We love raspberries in our house, and we have a couple of plants in the garden that we snack on every evening during the summer.
There are never enough, so it was a no brainier to grow plant at the allotment. My fellow plot holders have great raspberry plants, so they obviously grow well there.
I bought a load of bare root plants in November when I got the plot, and decided to keep them in pots at home until I knew where I wanted to plant them. I was really inspired by the gorgeous raspberry bushes at River Cottage when I was there for their festival in August.
This was my delicious breakfast – yoghurt, muesli, grated River Cottage apple, and River Cottage raspberries.
And this is me getting into the glittery festival spirit!
I bought a mix of autumn fruiting ones from Thompson & Morgan – Polka, Autumn Bliss, Autumn Gold (yellow), plus some summer fruiting ones from Sutton’s – Valentina, (orange) and some long cane Glen Ample – I wanted to actually have some fruit this year, so I cheated and bought the long cane Glen Amples from Sutton’s that come with one cane.
I also love tayberries & loganberries – they make the best jam. So I also bought 3 loganberry and 3 tayberry plants from J.Parker’s.
They all overwintered in pots in my garden, and I took them up to the allotment at the end of March
to plant them out. They were the very first things I planted!
I wanted to keep the summer and autumn fruiting ones separate, so I’ve planted them on opposite sides of the plot.
I dug a four trenches and hammered in stakes at either end of them all. I got my stakes from Green Tech, they were the cheapest I could find, and were recommended by a fellow gardener on Twitter (but I can’t remember who!).
My trenches are 2-3m long. I made longer ones for the summer/tay & loganberries and shorter ones for the autumn fruiting as I have less of those.
I then popped a bit of compost at the bottom of each and placed the raspberries in the trench. Approx 30-40cm apart. Because the soil is heavy clay, I backfilled with fresh compost, topped with some manure (which had been composting for about 5 months, so not fully composted) and then watered and covered with a heavy mulch of bark chippings.
I have put wires across the Glen Ample area as they needed tying in straight away. I will do the rest when needed. I used Gripple wire and tensioners from Gardening Naturally. Easy to do, should last well, and they don’t rust.
Around the edges I have put cardboard and woodchip.
In mid May I also planted some flowers at the ends of some of the rows. A cosmos, 2 dahlias and some sweet peas so far.
I have given them a heard start by planting them in fresh compost rather than the ground. I cut off the bottom of the pot so the roots can go deeper when they are ready.
And this is how everything is looking in mid-May:
The Polkas (looking good)
Autumn Gold and Autumn Bliss (bit patchy, they haven’t all leafed up) – I’ve let Thompson Morgan know, and they are replacing the autumn bliss, but don’t have any autumn gold left – they have given a refund for those, which is good, but means I only have 1 plant.
Tayberry/Loganberry and Valentina (bit patchy)
Glen Ample (looking good, with some flowers beginning to show)
There have been a few weeds peeping through, but nothing like the weeds around the site, so very pleased with the approach so far. I try and pull them when they are small, and I’m working on the idea of exhausting the roots by constantly taking off the greenery.