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Cultivating raspberies

When cultivating raspberries in your garden, you can choose between two different varieties: raspberries for summer cultivation or for autumn cultivation. Firstly, the following applies to both varieties: raspberries are originally inhabitants of the forest. They therefore require a moist, humus-rich soil and a partially shaded location for optimum growth.

They are also unsuited to hot, dry locations or heavy, wet soil. The ideal soil for cultivating raspberries is humus-rich sandy soil with constant humidity. Where these soil conditions do not occur naturally, you can create them with so-called ridge cultivation. To do this, first turn the soil over and create earth banks approx. 40 centimetres high and 70 centimetres wide. For this, use a mixture of compost, bark compost, sand and clay (mixing ratio approx. 10:20:50:20).

For raspberries with summer cultivation (summer-bearing varieties), insert a support post every three metres, so that it is 1.5 metres taller than the bank. Attach two pieces of wood 40 centimetres long, transversely to the bank, one at a height of 75 centimetres and one at the top of the post. Plant the raspberry plants at the top of the bank at intervals of approx. 40 to 50 centimetres. Fix a wire at the top ends of the pieces of wood along the raspberry bank with the aid of wire staples. Let the raspberry canes grow between these four wires (two for each side of the bank: one at a height of 75 cm. and the other at 150 cm.). Cut harvested canes down to ground level and leave ten to twelve of the new shoots per running metre and remove the weakest.

For autumn cultivation raspberries (autumn-bearing varieties), plant the raspberry plants approx. 120 centimetres apart. Surround each plant with four posts of approx. 90 centimetres in height, spacing 70 centimetres from post to post. The raspberry plant should stand in the centre of the square created. Place a batten or wire as a support for the growing raspberry canes on the post heads around the plant. In the case of autumn cultivation raspberries, remove all canes down to the ground in November after harvesting.

Tip: Observe the annual reduction in humus due to natural decomposition in the raspberry bed and fill up with fresh compost in spring. Where available, you can use dung as mulch. For better irrigation and fruit quality, drip irrigation of the raspberry plants is recommended in dry years.