Monday, March 14, 2016

Raspberries the Jewels of Summer


Autumn Bliss
Photo by Helen


Now that we are into autumn in Australia, you should be harvesting those delicious autumn raspberries. Growing raspberries is not difficult and if you don't have space in the garden, the autumn varieties do just as well in a large container or pot.

I choose to only grow autumn varieties as there is no complicated pruning and they will fruit on this years new growth. The two varieties that I grow are Autumn Bliss and Lloyd  George. Autumn Bliss produces large sweet fruit, while Lloyd George is an heirloom variety first introduced in England in 1919. It is a variety that is known for being reliable and producing sweet delicate fruits with a sherbet flavour.  The best thing about autumn varieties is that you don't have to support them like you do summer varieties.

I said growing them is easy so let me walk you through what I do.  First pick a site that is sunny, raspberries will survive in a bit of shade, and where I am, I do have to plant them with some protection from our harsh afternoon sun. Fork the ground over and add some organic compost, some well rotted manure or blood and bone. I also like to add a sprinkling of sulphate of potash around the base of each plant. Raspberries don't like their feet wet as this could cause root rot, so make sure they are planted in a well drained soil. Keep your raspberries well watered especially during those hot summer days and give them a feed every now and again.

That's all there is to growing autumn varieties, don't forget to cut down your canes in winter so that new shoots grow up in the spring. Oh and remove the suckers that appear a small distance away from the mother plant.

Go on plant yourself some raspberries they're definitely the jewels of summer!