Raspberry Plants

Burren Natural Raspberries are a July/August fruiting variety, ideally suited to Irish weather conditions and capable of producing an excellent crop of sweet and tangy berries in a surprisingly small space. Raspberries are relatively easy to grow but need a little bit more looking after than strawberries, but just a little.

Planting
Plant can be sown relatively close together
[but I wouldn't go any closer than this]
You can plant raspberry plants at pretty much any time of the year but you will get best immediate results by planting them when the plants themselves are dormant, that's in the Autumn and especially in the Spring.
Like everyone, they love a nice sunny location away from too much wind. Keep in mind, the plants will grow to about 5ft tall before they are ready to prune. You might also want to add some well rotted manure to you soil if needed. The plants will spread so give them about 30cm between each plant - you will need to support them with stakes or ropes and ever net them over when they fruit to keep off hungry birds, so keep this in mind when picking a location

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Raspberry Care
You will almost certainly need to support your plants, either with individual stakes or a line system.
A net is a good idea - unless you want to share with the birds
You will probably get away without supports for the first year, but after that they will flop over without support. Mature plants benefit from a little feed in March/April just to give them a kick start. Raspberries are relatively self sufficient but make sure they don't get overly dry during the summer months. A nice grass mulch [aka lawn clippings] will keep the ground moist around the plants, while also keeping away weeds and providing a little green manure. This mulch will also protect the berries from frost and freezing come winter time. The berries will come in July/August depending on the weather. The red berries look ripe, but they are at their tastiest when they start to develop a slight dark red or purple tinge. They will keep cropping for maybe three or four weeks but they wont last long once picked, so be ready to make lots of raspberry scones, jams and cakes. They also freeze very well.

Pruning (the hard-ish bit)
When fruiting is over the plants have a little more growing to do before it is time to prune away the old canes. If you don't prune raspberry plants they will take more and more space each years and give you no extra berries - which is not a good deal.
Claudia and her raspberries
Unless you have a particularly large plant, don't prune in the first year. New canes will appear from the ground around the plant each autumn and spring. These these canes may provide a little fruit that year, but will not crop fully until the following summer. The rule for raspberries is to give each cane two years, no more. So, in late Autumn, cut all the two year old canes right down to the ground, leaving the newer canes for the following year. You can mark the old and new canes each year if you like, but in reality you will know the old canes by their size and condition. The older canes canes tend to be grey rather than brown, and have a drier, woody texture. Don't be scared to cut the old canes right back - it's what the plant needs.  

Spreading and Aftercare
Raspberries are good spreaders and new plants will begin to appear away from the original plant. You can transplant these in August each year to avoid damaging the mother plant earlier in the year. The raspberry will loose most of their leaves in the winter but don't worry, they will come again in spring.

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