If you want lots of fruit without much effort, then why not try growing raspberries in pots?
They are so easy to grow that you can pot them up and forget about them, until harvest time that is!
Summer or Autumn Fruiting
This is the first decision you need to make. Summer and autumn fruiting raspberries are very different from each other.
Summer fruiting raspberries will fruit on last year’s growth, so you won’t get much out of them.
Autumn fruiting raspberries grow and fruit in a single year, so you get more fruit straight away.
In general, summer fruiting raspberries are more productive once they get going.
You will need a good-sized pot, but it doesn’t need to be as large as you might be thinking.
Anything above 30cm in diameter would work, but a 40cm pot will work better.
If you plant in a 30cm pot then use 2-3 canes, in a 40cm pot you can fit 4 canes without much hassle.
How To Plant
The cheapest way of getting started with raspberries is by getting bare-root canes.
You can order these online and get them delivered or find them in garden centres and sometimes even the supermarket.
They look just like they sound, a bare root. Don’t be alarmed when a dead-looking stick with a few roots turns up, this is what they should look like.
Above is a bare root apple tree, but it gives you a good idea of what to expect.
You can also get raspberries as potted plants, if you do this, then you can skip the next few steps.
If you decided to go with a bare-root plant, then here’s what you need to do.
Firstly, soak the roots in a bucket of water for a few hours. You can then pot them up.
Just use a multi-purpose compost, add a little to the bottom, and then place your bare root canes in before filling the rest of the pot with compost.
You will need some form of support to grow your raspberries up.
A few bamboo canes turned into a wigwam can work really well in pots, as can a trellis, as seen in the above photo.
How you train your plants will depend on whether they are summer or autumn fruiting.
Summer fruiting raspberries can be trained in autumn when the old canes have been pruned and the new canes for next year remain.
You can tie this in over autumn and they will remain there, dormant, over winter.
Autumn fruiting plants will be trained as they grow.
How you prune your raspberries will depend on whether they are summer or autumn fruiting.
This sounds complicated at first, but after you have grown them once, it is really simple.
With summer fruiting plants, you remove the canes that fruited that year but leave the new ones, as these will carry next year’s fruit.
With autumn fruiting raspberries, you cut everything down to the base, as it will all come back in a single season.
Because we are growing these raspberries in pots we will want to feed them regularly.
You can get special berry feeds but I just use a general-purpose feed for things like this.
I like to use the organic feed below for general feeding.
- All new natural formula
- Not just your average NPK liquid fertilizer
- Trialled and tested
- Soil Association Approved
- By-product of green energy
- Contains macronutrients and beneficial microbes.
- Does smell a little
The berries should come off the plant easily, if they don’t want to come off then they are not fully ripe and should be left for a few more days.
You know the berries are perfect when they almost fall off the plant and leave a little cone behind.
Pick them as often as you can to encourage the plant to create more fruit.