Weston Garden Centre advises to get your raspberries in now ready for next summer
I had feared that if we continued to experience further rain fall that I may well end up receiving a phone call from the Glastonbury Festival organisers seeking to use my garden for their festival.
It turns out the conditions at the bottom of my garden, boggy mud and pools of water, were ideal for their revellers to enjoy listening to Coldplay in (other middle of the road bands are available) whilst up to their knees in mud.
Thankfully the ground is transforming from quagmire to slightly sodden therefore gardening can re-commence.
June may seem like an eternity away but if you want to have summer fruiting raspberries in your garden then now is the time to get them into the ground.
I’ve opted to plant the variety called ‘Malling Promise’ into my fruit garden. When I say fruit garden it’s just a small 2 metre by 1 metre raised bed that I made last year out of some old railway sleepers.
The benefits of planting fruit canes into raised beds are many, one you don’t have to bend down as far and two, by raising the planting level up above the normal height of the ground it helps with drainage and prevents the roots of the plant being water logged.
Raspberries grow best in a sheltered spot within the garden, strong winds can damage them. The fruit bed I shall be planting my fruit canes into is in quite a sheltered spot and gets full sun throughout the day, though a partially shaded spot would also work.
When planting fruit canes such as raspberries, plant them along a north south axis, this stops them from shading each other as they fruit.
Prepare the soil your fruit canes are going to go into by removing any weeds. Remove all of the weeds roots from the soil as they will quickly re-establish themselves.
Using a spade dig a trench to a depth of 5inches / 13cm deep and about 18inches / 40cm wide. Into the bottom of this trench add a bucket of well rotted farm yard manure every metre, and spread it across the trench.
Next plant your fruit canes into the trench spreading the roots system out and leave a good 18inches 40cm between plants then cover with soil and firm them in.
To either end of the raised bed I drilled and screwed two vertical pieces of timber which I used as the uprights for my fruit cane support.
By stretching lengths of garden wire from one upright to the other I formed taught lines that I could tie the fruit cane to using soft twine.These rows of wire then support the weight of the canes; avoids damage and helps with fruit production.
Just for a change I’m going to have a cup of raspberry herbal Tea, I tried camomile once, never again it tasted like soap to me and I must have gone through at least half a packet of digestives just to get rid of the taste.