries over the years, but I decided this year to expand my red raspberry patch because they require minimal care. I prune the canes carefully once a year being sure not to disturb the roots.Make sure they are watered the first few growing seasons and pay attention to drought + too much sun. Place a bit of compost early season at the base of the canes, keep them free of weeds and you will be picking bowls full of raspberries, as I have been the past few weeks. They just keep on giving!

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A friend gave us some bare roots to plug-in about 6 Yrs ago, but those were a bit unpredictable, smallish and only produced early summer. I wanted everbearing raspberries since they will give you berries around late June/early July and late August/early September. I found that you needed to find the “everbearing raspberries” that grow best in your climate. Well, I started with two everbearing types, Heritage + Carolina the past three years and now we have a huge raspberry patch at the back of our urban potager. It is amazing! Our raspberries were a bit slow to take off this season due to our cold spring weather and the early season berries were not as abundant as the late fall. That was okay, I had other berries in our urban potager to snack on early summer but once they took off they grew like weeds!

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I have been picking large bowls full of berries for the past three weeks, and I still have more on the canes to ripen. They are still not done growing! If I do not get out there by late afternoon they just melt right off the stem from being too ripe. I will be freezing some in the future since I have a large area at the back part of the yard devoted to red raspberries, and if I have this much in 2014, I cannot wait for 2015!

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 The first few years after I planted my raspberries, they did not produce as much as my other garden friends but they had their raspberry patches for years.I was beginning to get impatient with the minimal amount I was getting the past two years, but don’t get discouraged! Patience is the virtue of a gardener….just put them in, and they will come…in droves!!! We are eating berries for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is nothing like fresh raspberries from the garden. You need to find a spot and plunk a few plants in your area. You will not regret the fresh raspberries. They just need a space to sprawl. I put them at the back of our yard since they do have canes that when you are picking will scratch your arms but just lift them carefully, and you will not have any problems. The canes towards the end of the season are weighted down, and some of the newer canes ( no berries) are sprawling on the ground. I suggest putting them in a far corner since unlike blueberry bushes which are pretty spring, summer and fall raspberry bushes can look a bit battered towards the end of the growing season. They do not have a lovely red fall color as blueberry bushes do!

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 I am still learning about growing raspberries, so I am still open to different approaches at this point  as to when to prune.  There are different techniques as to when you should prune, but agreement that  you need to know which types you are growing to understand how to prune them. I have everbearing right now that are producing an abundance of berries. I will leave the new canes ( the individual branches that grow from the base of the plant) alone that are not producing berries this year and may trim them to about 4 feet (advice I am trying this year) which will be an experiment.The canes that are brown, I will cut to the ground ( 1-2 inches tall) but at this point I am debating when to do this.

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I also wonder, if I may have trimmed some of my spring canes to the ground by mistake. Everbearing cultivars can produce up to two crops a year, one crop being produced in the spring and the second crop in the fall….hmmmm.. I read prior to this season to just cut them to the ground, which I did and had a small crop of spring raspberries. Through my research I found some gardeners prefer pruning around Feb or March because they believe the root system has had time to store more carbohydrates, leading to better crop of berries. I am wondering if there is some truth to this since I have been picking TONS of berries from my March pruning!

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The best advice I can give about growing fruit is “jump in” and just try a few things and see what happens” since your plants will tell you what they need. I just watch and learn. I have found when I read a lot of what others are doing it sometimes does not work for me, so I sometimes make some mistakes along the way and tweak a few things here and there until it works, which it did this year!

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If you put a few raspberry bushes on your city lot, you will be enjoying ice cream and raspberries every summer! YUM!

Written by Robbie

M.S. Education, , Organic Gardener, soil + nature lover, former modern dancer

53 comments

  1. Yum, indeed. It doesn’t take a big garden to grow these gorgeous berries. Your photos make my mouth water 🙂 Judy

    1. Hi Judy-see I told you had ice cream and berries on my mind! They make my mouth water every time I am out there picking them..I can eat those three times a day!!!

    1. 🙂 They cost too much in the store and they are part of the “dirty dozen” they tell you to grow if you can:-) They are so easy to grow- all you need to
      do is give them space and minimal attention! I can’t imagine living without them:-) Autumn Bliss + Yellow ones…hmmm..can I squeeze anymore in-lol

  2. They are really easy to grow, we have a large berry patch and they make the garden feel like the Garden of Eden don’t they?! You can just stand there and eat them warm from the sun and they are just perfect. They freeze so easily too, we have had ours every day through winter in berry smoothies and pies. I am glad Roger does the pruning of them though, I can never really tell which canes are which.

