Raspberry Patch

Starting A New Raspberry Patch

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Hello everyone, in this quick article i will show you exactly how I started a brand new raspberry patch on my allotment using bare root raspberries.

What Are Bare Root Raspberries

Bare root is a term used for how the raspberries will be delivered to you. It is a common way to deliver dormant plants over the winter.

The name bare root simply comes from the fact that the roots will be bare, ie there will be no soil or compost around them. As the plants are dormant this wont effect them and while they may just look like a stick the plant is just fine.

This allows for the plants to be cheaper as they are easier to store and ship without all that compost!

A Bunch of Bare Root Raspberries

When To Plant

There are two times suitable for planting raspberries: autumn and spring. I prefer to plant in early spring as your plants won’t have to be stood outside during the worst months of winter.

March is the perfect month for me to plant my raspberries, and that is exactly what I am doing right now!

Types of Raspberry

There are two distinct types of raspberry: summer flowering and autumn flowering. The difference isn’t just when they fruit but also how they grow and how you need to look after them.

Summer fruiting raspberries flower and fruit on last year’s growth – which is why they fruit earlier in the year.

Autumn fruiting raspberries flower and fruit on this year’s growth – which is why they fruit later in the year.

If you are a relatively new gardener then I recommend getting started with autumn raspberries, they are easier to care for and grow. Autumn fruiting raspberries tend to provide a smaller harvest, but over a longer period of time, summer fruiting ones crop heavily, but only for a couple of weeks.

How To Plant

No matter which type you are planting, the steps are the same. To begin you want to soak your bare roots in a bucket of water for an hour or two, this just helps rehydrate them and wake them up from their long slumber!

Next, you want to dig a medium hole where you are going to plant your raspberry.

Dig a hole

I am digging straight into grass as you can see, I’m not too worried about this as I am digging a lot of the grass out and then I will be adding a thick mulch of woodchips over the top.

Backfill the hole with compost

You then want to backfill the hole with fresh compost.

I am actually using a mix of ericaceous and regular compost because raspberries prefer their soil slightly acidic but not overly so. Now this is probably overkill and you will be fine with regular compost, but I was at the garden centre and thought I might as well!

I use a mix if composts
I use a mix of compost

The mix I am using is 4:1 200L of regular compost to 50L of ericacous.

Mixing the compost in my trolly
Mixing the compost in my trolly

Once your new compost is in the hole, you want to make a small hole in it with your hands to pop the raspberry into.

dig a hole and pop the root in
dig a hole and pop the root in

Make sure you dig it wide enough so that you can get all of the roots in.

In regards to depth you can go quite deep with raspberries as a lot of the growth will come from new side shoots underground. If you have an obvious pruning point – like the kink on mine then don’t bury the plant below this.

Now you want to continue backfilling with your new compost.

Backfill with compost and firm down strongly
Backfill with compost and firm down strongly

Once the plant is in, then you want to firm it down strongly, I just use my fist for this. While you are doing this make sure the cane is staying straight.

Once you are done, you might water the plant, but this depends on the weather. It has been so wet this winter that i wont be watering mine – the soil is plenty wet enough already.

Mulching

Mulching raspberries is a great idea; it helps prevent competition from weeds and also helps feed the soil over time. I like to use woodchip for this as it is a free resource for me and slightly acidic – which the raspberries like.

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