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Why not put Raspberries on your city lot, do you need ALL that GRASS?



Our summer is slowing down, and we are having a lot of cool weather which I don’t mind this year! Our raspberries have been emerging the last few weeks.


I have been busy  getting all our fall crops into our garden beds. Fall planting and raspberry harvest occur every year around the same time.


After my poison ivy adventure this summer.I am not too eager to head into my raspberry patch without my long sleeves and pants this summer. I love raspberries so, I “gear-up” for the adventure each day.


I am finding that raspberries are not always making it to the house! I do get quite a bit out of our 15 ft long by 5 ft wide raspberry patch that is at the back of our yard. If you have a city lot, and space  in full sun/partial sun raspberries need to be what you grow.I know, I sound like a broken record, but it is a must for city dwellers that want to have an edible landscape. You might think, well, I can buy raspberries at the market in season. You can’t guarantee they are organic unless they are certified and usually if they are USDA certified you won’t’ get many raspberries for your money. If you create some space at the back of your yard, you can grow some to eat and freeze. They will be organic, and research shows that there is a significant difference between organic and non-organic raspberries.



“Recent research on organic raspberries has now shown organic raspberries to be significantly higher in total antioxidant capacity than non-organic raspberries. Raspberries in the study were grown on farms in Maryland that had been previously certified as organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A series of tests involving free radical scavenging all provided the same results: organic raspberries outperformed their non-organic counterparts in terms of their antioxidant activity. This greater antioxidant capacity was associated with the greater levels of total phenols and total anthocyanins found in organic versus non-organic raspberries. While there are many good reasons to purchase organic versus non-organic foods of all kinds, this study makes it clear that these reasons specifically hold true for raspberries in a profound way”


The only suggestion I have about growing raspberries on city lots is to put them someplace they can take over for they do wander later in the season. I feel they look lovely in the landscape until the berries ripen and weigh down the vines.


I try to make work in the garden as easy for myself as I can, so I let my canes over winter. I cut them all down in the spring to the ground. I miss the early summer crop that usually is not considered quality fruit by some experts. I have found this works best for our city lot. The Canes only get messy about this time of year when they are loaded with fruit.I just tie them up and work around them until I can trim some of the canes back near the path. Cornell University provides a more detailed practice of cutting all the canes to the ground in spring. (here)


I can’t imagine my city lot without raspberries. I freeze the extra for winter eating.


They keep us happy until spring strawberries make their appearance. Who needs ALL THAT GRASS when you can have berries. Right??


43 replies »

    • 🙂 YUM! You bet, it is on a to do list in the future. Just I have to be careful, I am sure I could eat a whole bottle in one sitting! LOL

  1. Oh dear I better go check mine. I just noticed elderberries are ripe too and if I don’t get them the birds will!

    • Elderberries-now that is a great berry too! I know what you mean those critters know good food when they see it-but they can’ t have it all! LOL

  2. Raspberries are superlative creatures. Very easy to grow and they basically look after themselves. I planted some out last year. Lets see if they grow back ;). I think we need to rephrase “who needs lawns” and replace it with “the earth can’t AFFORD lawns”. If we took the collective waste of nutrients, time and energy and especially water, coupled with the amount of toxic chemicals that people use on their lawns and the money spent on all of the materials needed to keep them neat and tidy, we could probably solve world hunger!

    • Amen Fran!!! No one can say it better than you:-) It always amazes me how you are spot on every time:-) I noticed my neighbor a week ago- wandering her lawn + appeared to be frustrated for her grass was dying. I wanted to walk over and say, “hey, you don’t have to spend all your money on companies ( she has a spray truck take care of her lawn with chemicals) to take care of your lawn-I have an idea?” Why don’t you plant more native plants and include some food so you can eat healthy and heal…but then I realized, I would just annoy her and you can’t change people till they want to change….well, I have changed and I will NEVER care about lawns again. I keep a strip in front to not upset my neighbors. Have to fit into the neighborhood. It is BUT a strip for my yard is filled with natives and pollinators. I don’t have food up front since many of he neighbors spray chemicals. There is no buffer for me which means- I can’t grow too many food items near their yards. I have enough room in back, so I plant all my pollinator plants up front. It is a buzzing and I have noticed more people planting flowers for they stop by and ask me. I have cranberries up front but they are far enough away from their spraying:-)

      • You are leading by example Ms Robbie. People like the look of what you are doing and stop to ask you so that is the perfect, non confrontational way to engage and educate people. People only learn something when they take the steps to be educated about it. Yelling at someone just makes them more determined to do things their way and less likely to contemplate any other action. You are acting exactly the right way to completely convert your entire neighbourhood to your excellent gardening practices. Keep up the good work ma’am you are doing an excellent job and I am sure your neighbour will one day ask you how you do what you do in your garden. Just a matter of patience. She has likely looked over the fence and envied your gorgeous garden many times without knowing how you do it.

      • aww-Fran-thank you so much:-) I do hope they think about that grass since their health would be better without all those chemicals in their garden:-) I have mentioned it or hinted at it but
        sometimes people have to discover or come to it on their own:-) Your right yelling never works for change!

  3. You’ve got me drooling! 😉 Our raspberries have shot underground and threaten to take over the field. Looks like there’ll be a nice crop soon. The past couple years the fruit flies have been pretty bad, hitting up to half the fruit, it annoys me, but I’m not inclined to do much about it. There still is plenty for us. I’m hoping that natural cycles will kick in and balance will be restored. 🙂

    • Eliza-yep, raspberries do that to me! LOL. I have to wait till next year for my blackberries for I moved them this spring. I love those, too:-)So far no pests, I sure hope I don’t have that problem:-(I hate when that stuff happens.I totally understand waiting for things to balance out and they usually do, but I am so impatient sometimes! I want my berries!lol I was worried this year. I would not have any since I only practiced cutting canes to the ground once. Phew-it does work and we had berries:-)

  4. Our raspberries are only just ripening (we’ve had a few) – so you’re probably a couple of weeks ahead of us Robbie. They look scrummy though!