    1. I know they are easy + you are right they make the garden feel like Eden-lol…but even I made the mistake and pruned the wrong ones this year-oh well, you learn. I have to start freezing them soon but we have been eating them and I have been passing hem on to others-yum!

      1. I can eat an entire bowls myself!:-) three times a day! They are VERY expensive here , so we don’t purchase them in the store..this truly is a treat:-)

      2. and they are on the “dirty dozen” list so it makes it even better that we get them so abundantly in our yards! That is why I added some more this spring and gave up 1/3 of the back section along the fence to them because they just give so much:-)

    1. I adore them too!!!I have not met a person that does not love to eat raspberries:-) They are a favorite of most people + a treat since they cost so much for not very much:-) The raspberries were fun to photograph they have such an interesting texture + after you take a pictures well, you have to grab one for a snack:-) best part!

    1. well, they say the raspberries ( heritage) will produce in the first year, but all I ever got were a handful at most the first year or two, but this year (year 3)…WOW!!!! They just took off and I have so much I gave a lot away, had a garden party with raspberries for desert, and we have been eating them for the past month..sooo…I would say year 2-3 would be about what it takes to be in raspberry paradise!!!! lol You are such an amazing gardener, that I have no doubt your pradise is around the ducks:-)

    1. They are awesome + taste amazing!Thank you + I visited your blog + need to pass along “well done you”!!!! You are getting your young children into growing food. I did grow food when our kids were younger ,but I did not get into it as much, as I do now that they are older! I feel starting them young is a good thing to pass on the love and knowledge. We need to pass on this love for growing food since it really does make a difference in our health!

      1. Thanks! And although we grow lots of tomatoes I still can’t get my kids to eat them. Peas, carrots, chard, lettuce and even spinach, no problem… But tomatoes? Alas… 😉

  3. Oh yummy! I wish so much I could fit berries into my mini yard! I used to make Raspberry freezer jam that was so delicious. Enjoy! 😄

    1. Mandy:-) I don’t have a large space with these raspberries. How large is your area? I put them at the back of the yard + they seem to love where I have placed them. I would say it is about 8 feet by 5 feet between my yard and a neighbor I am amazed how many berries I am getting from this small space. Maybe tuck in one bush and see where it goes, but I have to admit they need to go at the back of the yard since they do get a bit tattered towards the end of the season:-)Do you have the recipe for that freezer jam? That sounds like something, I might like to do:-) I am a freezer gal!lol

      1. Unfortunately I’ve filled every inch of my tiny back yard with veggies this year. But if I decided to give up my sprawling winter squash that might be a place for them! they ARE so expensive! Here’s an easy recipe:

        Strawberry Freezer Jam

        Prep Time: 10 Minutes
        Cook Time: 5 Minutes

        Ready In: 25 Minutes
        Servings: 80
        Keep jars of this in the freezer and take them out when you are ready to use them. Once thawed, they will last approximately 1 month in the refrigerator.

        Ingredients:
        2 cups crushed fresh strawberries
        4 cups sugar (adjust according to your likeness)

        1 (1.75 ounce) package dry pectin
        3/4 cup water

        Directions:
        1. Mix crushed strawberries with sugar, and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the pectin into the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 1 minute. Stir the boiling water into the strawberries. Allow to stand for 3 minutes before pouring into jars or other storage containers.

        2. Place tops on the containers, and leave for 24 hours. Place into freezer, and store frozen until ready to use.

        Enjoy! 😀

      2. I will enjoy …I have this saved and will try it! I trust you + know it will be good:-) You are right they are expensive:-) And part of the dirty dozen, so worth the growing:-)

  4. Ok I admit I’ve ignored my raspberries … They are behind the greenhouse. I meant to move them to a more open location, but … I had to move a cane out of the way to close a vent on the greenhouse – I’d say they are growing well! I should check for berries!

