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The lost plot: How to grow raspberries

It used to be thought that raspberries wouldn’t grow north of Auckland but, in fact, even those of us who live in a warmer climate will get a crop, just maybe not as heavy as further south.

They like a well-drained, well-manured and sunny site, or dappled shade in hotter areas. Raspberries will grow from runners taken from established plants and, after planting, they should be mulched well with compost, manure or straw, and fertilised. Plant ½ to 1 metre apart, and, ideally, give support. If you have a wire fence, plant raspberry canes along that to simplify keeping the suckers down, as they can be mowed off. Otherwise a raised bed or solid edging will help curb the tendency to sucker.

There are two kinds of raspberries: summer fruiting, cropping in early summer; and autumn fruiting, cropping from summer into autumn. Pruning summer fruiting raspberries involves taking out the previous year’s fruiting canes to the ground – the old canes will look dry and brown, while the young ones will be green and shinier. The autumn fruiting kinds can just be cut to the ground after bearing.

To baffle the birds, pick regularly throughout the day – early morning, midday and evening – removing all the ripe ones. Alternatively, use a net or get a cat.

First published: May 2019



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