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  • Writer's pictureJanice Gill

Grow Your Own Fruit - Good for You and the Planet

Updated: Jul 31, 2023


Red tailed bumble bee  feeding at a raspberry flower
Red tailed bumble bee on Raspberry flower.

If you are looking for a fruit to grow in your garden, you can't go far wrong with raspberries, especially if you live in the more northern districts of the UK.


Not only are they simple to look after, but they are loved by bees for their pollen and nectar. Moreover, they are highly nutritious and delicious.


Raspberries have high levels of Vitamin C, Antioxidants and Fibre, as well as a number of essential vitamins and minerals.


How to Grow Raspberries


Raspberries are grown from bare-rooted "canes", which are readily available from nurseries. These should be bought in Autumn or Spring and planted immediately.


A row of 6 canes is enough for a family to have some fresh berries and a few over to freeze or jam. The canes should be planted out about 18" apart with strong supports at each end of the row. Join the two supports with wires and tie the canes to the wires for support. Add extra organic matter to the planting holes to give your raspberries a head start. Don't forget to water them in, and water if the weather is dry while they get established.


Each year in late autumn, cut back the canes that have fruited to ground level. The plants will send up several new ones. Tie in the strongest six canes and trim the rest to ground level.


There is a comprehensive article on how to grow raspberries here from the RHS.



two hands together holding raspberries, container of raspberries showing to the side
Raspberries from my garden - Photo by Janice Gill


Benefits of Growing Your Own Raspberries


The greatest benefit to you will be the nutritional value of the fruit. Picked on the day you use them, they will have a much greater level of vitamins and antioxidants. Picked fully ripe, they have a fabulous aroma and mouthwatering taste.


Raspberries are expensive. Your set-up costs will be recouped after the first fruiting season alone. You can even expand your raspberry cane collection by digging up suckers and moving them to another area, making them even better value for money.


Raspberry flowers are attractive to a range of pollinators and will provide food for bees and butterflies. With the drastic reduction in numbers over the last 50 years, they need all the help they can get.


Your carbon footprint will be reduced as your fruit isn't transported hundreds or even thousands of miles. Not to mention, you won't need single-use plastic packaging.


Getting set to Grow


To get started, prepare an area 8ft long by 3ft wide, digging up any perennial weeds and adding garden compost. Cover the area until you are ready to plant.


Now all you need to do is decide which of the luscious varieties you want to grow.



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4 Comments


kebba
Jul 11, 2023

Janice, when I was a child in Delaware, my mother planted raspberries, exactly as you describe! We had a lot of fun with them. Now I'm wondering if there's an area of my yard that could host a raspberry bed. :-)

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Janice Gill
Janice Gill
Jul 18, 2023
Replying to

Hopefully you can 😁

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flocallender
Jul 11, 2023

Janice, I like it that growing your own raspberries saves money, benefits pollinators, reduces carbon footprint, and offers fresher, tastier fruit. Happy planting!

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Janice Gill
Janice Gill
Jul 18, 2023
Replying to

Thank you

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