Raspberries Rule Article - Allrecipes.com
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Raspberries Rule

You can grow delicious raspberries in your own backyard without letting them take over your world.

Imagine having private picking rights to this supreme dessert fruit. The downside--as with any indulgence--is when things get out of control. But with careful planting and pruning, you can keep this notorious spreader in check.

A single plant costs only a few dollars--about what you'd pay for a pint of berries. And when you're growing your own, you can treat yourself to not just red raspberries, but the sublime yellows, blacks, and purples rarely found in supermarkets.




The Scoop on Raspberries

  • Raspberries prefer cold winters and moderate summers, though some varieties have been developed for southern gardens. Slightly acidic soil is ideal, but almost any sunny site with good drainage and air circulation will work.
  • Nurseries sell raspberries as bare-root or potted plants in spring. Take time when selecting your plants and make sure the ones you pick are certified virus-free.
  • There are two types of raspberries--single-crop and everbearing. Single-crop plants produce fruit in late spring in the South and in summer in the North, and everbearers produce fruit in early summer and autumn. Everbearers will produce a single crop their first year, in fall. However, single-crop raspberries produce fruit on the previous year's growth, so you'll have to wait a year to harvest those.
  • Raspberry canes grow up to six feet tall and need support to keep them from toppling. They can be tied to a trellis or fence, but it's easier to surround the patch with stakes and wrap support wires around the plantings at knee and chest height. The lower wire keeps canes from flopping over, while the upper one supports lateral branches and runners. Left to flop and fend for themselves, the plants will sprawl and reproduce freely--just what you don't want in a backyard setting.
  • For the most productive raspberries, take a little time to properly prune canes. After the last summer harvest, cut fruiting canes down to the ground. In late winter, thin plantings to four or five canes per foot.
  • For the ultimate in carefree raspberry gardening, mow down all the everbearing canes in spring and enjoy a single crop of berries late in the season. You only get one batch of fruit this way, but you never have to figure out which canes to cut!


    Handle with Care

    • When the fruit ripens, pick it promptly. Birds and insects are attracted to overripe fruit. A ripe raspberry leaves its core behind--that's what differentiates it from blackberries and other bramble fruits. Because raspberries are hollow, they bruise easily. As you pick, handle them gently, placing the berries in a shallow container so they don't bruise from the weight of the other berries.
    • Use raspberries immediately or store them in the refrigerator for up to two days. And this is important--don't wash the fruit until just before eating, otherwise they'll begin to spoil.
    • Raspberries freeze well. Just place unwashed fruit in a single layer on a cookie sheet, freeze until firm, and store in freezer bags or containers. Frozen berries will keep for up to one year. That means you can enjoy their summer-fresh taste year-round. Rinse before you're ready to use.


    Contact your local garden center or horticulture extension office to find out what grows best in your own backyard.





      Comments
      Jul. 16, 2009 12:18 am
      I love love love raspberries, and they are so expensive here (Italy). Does anyone know if you could grow a small plant on a terrace in a pot?
       
      HONABUN 
      Aug. 1, 2009 12:58 pm
      You could probably grow a raspberry bush in a pot, but you'd never get enough berries from one plant to make it worth the trouble. They are "leggy" plants and have nasty thorns on the branches, so might not be a terrace-friendly plant for you!
       
      gardengirl64 
      May 12, 2011 3:59 pm
      I DON'T KNOW THE WEATHER IN ITALY BUT IF YOU PLANT THREE OR FOUR RASBERRY BUSHES IN LARGE POTS YOU CAN TRY. I DON'T THINK THEY ARE EXPENSIVE AND YOU CAN BUY THORNLESS BLACKBERRY AND RASPBERRY BUSHES IN THE U.S.A. ALL YOU CAN DO IS TRY.MAKE SURE THE POT IS BIG AND GO ON THE INTERNET FOR ADVICE.
       
      phyllis 
      Feb. 8, 2012 11:37 am
      Does anyone know a really good raspberry gelatin recipe that has cream cheese?
       
       
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