  5. It’s interesting to see the researchers finally doing the studies to ‘prove’ yet again that nature needs no help from monsanto and co. Keep sharing your wonderful garden Robbie – you are inspiring people around the globe even if your neighbours remain determined to not think abut their actions. xoxo

    • Go us Pauline:-) We need to keep getting the word out that what we eat does contribute to our health:-) It does not happen over night but takes time to make a difference. Pauline-You and I changed because we had too…some people never learn and well, you just have to let them be:-) At least, I can say I tried:-)

    • 🙂 I can only hope others see the way + become enlightened:-) It is so much better + a lot more room to grow plants that heal us and nature!

  6. Oh how I wish they were happy here! We had a large patch for part of my childhood and even though few made it into the house that I picked, there were still plenty to put up each year that kept two avid PB&J kids in jelly year round in addition to pies and popsicles. Enjoy your bounty for me!

    • awww-sure wish you had them in your space-but you can grow citrus fruit which we can’t:-( We all have those things that are easier to grow. I am hoping my blueberries do better in the future. They were munched to the ground by rabbits the last few years. We fence them in now + they are coming back. Shoot they are native, you would think they would do better! Well, they would if my resident rabbits would not munch them to the ground!

      • Ha! I think natives are extra tasty to natives, if you get what I mean 😉 I’m going to have to net next year’s melons if I want to eat any. The birds helped themselves and the ants picked the rind clean. We did expand our citrus collection this year and need to put the ones in the ground (that we can) soon – otherwise my interior “greenhouse” of a kitchen won’t be much kitchen anymore!

      • LOL. I have learned you have to roll with what grows in your space and do what you can to keep what you have:-) I have to fence my kale in the spring or it is eaten to the ground by the critters. I am wired in until all the potager greens up. Once it greens up and they get a bit taller they leave it alone. It is a battle sometimes!

  7. My grandfather had rows of raspberries, growing like hedges and I have fond memories of eating bowls of them with cream and sugar. If I had more space in my garden, I would have raspberries and blueberries. Yum. So glad you have them to enjoy. And such luscious pictures.

    • I am so excited that I finally have my own in my yard. I use to be envious of others that had them on their city lot-I never thought I would have my own. yum-cream, sugar and memories!
      Now the blueberries, I am working on + hopefully in the future. The rabbits ate ours to the ground:-( We are putting wire up around our bushes in the winter for they munch them every winter and this winter they survived with wire. No munching this year! BUT the damage was done and will take some time for the plants to get larger.The raspberries are so much easier to grow:-)

  8. Brilliant pictures. They look so delicious. Raspberries are my absolute favourite fruit. I love everything about them: how straightforward they are to grow, their colour and their startling, intense taste. The first photo of the incipient fruits is lovely.

    • awww…nature just invites us to showcase her and she does all the work:-) You are so right-delicious + straightforward to all:-) Now, I just wish blueberries were that easy! lol

  9. Oh my so delicious looking! I have a few small raspberry canes I moved in Spring from behind the greenhouse. I enjoyed a small harvest. I’m sure they’ll take over (like everything else ha ha!). I like having them in an easier to reach spot. I can’t wait to chop down my garden – it is overwhelming. I know, that sounds bad.

    • does not sound bad for at this time of year, I am ready to start over-LOL. I have some things I just LOVE and others that I well, want to do a DO OVER or have a NEW idea, I want to create. Our gardens our living art and you can’t change it so quickly!

  10. Raspberries are my favourite fruit. I am enjoying a large one called ‘ Autumn Bliss’ this month. I am also fond of a yellow one; ‘ All Gold’. Your photos look so enticing, they make me want a bowlful right now.

  11. We grow Autumn Bliss and Polka raspberries here, both are Autumn fruiting. Last year I moved them from the sunniest most sheltered spot in my veg garden to partial shade and can report they are doing well. One of the reasons I moved them was the late pollinators tended to be wasps rather than bees and hoverflies and their new spot means I am not brushing by every day. Great post Robbie, keep on encouraging us!

    • I totally agree “wasps” would not be fun walking by every day. I only have bumble bees on mine the past few years.Our bumble bees just cover our raspberry bushes.
      Sometimes when I am harvesting them–have to work around the bees since I have two cultivars and they ripen at different times. Autumn Bliss and Polka dot raspberries sound like interesting ones to grow:-) I was concerned about mine getting too shady in the future with dwarf fruit trees- but mine could use a little for where I have them it gets very hot at times.Some just melt off the vine if I don’t gt them soon enough!

  12. I do have some wild black raspberries growing at the base of a silver maple tree. I pretty much leave them untended except that I cut down the old canes and sometimes cut back the new ones. Only thing is I’m not seeing much fruit because the rabbits have been chewing all the canes down to the ground in the winter.

    • wild black raspberries are quite good too! When I bike with a friend on the Mississippi we go past some wild black raspberry patches + we do get off and munch! The bunnies destroy our blueberries but we fenced them this past winter and they did not eat them to the ground. It will take a few years to build them back up, but we can’t leave them unfenced. The bunnies ate my dwarf seedling fruit trees too one year. I had to put some plastic protection around them too. If they were not so darn cute, I would be a bit madder-lol

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