Growing Raspberries (Rubus idceus)
Raspberries are one of the most valuable of all fruits in the home garden; in fact, they may be considered the most valuable. The reason for this is that raspberries in good condition are practically unobtainable from shops. By the time the raspberry has been gathered, packed, transported from market to market, and then redistributed to consumers, it has lost a good deal of its freshness.
Moreover, if the fruit has to be gathered for transport in this way, it cannot be left to ripen on the canes, but must be gathered almost before it is ripe, and this again prevents the finest flavoured fruit from reaching the private household. Still a third reason why home-grown fruit is best is that certain varieties of raspberries which have the finest flavour, such as “Park Lane,” are too soft in texture to be of any use for market culture. These can, however, be grown in the home garden where they are used immediately they are gathered.
Raspberries are planted in rows 5 ft. apart, leaving about in. between each cane; or groups of three canes, a few inches apart, can be arranged.
With most varieties, pruning consists of cutting out the old canes each season after the fruit has been gathered, cutting them right down to thelevel and leaving only the new canes that are springing up to bear the next season’s fruit. A few varieties are called “Autumn fruiting” Raspberries, and these can be cut to the ground each spring instead of each autumn. Fruit will then be produced on canes of the current year’s growth. Of these the chief are “ Hailsham,” “ Lloyd George,” and “November Abundance.” “Lloyd George” is probably still the best variety of Raspberry for general cultivation, and can be treated either as autumn or spring fruiting. As a matter of fact, in many gardens, this variety keeps a supply of fruit all the season.
In winter the soil of the Raspberry plantation may be lightly forked, and the canes should be tied to wires stretched along the rows. In early spring a dressing of fertilizer may be applied, mixed as follows: 7 lb. Superphosphate of lime, 4 lb. Kainit, 2 lb. Sulphate of ammonia, applied at the rate of half a pound to each square yard.