KEY DATES FOR GROWING RASPBERRIES IN CONTAINERS
Dates for summer fruiting raspberries are marked S
Dates for autumn fruiting raspberries are marked A
Dates for both are marked B
SUMMER VERSUS AUTUMN FRUITING RASPBERRY
When buying your raspberry canes you need to decide when you
want to harvest the fruit.
If you want raspberries from late June for a month or so
then buy the summer fruiting raspberries. If you want the
fruit later in the year, from mid-August to late September,
then opt for autumn fruiting raspberries.
The two types above require pruning at different times of
the year so it's best to plant one type only in a container.
RECOMMENDED VARIETIES OF RASPBERRIES FOR CONTAINERS
All varieties of raspberries are suitable for container
growing but it's best to avoid tall growing varieties. These
will be more adversely affected by strong winds when grown
in the light soil of a container.
SUMMER FRUITING RASPBERRY VARIETIES FOR CONTAINERS
A strong growing raspberry which produces larger than
normal fruits. The raspberries are ready for eating from
early July through to August. Good disease resistance. The
canes are free from spines and they grow very upright
reducing the need for support. Awarded an AGM and one of the
most popular varieties.
Probably the best summer fruiting raspberry for containers
because they have low growing and very sturdy canes. The
fruit is a typical raspberry red colour and they are
exceptionally tasty. Awarded an AGM, this is our choice for
AUTUMN FRUITING RASPBERRY VARIETIES FOR CONTAINERS
This is our choice of the autumn fruiting raspberries for
containers. Raspberries are produced from mid August until
early October. The canes are short and sturdy requiring
almost no support in a container. Good disease resistance,
especially as far as aphids are concerned. The fruits are
slightly larger than normal.
WHEN TO PLANT RASPBERRIES
||The timing for planting raspberries in containers is the
same as for planting in the open ground. The best time is
from November to early March.
The reason for this is that
the bare-rooted raspberry canes (by far the cheapest) are
only sold in winter. Raspberries are sold ready planted in
containers throughout the year. The picture on the left
(click to enlarge) is of a bare-rooted raspberry
HOW TO PLANT RASPBERRY CANES
First fill your containers with potting compost. The ideal
mixture is 80% general purpose potting compost plus 20% of
loam based (John Innes for example) compost. The loam based
compost will give the soil some body and help the roots to
secure themselves firmly.
One or two raspberry canes can be planted in a container
which is 45cm / 18in or more wide. Dig out a hole wide
enough to take the roots spread out slightly. The depth is
important, they should be planted to the same depth as they
were grown. You will be able to see a soil mark near the
base of the cane, plant them to that depth.
|Firm the soil around the planted raspberry cane. Support
can be a single bamboo cane or three pointing inwards and
joined with string at the top. As the raspberry plants grow,
tie them loosely to the canes to provide some support.
Summer fruiting raspberries need more support compared to
autumn fruiting ones. Water the container well.
CARE OF RASPBERRIES IN
PIC GOES HERE
Raspberry plants like moist soil
at all times, but especially when the fruits are
forming. The frequency of watering will depend on
the size of the container. The larger the container
the less frequent watering will be needed. In very
warm weather it may well be necessary to water daily
if the fruits are forming. If you can't be around to
water for a few days then move the containers to a
shady position protected from wind.
This will greatly reduce the water intake of the
raspberry plant. They will survive deep shade for a week
without any serious damage, but may well be killed if left
for a week without water in full sun.
The best water for raspberries in containers is rain
water although tap water is OK as long as you aren't in a
hard water area. If you are in a hard water area then invest
in a water butt and use tap water sparingly.
Feeding raspberries is best done with both a long lasting
fertiliser such as blood, fish and bone or bonemeal and top
that up with a monthly liquid feed of a general-purpose
Sprinkle a handful of long lasting fertiliser on the
surface of the soil in March and June. Gently work the
fertiliser into the top 2cm / 1in of the soil with a trowel
and then water. The general purpose liquid fertiliser should
be applied monthly at the concentration specified on the
Raspberry plants are frequently strong growers and after
a year or two growing in a container they will start to
produce more than one stem. This can result in the container
becoming overcrowded and you need to keep an eye on the
situation. If the raspberries are autumn fruiting and
multiple stems appear (keep the number of stems to two per
45cm / 18in pot) then select the strongest growing and cut
the remainder back to ground level. check your plants once a
month from April onwards for multiple stems.
Preventing summer fruiting raspberries from over-crowding
the container is a little more complicated. Bear in mind
with summer fruiting raspberries that they produce fruit on
canes which started growing last year. So in the summer when
last year's cane is starting to produce fruit you will also
need to have one or two more canes which are growing for
fruit production next year.
Pruning aside (see below) that's all the care that your
raspberry plants will need. The containers do of course need
to kept weed free. Position your container in full sun or
part shade. If your area is windy then position the container
where the plants will be protected from the worst of the
PRUNING RASPBERRIES IN CONTAINERS
Pruning raspberries is different for autumn and summer
fruiting varieties because autumn fruiting ones produce
raspberries on canes which grow this year. Summer fruiting
raspberries produce fruit on canes which started growing the
If you have autumn fruiting raspberry canes then pruning
is simply cutting the canes back to 3cm / 1in above soil
level in mid-February. It sounds harsh but this will
to spring back to life in mid-March for another year's crop
of delicious raspberries!
Summer fruiting raspberries should be pruned as soon as
they stop producing fruit. Cut all canes which have produced
fruit this year to ground level. Select one or two canes
which haven't produced fruit this year and prune all the
remaining ones to ground level. It's relatively easy to
distinguish between canes that have produced fruit this year
from those that haven't. The new canes will have light green
stems and they will generally look to be growing well. the
canes that have produced fruit this year will be darker in
colour and generally look a bit tired out!
Raspberries are best harvested when they are dry and the
best time of day is either in the morning or evening when
the temperatures are cool. This will help them last longer
stored in the fridge.
To freeze raspberries lay them out one a shallow tray (in
one layer only) and let them freeze. If you are lucky enough
to have lots then bag up the frozen raspberries, place them
back in the freezer and start freezing the next batch in the
same way. Bagged up, they will keep in the freezer for at
months. When you defrost raspberries they will never have
the texture of fresh raspberries but that's not a problem if
you wan to use them in cakes, sauces or drinks.
One tip for making frozen raspberries look good is to
remove them from the freezer only just before you need them.
They will stay in shape for a couple of hours and initially
will have a delightful sugar-frosted look - see the picture
of the Chocolate and raspberry cheesecake below.
Good recipes for raspberries (frozen and unfrozen) can be
found at the following links:
PESTS AND DISEASES
Raspberries grown in containers suffer from the normal
pests and diseases which affect those grown in the open
ground. Rather than detail them here we provide a link
here to a good page that deals with how to identify
them and how to treat them. Remember to come back here when
you have read the information!
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