Today I picked this bucket of raspberries from the small patch we have in our back yard. Raspberries are incredibly easy to grow, and unless you have a very small yard, they are a great use of garden space. I planted these last year in a 4-by-16 foot raised bed. I put in six plants and they have filled the bed already.
These are mostly a variety called ‘Caroline’, a huge, red berry with a nice sweet-tart taste. I also have some ‘Anne’ berries, which is a yellow variety, also large and sweet. The raspberries perform well in the raised bed, but I neglected (or was too lazy) to put in a trellis or other system to keep the raspberry canes upright. Picking is tricky because I have to lift the cane up to see how many berries are there, then hold it up while I pick. Not great for the back. So, my fall building project is to construct a post-and-wire system for training the berries.
Last year I cut all the canes to the ground to encourage spreading. This year, I’ll prune the top third of some of stronger canes. Those canes are supposed to bear a crop in July. New canes that grow up next spring will bear in the fall. The best thing about fall raspberries is how long they will produce fruit. Most will bear well into October. A vendor who sells berries at the Northfield Farmer’s Market told me she’s picked berries as late as the first week of November. Let’s hope for a long fall!