    1. Kathy:-) You are such an amazing gardener:-) I still remember stumbling upon your amazing blog and I was so in “awe” of the beautiful potager you created. I admire you so much, for your ability to create beautiful gardens. You are not only an artist ,but an artist with plants! I was pretty disppointed for a few years with my raspberries until this year. They are finally taking off and it is SOOOO much fun to go out and harvest them every day. I have too many right now:-) that I need to freeze them …so much fun to finally get my urban potager to produce food, I have to preserve! Winter will be better this year with all my food, I have saved for winter eating-YUM!!!:-)

  5. This is the difference between a seasoned gardener in Robbie versus the amateurish gardener in me… both my red and orange raspberries finally gave up on me and disappeared forever… lovely harvest you have…

    1. Don’t give up Lrong:-) I was so discouraged the past few years with my raspberries, I was wondering if I would ever have any! I just kept on trying and it took about 3 years before they looked good( this would be year 3) + we were harvesting a bunch! We did have a few “drought” years, so I did keep them watered through those years and this year they just took off! It is a dream come true…one that I thought would never happen. I am working on the “blueberries” now since they have been tough getting started. I just put some starbucks coffee grounds (My aunt and uncle brought me some when they were traveling through town) around them and I have had some blooms, but not a lot to even bring a bowl inside! I have hope!:-) still hoping next year:-)

    2. Lrong…I feel you are a “seasoned gardener” just sometimes the plant is a bit more difficult in our area or just gives us problems..I have my challenges-blueberies are an example:-) I get some berries. I am still working on these berries trying to get more!

  6. Raspberries and ice cream sounds great! 🙂 My raspberry patch is a bit overgrown and really needs thinning to 3′ apart, which in the past I’ve done in early spring. The stolons are spreading into the lawn and field, getting away from my control! I’ve grown lazy the past few years, thus, the rampage. I have Heritage as well, which I consider a winner. I had a July bearer (name forgotten), which never performed very well and now H. has taken over everything else. I’ve always pruned H. in March to 12″ and had good results. The July bearer to 3 ft. but it has never been a over the top producer. I am worried that my crop won’t produce before frost. It has been such a cool summer that the fruit is still small and nowhere near ripe. They can take 1-2 light frosts, but a heavy frost turns them into leather. Climate change! Let’s hope we still have 6 wks. frost-free! Then I’ll get my berries and cream 😉

    1. I have Heritage too and I agree it is a winner! I was worried about Carolina when I read they do not handle drought too well. This year they did great but I was worried that they were not going to produce either. They were as tall as me mid summer now with all the berries on them t hey are at my waist-lol. I am so glad we got some this year it was a cool year. I feel you are right to trimp them in the spring/March is the best. I did read that spring trimming makes an abundant crop and I do have tons! I am freezing them today. I hope you get your ice cream and raspberries before the snow flies:-) To think winter is around the corner-I am not ready!

  7. We had a monstrous raspberry patch in our backyard when I was little. There are pictures of red faces and red fingers from spending day after day in the shade of the canes eating the fruit from the canes. It’s a wonder there was enough left to make jam from, but there was! I don’t know that my parents ever pruned it.
    I’ve had a raspberry plant in a pot for three years now. It grows larger each year, but has yet to flower. I’m going to prep a bed for it that will have good shade in the summer and easy sun in the spring, plant it, feed it, and cross my fingers.

    1. Childhood memories are the best motivator for growing crops. We had a crabapple tree out front( childhood home) and I remember my mother making jam( we would pick them for her) and it hanging from cheese cloth in the kitchen, my father and his veggie garden + other odds and ends in the yard we use to eat.I am so glad I put those in at the back but I do have a bamboo fence near them to shade a bit:-) One of m friends does not prune her raspberries. It seems to work for her just fine. I prune my everbearing thought. There are so many varities…they sure are worth all the effort!

  8. I’ve thought about berries but the only ones I ever see here are growing near creeks. I figure that means they like a nice deep water source, which I am lacking. You make it sound so easy though I’m sure it’s not! Nevertheless, I’ll be looking into my everbearing options now. I do have a corner begging for some attention… 😉

  9. You know just when to post Ms Robbie 🙂 I have been given some tubs of yellow raspberries and can have as many red raspberry canes as I can coerce Stevie-boy to dig up for me from a good friend. NO idea about raspberries as where I come from originally, only strawberries will grow (too hot) so this will be a tasty adventure indeed 🙂

