Commonly asked questions about raspberry canes
Raspberries are one of the most traditional and popular soft fruit plants. They’re versatile and easy to look after too. Here we answer some of the questions our customers often ask us about growing raspberries.
When to plant raspberry canes
It’s best to plant raspberries during their dormant phase between November and March. If you can get them into the ground in November, so much the better because the canes will have more time to establish before the really cold weather sets in.
How to plant raspberry canes
Your raspberry canes arrive in their dormant state during the autumn or early spring, and are ready to go into the ground. They may look dead, but don’t worry, they’re just sleeping. Plant as soon as you can after they arrive, in rows about two metres apart and into holes big enough for you to spread out the roots. Avoid planting raspberries too deep; just plant them to the same level as the soil line at the base of the plants’ stems.
If you’re unable to plant the canes right away, heel them in until you can get to them. Heeling in means burying the roots in loose soil, or putting them into a pot of compost.
When to cut down (prune) raspberry canes
Summer fruiting raspberries fruit on last year’s growth. To prune these, wait until fruiting has finished and cut the fruited stems right back to soil level. Next choose the four or five strongest new growth canes and tie these into horizontal support wires, cutting the rest down and removing any suckers at ground level.
Autumn-fruiting raspberries fruit on this season’s new canes. Prune these at the end of the winter by cutting all the previously fruited canes to ground level – new fruiting canes will sprout up in the spring.