Learning how to grow raspberries at home is fairly easy and means you'll have an endless supply of puddings every summer. Homegrown raspberries are both sweet and sharp – and totally delicious – and make the perfect addition to fruit salads or homemade jams. It's easy to grow raspberries in any size of garden, but to ensure a good crop for up to 10 years from each plant, there are a few insider tricks you need to know.
First up, we'd recommend growing both summer and autumn-fruiting varieties, which means you'll have fruit all summer and into the autumn. They freeze really well for jams, sauces and desserts, so you don't need to worry about having too many.
Here's our step-by-step guide to growing raspberries, from the perfect conditions and how long they'll take to produce fruit, to the common problems and how to avoid them.
Step-by-step guide to growing raspberries
1. You should plant your raspberries between November and March when the soil is no longer frozen. Before planting, clear the soil of any weeds and dig through a general fertiliser and well-rotted manure.
2. Raspberries are usually sold as canes, which is basically a bare-looking root and stalk. Soak the roots of your canes in water, and then plant them 45-60cm apart, in a row. If you plan on doing more than one row, keep them at least a metre apart.
3. Cover over the roots with about 5cm of soil and water well.
4. Keep the compost moist and feed with a liquid general-purpose fertiliser on a monthly basis during the growing season. In hard water areas, try to use harvested rainwater.
5. As the plants grow, tie gently to canes that are linked to one another by wire.
TOP TIP: You can grow raspberries in containers if space is limited. Single raspberry plants can be grown in 38cm diameter pots, tying to a cane as the plant grows.
The best places to buy raspberry plants online
The best conditions for growing raspberries
Raspberries are usually planted in rows in beds and the plants are then trained along a post and wire system as they grow. As we mentioned above, if you have a smaller garden, then you can still grow raspberries, either in containers or trained up a single post.
Wherever you plant your raspberries, you'll need to use soil that's moist, fertile and weed free. Add a general purpose fertiliser to the soil in early spring and water the plants well during dry periods.
Raspberries like the sunshine, so try to plant them in rows running north to south to avoid them casting shade on each other.
Finally, once your plants are established, prune them back each year to encourage a bigger crop the following year.
How long do raspberries take to grow?
If you plant your raspberries between November and March, they'll be ready around June, if you've chosen summer-fruiting varieties. If you've chosen autumn-fruiting varieties, they'll be ready in late August to October. You may have to wait a year before your raspberry canes produce fruit, depending on how mature they are when you buy them.
Common problems when growing raspberries
According to the RHS, the main issue when growing raspberries is pesky raspberry beetle. Dry patches develop at the stalks in summer, and you'll often find a small white maggot inside the fruit. Autumn-fruiting varieties tend to be affected the least, so opt for those if you can.
Other common diseases include raspberry cane blight and raspberry spur blight, but these can be avoided by making sure the plants are well spaced and have good circulation around them.