Raspberries are naturally inclined to grow in cooler climates, although the development of adaptable varieties has made it possible for gardeners to grow raspberries in many zones. They are relatively easy to grow, and with proper care, can bear fruit indefinitely. Don’t limit yourself to the common red raspberry; try growing purple as well!
There are two types of raspberries, both with their own specific requirements for growing.Summer-bearers bear one crop per season, in summertime. Ever-bearers bear two crops, one in summer and one in fall.
HOW TO GROW
- Plant in the early spring (or late winter for warm zones)
- Plant far from wild growing berries, otherwise risk the spread of pests and diseases to your garden.
- Prepare soil with compost or aged manure a couple weeks before planting.
- Raspberries love moisture, so try soaking the roots for an hour or two before planting.
- Dig a hole that is roomy enough for the roots to spread.
- Space plants about 3 feet apart, in rows 8 feet apart.
- After planting, cut back canes, leaving 8 to 10 inches.
- Depending on the variety you plant, you may need to fashion a support. A trellis or a fence are good options. If you chose to use one of these, establish them at or before time of planting so the plants are not disturbed when maturing.
- Mulching is important throughout the season to conserve moisture and suffocate weeds. Keep a thick layer of mulch surrounding plants at all times.
- Water one inch per week.
- The roots send up an abundant amount of shoots, called canes. Keep order by pruning away the majority of them so that the survivors can produce lots of berries.
Summer-Bearers produce berries on two year old canes while one year old canes grow right beside them. You shouldn’t have trouble telling which is which: the older canes have brown stems, and the young ones are still green. Prune only the older ones, the ones that have finished their fruitful year.
- Prune in the fall. Leave about 6 of the thickest, strongest green canes.
- Keep plant contained to a 19-inch wide space. Left alone without care all summer, neat rows will become thickets.
- Cut off all canes that grow sideways.
EVER-BEARERS REQUIRE LESS CARE
- Mow them to the ground in the fall, after you finish picking. (For a small patch, pruning shears will do.)
- Clean up all debris—diseases and pests overwinter.
- Pruning is not required during the growing season unless you want to keep a uniform order.
- Raspberries are one of the few fruits that are hardly bothered by pests and diseases. (Black raspberries are most susceptible to this type of damage than red or purple.)
- Powdery Mildew
- Cane Borers
- Delicious raspberries are low in calories and fats. Nonetheless, they are rich source of dietary fiber, and antioxidants. 100 g berries hold just 52 calories but provide 6.5 g of fiber (16% of daily recommended intake).
- Raspberries have significantly high levels of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals such as anthocyanins, ellagic acid (tannin), quercetin, gallic acid, cyanidins, pelargonidins, catechins, kaempferoland salicylic acid. Scientific studies show that the antioxidant compounds in these berries play potential role against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neuro-degenerative diseases.
- Xylitol is a low-calorie sugar substitute extracted from raspberries. A teaspoonful of xylitol carries just 9.6 calories as compared to 15 calories of sugar. Xylitol absorbed into the blood more slowly in the intestines than simple sugar and does not contribute to high glycemic index. It thus, can be helpful in diabetics to regulate wide fluctuations of blood sugar levels.
- Fresh raspberries are an excellent sources of vitamin-C, which is also a powerful natural antioxidant. 100 g berries provide 26.2 mg or about 47% of DRI of vitamin C. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents, counter inflammation, and scavenge harmful free radicals.
- Raspberry contains anti-oxidant vitamins like vitamin A, and vitamin E. In addition to the above-mentioned antioxidants, it is also rich in several other health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants such aslutein, zea-xanthin, and ß-carotene, albeit in small amounts. Altogether, these compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
- Raspberry has an ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of about 4900 µmol TE per 100 grams, crediting it among the top-ranked ORAC fruits.
- They contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, iron and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is utilized by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells.
- They are rich in B-complex group of vitamins and vitamin K. The berries contain very good amounts of vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid. These vitamins are function as co-factors and help body in the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.