Raspberries

This week, we have been harvesting our first raspberries, a small handful each day.

We planted the bundles of bare root canes in the winter, while the ground and frosts were still hard; a selection of three summer-fruiting types (Glen Moy, Admiral Malling and Leo) and two autumn types (Polka and Autumn Bliss) to give us plenty of variety throughout a long season – and decide our favourites.

Almost all the canes sprouted into leaf in the spring. A couple threw out new canes a small distance from their parent. We fixed sturdy wooden posts at the end of the two rows of summer canes, ready to tie in as they grew taller, and support them until they fruit next year.

The canes flowered, summer and autumn varieties alike, and soon small green fruits began to form on all the plants. Now, I know that we should really have pinched out the fruits from the newly planted summer canes, to focus their energies on growing a sturdy root system and canes for next year’s fruit. But I must confess, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, as each plant looked happy and was producing just a handful of small fruits, which didn’t seem to be compromising their growth – although perhaps I will come to regret this next summer when their crop isn’t as great as it could have been. Time will, indeed, tell.

Now the fruits have all been ripening, one or two per day of each variety, early or late varieties, summer or even autumn raspberries! I am surprised that the autumn canes are producing ripe fruit in July! Perhaps they are confused in their first season.

They all taste fabulous, and I’m really looking forward to their progress in the coming years. We shall tie up these first season canes on the summer plants at the end of the summer, and cut the autumn canes hard down in the winter, and hopefully next year will bring us a bounty of fruit. Perhaps not all at once…

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