Friday, December 4, 2009

Raspberry Kisses

As spring turns into summer, our attention shifts from the cherries on the front nature strip (hmmm, delicious but all gone now ) to the raspberries up the back. (hmmmmm, delicious JAAYSUS theres HEAPS).

It is a particulary good crop this year.

There is something so opulent and decadent about bowls of raspberries for breakfast, a few more for afternoon tea and just one more handful on your way past to lock up the chooks at night.

There are some secrets to happy raspberries.
  • They like to be kept moist.
  • They don't mind a bit of shade.
  • They don't like hot dry winds.
  • They like a good dressing of rich compost, blood and bone and perhaps even mulch in late winter or early spring.
  • They are precious and special - they don't like competition or weeds.
  • They like to grow in a patch rather than strapped to trellis. This lets them get thick enough to shade out weeds and to keep the soil around the roots moist.
  • And lock those bloody chickens out! They have shallow roots.

The trick I reckon is when you first plant them, gather the first years canes together and tie them in bunches. Raspberries fruit on last years canes.

The annual maintenance is this: Each winter, removed any canes that are tied up in bunches. (These are the ones that would have fruited that year) Once the old canes are gone, gather up that years new canes and tie into bunches. These are the canes that should fruit the following spring. With the old canes gone, and the new canes bunched, this is the time to spread a layer of compost, manure, mulch whatever. The topdressing will help protect the roots from frost and cold.

The good thing about this system is that in winter when everything looks dead and it is hard to tell what fruited and what is new growth to fruit next year, what ever is tied goes, and what ever is left gets tied up so that the canes are supported by each other and the fruiting happens in big bunches rather than spread across the whole patch.

This works for my spring fruiting raspberries. I am not sure if the same system would work for autumn ones.......

but my gollygosh they are yummi.


Em said...

Looks good! My rasperry is only about half a foot high so I will be waiting a while to get any fruit.

BTW, have you seen/heard from Mr BVVF recently? I havent heard a peep out of him for weeks! We have his brushcutter on loan which I am sure he wants back at some point!

The Duck Herder said...

Hi Em - I have been a bit worried / missing mr bvvf myself. I might try and give him a ring tomorrow......

You could get raspberries next year! (gotta start somehwere!)

let me know if you would like some extra canes - I have just potted some up for my sister in law for Christmas - and I am sure there will be more suckers in the next few weeks..... :-)

Em said...

Let me know if you get in touch with him so I know he is ok.

And some canes would be great thanks :) I got a few from the community garden swap day but only one raspberry and the loganberry have survived. I think the spot I planted them is a bit too exposed.

Em said...

Never mind, he just showed up at my door, said he has just been really busy.

Tricia said...

Yum! I have been thinking about growing rasberries for a while - now i'm convinced I have to. Thanks for the info.

Killi said...

Dad & I planted 9 raspberry canes at the end of October, along with 6 redcurrant bushes. The ducks dug 1 of the raspberry canes up & threw it off the rise behind my house! I'm used to hens eating the fruits, but ducks digging them up?

The Duck Herder said...

Hi folks! Glad you liked the raspberry post. Welcome Tricia- I love your blog and have been a regular lurker so it is nice to be able to give something back!

Em - poor Mr BVVF it sounds like he has been having a really hard time! Perhaps we need to go out and give them a hand one weekend? (or just drive the beer ambulance out)

Em said...

Sounds like a great idea. Send me an email at xxemilyxx at gmail dot com and we can organise something.