Raspberry Plants

Burren Natural Raspberries are a July/August fruiting variety, ideally suited to Irish weather conditions and capable of producing an excellent crop of sweet and tangy berries in a surprisingly small space. Raspberries are relatively easy to grow, needing a little bit more looking after than strawberries, but just a little.

Planting
Plant can be sown relatively close together
You can plant raspberry plants at pretty much any time of the year but you will get best immediate results by planting them when the plants themselves are dormant, that's in the Autumn and especially in the early Spring.
Like everyone, they love sunny location away from too much wind - keep in mind, the plants will grow to about 5ft tall before they are ready to prune. You might also want to add some well rotted manure to you soil  if needed. The plants will spread so give them about 30cm between each plant - you will probably need to support the plants or ever net them to keep off hungry birds, so planting in nice straight rows is handy down the line.

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Raspberry Care
You will almost certainly need to support your plants, either with individual stakes or a line system.
A net is a good idea - unless you want to share with the birds
Depending on you plants, and the time of years planting, you might get away with this in the first year. but after that, they're going to need support. Mature plants benefit from a little feed in March/April just to give them a kick start. Make sure the plants don't get overly dry during the summer months. A nice grass mulch will keep the ground moist, while also keeping away weeds and providing a little green manure. This mulch will also protest the berries from frost and freezing come winter time. The Berries will come in July/August depending on the weather. The red berries look ripe, but they are at their tastiest when they start to develop a slight purple tinge. They will keep cropping for maybe three weeks and they wont last long while picked, so be ready to make lots of raspberry scones, jams and cakes. They also freeze very well.

Pruning
When fruiting is over the plants have a little more growing to do before it is time to prune away the old canes. If you don't prune the plants they will take more and more space each years and give you no extra berries - which is a bad deal.
Unless you have a particularly large plant, don't prune in year one. Fresh canes will appear each spring, and these canes may provide a little fruit that year, but will not crop fully until the following summer. So, late Autumn of year two, cut the canes from year one right down to the ground, leaving the new canes that appeared that spring to fruit the following year. So each canes should get about 20 months, and then it should be cut to the ground. You can mark the old and new canes each year if you like, but in reality you will know the old canes by their size and condition.

Spreading and Aftercare
Raspberries are good spreaders and new plants will begin to appear around the original plants. You can transplant these in August each year to avoid damaging the mother plant earlier in the year. The raspberry will loose most of their leaves in the winter but don't worry, they will come again in spring - unless they get frozen.

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