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Plant raspberry canes12 December 2012
Plant raspberry canes from this month while they're on sale as bundles of bare rooted canes in your favourite garden centre. Buying bare-root in winter means you'll get a much better choice of varieties, and they establish incredibly quickly – because they're still dormant, they hardly know they've moved.
Raspberries come in two types: summer-fruiting, to crop from June till about August, and autumn-fruiting which take over after that. Both love the same rich, deep soil, preferably on the acid side of neutral: but they're cared for in slightly different ways.
Summer fruiting types like 'Glen Moy' and 'Malling Admiral' fruit on last year's wood. Prune them after they finish fruiting in late summer, taking out all fruit-bearing stems to the ground. Tie this year's young growth onto wires strung between two sturdy posts.
Autumn-fruiting 'Autumn Bliss' or 'Polka' fruit on this year's wood, so every winter cut the whole plant back to ground level. These too need supporting: place twin wire supports either side of the row to prevent branches lurching outwards.
Both summer- and autumn-fruiting raspberries appreciate lots of water through the summer, and a deep mulch of rich organic matter in spring: they'll reward you with buckets of luscious deep red berries to enjoy to the full.