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Permaculture Pete's Raspberry Guide

 
              
Posts: 52
Location: Australia
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First determine if you have summer or autumn fruiting raspberry variety.

The canes that have just fruited are the canes you want to cut, even if they still show green or green under a scratching with your nails. Prune them as soon as they have fruited as they won't bear as large a crop as the other canes next to them which you want to save as they will bring the fruiting for the next year.

Train summer raspberries by tying to a trellis about 1.5 metres high. Bend any tall tops over to one side and tie to encourage more lateral shootings which will grow out of the main vine in spring and have flowers on them. These flowers will bear your fruit and by this stage the leaves will be dull and tatty.

Autumn raspberry canes grow and fruit in the same year. Cut back all the canes to the ground level in early winter or as soon as they have finished fruiting.

If in doubt keep the nice new fat canes and cull out the spindly weak canes.

Wear a heavy snow coat or don't both with raspberries as they need 800-1,600 hours of cold chilling weather for the best flavour to develop which needs cool Highland temperatures. Hot winds will kill them as will intense summer afternoon sun so pick a spot where they get afternoon shade and morning sun.

Raspberries need moist fertile soil and repeated mulching. They hate weeds and the mulching will help you control these around the canes.

In short, they are fussy plants. If the climate is perfect and the soil naturally high in organic matter they'll grow so well they will become a weed but if they are not content with their surroundings you won't get fruit and the plants may die.

Plant bare rooted canes 30 cm apart in winter in rows about 150 cm apart, north to south to maximise sunlight so the berries are less inclined to rot. You will need 50 plants for a good crop.

Try the different varieties to find one or more than one that does well in your particular environment. Different varieties have different flavours and no one agrees which one is best.

Vigour declines with age with raspberry patches but on the other hand some patches well manured with high organic rabbit manure have lasted 40 years and thrive. If you get decline, dig them out and find new ground to plant new canes into.

Berries ripen from November to early winter depending on variety (Southern Hemisphere). Pick them every single day or else you will attract harlequin beetles which you can tell you have as dry berries have been sucked dry by these beetles and harbour disease. Birds will get used to picking your berries before you do so pick every day.

Warm climate grown berries do not have the same intense flavour as cold climate grown berries. Raspberry cordial is stunningly good and the bright colour is great for kids.

Ingredients:
6 metric cups sugar
2 metric cups water
2 metric cups raspberries (frozen ok for this)
1 metric cup lemon or lime juice
2 teaspoons tartaric acid

Boil the water and the sugar for 5 minutes. Take off the heat and pour in the fruit and juice. Simmer for 5 minutes. Strain. Add tartaric acid. Stir well and bottle at once. Keep in the fridge. Throw out if it freezes or grows mould.


Cheers,
PeterD
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Nice guide.  Thanks.
 
              
Posts: 52
Location: Australia
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Glad you like it John,

Try the cordial, its tops!

Cheers,
PeterD
 
John Polk
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Posts: 7742
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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...but you forgot to say how much brandy to use.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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