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Rubus idaeus is a plant that produces a tart, sweet, red composite fruit in summer or early autumn. In proper botanical language, it is not a berry at all, but instead an aggregate fruit of numerous drupelets around a central core. In raspberry and other species of the subgenus Idaeobatus, the drupelets separate from the core when picked, leaving a hollow fruit, whereas in blackberry the drupelets stay attached to the core. The black raspberry, also called a blackcap, is not the same plant, being a variety (usually) of Rubus occidentalis, a North American species.

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      19.11.2011 13:44

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      Definitely not for the beginner in the garden, but worth the investment of time.

      You buy raspberry as canes, in soil, in a plant pot. They essentially look like a bunch of sticks. Before planting your raspberries you need to sort out your support network. There are many different sorts of supports you can do, so it would definitely be worth while checking out some gardening technique books. In my opinion the easiest one was a rectangular shaped system in which the canes are planted in and grow up the inside. It involves two wooden end posts which look something like this:
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      The picture goes a bit wrong on the preview (the verticals should be the middle of the horizontals).
      And then wire is stretched between the horizontals. How far you position the two end posts away form each other depends on how many raspberry canes you have, but the canes should be planted 40-50cm apart. Once you have your support network in place you just have to seperate out the canes, and plant the in the ground (deep enough so that the soil comes up to the same level as they did in the pot). After that just make sure they are well watered, and if you use pre-prepared ones you should get a crop the same year. For full information you should think about getting a book, since there is just so much information.

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      28.03.2011 12:13
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      Great plant to have a patch of in the garden

      Raspberries are a summer-fruiting soft-berried plant, that grows best in cool, temperate regions; in Britain, Scotland with its cool, wet summers is known as a prime raspberry-producing part of the country. Raspberries grow wild in many parts of the country - typically as woodland plants in open areas such as glades and on the edge of paths and rides. The wild-type plant is generally shorter than the cultivated variety, and produces smaller berries, usually less than a centimetre in size, though these are sweet and fragrantly-flavoured as the larger, cultivated fruit. Raspberry cane-brakes can be identified from the fruits and also the distinctive leaves, which look like the leaves of bramble but have no thorns on the stems, and are matt white on the undersides.

      The raspberry plant produces tall upright-growing woody 'canes' that are between a metre and two metres tall depending on the variety. These have a smooth, glossy nut-brown bark interspersed with many small prickly thorns; while the thorns are enough to scratch you they aren't large or spiny enough to do real damage. The canes seem to die back during the winter; at least the leaves all drop off leaving the stems looking dead, but re-growth the following spring is rapid and from an initial one or two canes, a many-stemmed thicket of raspberry plants will develop over time.

      We have a yellow-fruited variety of raspberry growing in the garden, which we purchased as a dormant plant in winter from a garden centre. The potted plants usually sell for between £3 and £5 from DIY shops, supermarkets and garden centres - obviously with larger more multi-stemmed plants costing more than smaller types. While raspberries are easy to grow and generally trouble-free as plants, I've found that unless the plants are 'caged' - ie. grown in a netting-covered enclosure - losses of the fruit to birds tend to be very high. The berries are also extremely vulnerable to attack by insects and so commercial raspberries as bought as soft-fruit from the shop typically receive a very high level of insecticidal sprays (unless of course, they're sold as organic). At pick-your-own places when I was young for example, the advice used to be to shake each raspberry upside down to check for maggots before collecting it, the berries were so vulnerable to insects!

      Unless you have a large, netting-covered area devoted to raspberries in your garden, you're unlikely to ever become 'self-sufficient' in them (the summer fruiting period is less than a couple of months in any case) but they are easy and quite fun to grow - assuming you don't begrudge garden birds and insects a share. The fruit freeze quite easily, and though they go mushy on being defrosted, the flavour remains excellent, and previously frozen raspberries are excellent when cooked.
       

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      19.09.2010 13:39
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      In praise of autumn fruiting raspberries

      Of all the soft fruits that are native to Britain, my favourite has to be the raspberry. Their soft succulent texture and sweet and slightly perfumed flavour is second to none.

      The raspberry is full of antioxidants, high levels of vitamin C and dietary fibre, plus lower levels of manganese, B vitamins, folic acid and iron, which puts this fruit up there with the big boys, blueberries and cranberries, in the league of super fruits.

      For many years, I struggled with growing the summer fruiting varieties. All that cutting back and tying in new shoots is an absolute pain and quite time consuming too, but since discovering the wonders of autumn fruiting raspberries (rubus idaeus), I've never looked back. This review is going to concentrate on the wonders of that one particular variety, the autumn fruiting raspberry.

      I began my raspberry patch with five canes of autumn fruiting raspberries when a friend and I bought 10 canes of Autumn Bliss which we split between us. I can't remember how much we paid but it should be possible to buy 10 canes for approximately £12 or even cheaper, which will pay for themselves within the year.

      Despite my lack of knowledge of favoured conditions or care, the plants thrived from the minute I stuck them in the ground. I now have at least a dozen active canes with lots of babies which I pass to friends and neighbours. I've even been known to sell my excess plants on auctions sites before now.

      The reason I'm so fond of the autumn fruiting raspberry is because they are:

      * easy to grow
      * easy to maintain
      * need very little support
      * disease resistant
      * reliable fruiters producing an excellent yield
      * the berries are large and flavoursome
      * they freeze well


      Easy to grow

      Raspberry canes require little attention once you've planted them. Left to their own devices in any corner of the garden, they'll romp away producing lots of large and delicious berries from late July until the first frosts and sometimes even beyond. I've picked fruit from my canes well into December before now.