    1. Awww…I have SO many raspberries now + an abundant crop-too! I have to get out there today + pick. They just fall off the stems when they are done, I feel like I have to hunt them down when they fall because every one of them is precious-lol! It took me about 3 years to get the reaspberries going. When your potager starts producing it is such a blast!
      If the canes are from someone that lives in your area, they will do great in your space:-) I find it fascinating when you plant the canes in the ground and they grow into these plants that produce all these wonderful berries. It is like a gift from the earth!
      Yellow ones sound interesting. Look forward to a post about those and pictures:-)

      1. I know nothing about yellow (or red for that matter) raspberries but my friend got them and decided that she couldn’t do them justice as she has a worse problem with native animals than I have…she has rats and rabbits and native crayfish all vying for her veggies as well as the usual possums and wallabies! The poor girl has almost given up hope! She decided that if she gave them to me, at least she could get some fruit back in exchange. We both studied horticulture together back in 2009 and became firm friends through our new love. We both started out clueless and not really sure that we were taking the right course but by the time 3 weeks had gone by we were totally and utterly hooked. We were like the three stooges (Stevie-boy, Jenny and I) and we learned voraciously. Anything new and we absorbed it and inhaled it and lived it. Steve and I planted up 800 pots of plants between us…there was no stopping us! Jenny had the “brakes” of her husband who wasn’t into horticulture and the fact that she was “1” but Steve and I just went nuts ;). Horticulture is an amazing drug. Where other drugs suck up your life and spit you out a worthless husk at the end, horticulture feeds you and you end up with a symbiotic relationship that empowers you and makes you a better person. That’s what makes us gardeners so eager to share…we KNOW what this can do, how this can change your life and we need… we NEED that secret handshake! Working on it now! 😉 Have a scrumptious Sunday Ms Robbie and don’t eat too many of those raspberries at once as the results might be somewhat terrifying the next day if you get my drift…ahem! You could always make some gorgeous muffins out of them and share the recipe (brag shamelessly) for the rest of us to lust after 😉

      2. My mind has a mind of it’s own (I think I just blew my own mind! 😉 ) and won’t listen to me at the best of times. It thinks that I am boring and tends to wander off yawning whenever I try to reason with it…I guess I have to listen to my mind occasionally or it might just wander off permanently! 😉

  10. Perfect timing, Robbie! I bought a wee box of raspberries yesterday . . . the only ones we will have this year. They have grown too expensive here as well. At Mum’s house, where we lived before moving into the condos, we had lots of raspberries and, like you, ate them every day and then jammed or froze some, too. Friday afternoon, Mum and I were watching the Anne of Green Gables series which just began another re-run. One of the events that day was when Anne invited her best friend over for tea and gave her what she thought was raspberry cordial (but it wasn’t and Diana went home raving drunk!). We had some raspberry cordial while living at the house, also some raspberry vinegar, which, mixed with ice water, makes a fantastic, refreshing beverage . . . So it’s a bonus to come here today and see this post. Thanks heaps! ~ Linne

    1. Hi Linne!:-) Good to hear from you:-) I know you love gardening, too..yep..”wee box” is what they sell us and they are usually gone in one day at our house. It really is a treat this year to go out every day and pick enough raspberries to enjoy that day, share with others, freeze, or make jam or evern raspberry cordial! My husband said to me tonight as we picked a bunch, ” Maybe we should make some raspberry wine! lol

  11. I had an everbearing cultivar for many years. I used to get two good crops a year, with the autumn one being the best. However the canes became diseased two seasons ago and I decided to remove them. I may try again some time soon.

    1. I purchased everbearing for that reason:-) I put them in about 3 years ago and this was the first year, I had a fall crop that just keeps on giving. I wrote this post a few weeks ago and I am still harvesting tons + more are coming in still! I have started freezing them and I can’t believe how many we are harvesting every other day:-) This spring they were a bit small + not too many since I did cut “all” the canes down to the ground, which was not what you are suppose to do:-( I need to only cut the old ones that have produeced two seasons. Well, I learned from my mistake. I sure hope they stay healthy:-) I can’t imagine not having all these berries in the fall. They are a lot of work since it takes me about an hour to harvest them “gently” off the delicate branches. If you harvest them in a hurry, they tend to break at the tip of thier cane which is a disappointment, so you have to take your time and be careful to lift each cane and harvest. Well worth the effort! They can cost over $5.00/$6.00( organic) a pint in the store. Well, worth the effort and space on a city lot:-)

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