Planting Out Homegrown Raspberry Bushes
Buy canes which are certified virus-free and plant in mid-autumn. Because raspberries break into fresh growth very early in spring, later plantings should be avoided. If, however, the ground is very wet or cold when the canes arrive, you can heel them in until conditions are more suitable.
Dig out a shallow trench about 30 cm (1’) wide where the row is to be. Space the canes 45 cm (18”) apart; if you have more than one row, leave a minimum of 1.5 m (5’) between rows. This may seem wasteful of space, but the canes must be exposed to enough air and sunlight for the fruits to ripen properly. Closer planting will also encourage problems with. If you are planting varieties which are slow to sucker, such as Lloyd George, you can plant two canes per station.
Plant the canes firmly, with the roots well spread out and about 7.5 cm (3”) deep; there should be amark on the stems indicating the right planting depth. After planting, either at once or some time before spring, cut the canes back to a strong healthy bud about 30 cm (1’) above ground. This may seem a bit drastic, but if you do not cut the cane back, and allow it to fruit in the first season, the plant’s ability to produce vigorous new canes will be seriously reduced, and it will not crop properly for another two years.
Should there be any heavy frosts after planting, check the newly planted canes; if any have been lifted by frost, firm them down.
Erecting training wires
There are two basic methods of support. The quicker method, as it does not involve tying individual canes, is to have two rows of parallel wires through which the canes grow. To do this, erect stout end posts, at a maximum distance of 5 m (16’) apart. At 60 cm (2’) and again at 1.5 m (5) bolt on to the end posts cross pieces of wood about 30 cm (1’) long, to act as spacers. Then run wires (telephone wire is best) from one cross piece to the other, fixed with a strainer at each end. The young canes are then trained to grow up between the wires, and the canes inside the wires tend to support each other. There is one disadvantage to this system: in high winds, serious damage can occur, and if the canes get too overcrowded, they are more vulnerable to disease.
The slightly more time-consuming, but better method of support is to tie the canes individually to parallel horizontal wires as they grow. Drive 2.25 m (7-1/2’) poles 45 cm (1-1/2’) into the ground at each end of the row. The first autumn after planting, erect horizontal wires at 45 cm (1-½), 105 cm (3-1/2’) and 1.2-1.5 m (4-5’) depending on the vigour of the variety. Then tie the young canes individually to the bottom wire with soft garden twine, and to the middle and upper wires as soon as they are tall enough.