Growing raspberries

Sweet ruby jewels

By choosing your raspberry varieties carefully, you can enjoy the sweet, juicy fruits from late-June to late-September.

See how to... make the most of summer raspberries

While you may need space to grow raspberries, you don't need much time. They're also one of the best low-maintenance fruit crops you can grow, with fruiting times ranging from high summer to late autumn.

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Summer and autumn croppers

Summer-fruiting varieties crop in July on last year's growth, so when their season finishes cut down the fruiting stems. New shoots will soon emerge, and next year's fruit will be produced on these one-year-old, ripened canes. Autumn varieties fruit on this year's new growth, so cut these back in winter, and they'll generate new wood in spring.

Therefore, to enjoy fresh raspberries from summer right into autumn, grow at least one summer and one autumn variety.

'Malling Leo'

This variety produces small, flavoursome fruit in late summer. It has tall, highly productive canes and good disease resistance. The fruit freezes well, but is a bit pippy.

'Glen Ample'

Fruiting throughout July, this variety is twice the size of a normal raspberry, and produces good, firm berries that have a slight tartness. Highly productive, with good disease resistance.

'Glen Moy'

The first variety to crop in late June, it's a good all-rounder that produces fruit with a sweet flavour. However, it's susceptible to disease and needs replacing regularly if you want it to fruit well.

'Autumn Bliss'

Produces fruit with a good flavour, and will crop continuously from August to mid- or late-September.

Loganberries

Juicy berries with a pleasant tartness that are about twice the size of a standard raspberry. The canes should fruit well for 25 years or more. Good disease resistance.

Tayberries

Flavoursome fruit, without the sharpness and intensity of the loganberry. Tayberries produce twice the weight of fruit per plant than raspberries, and have good disease resistance.

When to plant your canes

Plant both summer- and autumn-fruiting canes in autumn, although you can delay planting the latter until as late as March.

Plant canes a sheltered spot in sun or light shade. It's crucial the soil is free draining. Dig a trench 45cm wide and 23cm deep. Enrich the soil with compost and fork back in. Leave for a month, then plant your raspberries, feeding them with a potash-rich fertiliser.

Space raspberry canes 35-45cm apart. Tayberries and loganberries need 2.5-3m between each plant. After planting, cut them back to a bud 25cm above the ground. With tayberries and loganberries, cut them to the same height, but wait until after harvesting to do so.

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