      The canes should be planted during the dormant period (December to March) individually, approximately 18" apart in holes deep enough to take their roots. It might be an idea to make sure the soil in the bottom of the hole is soft and broken up to allow the roots to spread. I've found over the years that the plants do best when planted in a line, which can also act as a screen or thin hedge. Try to plant in a fairly sheltered spot which isn't waterlogged. These plants don't require full sun and do pretty well in semi-shade, which is probably why the best fruit come from Scotland.


      Easy to maintain

      Just leave them to bud up, shoot up, flower and fruit. Water occasionally if the weather is particularly dry but otherwise they'll more or less look after themselves. Before the beginning of the new growing season, roughly about February or early March, cut back the plants to about 6" above ground level and the whole process starts again. Easy peasy!


      Need very little support

      My raspberries are planted in a line along part of the fence which divides my garden from next door. The fence is 6 feet high and the plants never seem to top that height, or at least not by much. The fence probably does act as a sort of support but the plants are sturdy enough to stand alone without any assistance. I imagine if planted in a windy spot, however, they may need a little bit of help.


      Disease resistant

      The autumn fruiting raspberry is more resistant to raspberry beetle that the summer fruiting varieties, although early fruit can sometimes be affected. The only other problem for growers are birds, especially wood pigeons. If birds become a problem, it is easy to cover the raspberries with netting, however, I live close to a small wooded area so we have plenty of birds in the garden and they have never been too much of a problem. If they do eat the odd fruit, they'll probably poop the seeds out onto your garden anyway and you'll end up with a baby raspberry plant for free!


      Reliable fruiters producing excellent yield

      Raspberries will fruit in the first year of planting, as long as they were planted in the dormant season, although fruit the first year may be slightly smaller than it will be in subsequent years. The canes begin fruiting in mid to late July and fruit right through until the first frosts. From the ten or so canes I currently have growing, I pick each day between 4 and 8 ounces of fruit.


      Berries are large and flavoursome

      I find that the first fruits picked in July and early August are relatively small (approximately ½" long) but as the fruiting season progresses, the fruit get bigger and bigger, averaging about 1" in length by September. The fruits are firm in the main, although if you leave it too long before picking, they can become a little squidgy. The flavour is every bit as tasty as a summer fruiting raspberry and even the largest fruit don't have any loss of flavour due to their size.


      They freeze well

      Any berries I don't use, I put straight into an ice cream tub in the freezer and by the end of the growing season I generally find I have 2 tubs of raspberries to see me through the winter.


      As well as the benefits I've already listed, the leaves can be picked over the infuse as raspberry leaf tea which is recommended for mouth and stomach problems as well as being recommended for pregnant women close to delivery. (It isn't recommended to be taken by women in their early pregnancy as there is a school of thought who believe it may bring on miscarriage).

      There isn't ever a problem replenishing or adding to your stock of raspberry canes because you'll find that the plants will produce suckers that are easily potted up and grown on for the next season. As well as help from your local bird population, as described above, the odd fruit is bound to fall unnoticed which, again, produces baby plants without any effort at all.

      I recommend growing autumn fruiting raspberries to any gardener, from the most experienced to absolute beginners. They are easy to look after and consistently produce high yields and delicious fruit and if you already have summer fruiting canes, the autumn fruiting varieties will extend your fruiting season by several months.

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        25.03.2003 16:52
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        delicious

        There's nothing better than picking fruit from your garden to eat in the summer months, a bowl of fresh raspberries and cream is a delight beyond compare.
        My garden has taken me quite a few years to get established but the rewards are now paying off. My Raspbarries have spread to give me and my family enough fruit to enjoy and I hope this review will encourage you to grow them if you have a garden.

        The best type of raspberry to grow is one which will produce lots of fruit, these are Baumforths Seedling which produce sweet berries.
        Deutschland which produce dark red and tasty berries.
        Lloyd George which produce a heavy crop of rich red and tasty berries, these can be bought from a garden centre in pots for around four pounds depending on size, but if you know anyone with raspberries in their garden you can always get them to re-pot some shoots for you.

        New canes should be planted in a open sunny position and the ground should be cleared of weeds before planting, raspberries are not really fussy about what soil they grow in which makes them easy to handle.
        The newly planted canes should be cut to about 8 to 10 ins from the ground in April this will encourage growth and a good crop. The old canes will still produce fruit but not as much.
        Ashes from a bonfire sprinkled around the base of the shoots will feed the canes if this is not available you can always use potash from the garden centre.
        Make sure you space the plants about 15 to 25 inches apart.

        It is best not to pick the fruit the first year however tempting this may be, as this encourages new growth the next year from the shoots which grow after.
        You will have to support your raspberry canes with bamboo sticks, so that they don't snap in the wind or bend when they fruit. I personally have put posts at intervals between the plants and then tied string from post to post, to support the plants. I picked this tip up whilst working on a fruit farm picking
        raspberries.
        Most fruit will be ripe by autumn and ready for picking, make sure the fruit is nice and red before you pick it off the canes otherwise you'll find they can be a bit bitter tasting.
        Served fresh with cream or ice-cream there's nothing like it.

        Once the raspberries have given up their fruit, you have to cut down all the fruited canes. Leave at least five shoots which should be tied up to the supporting strings on the posts you have put in. New shoots will then appear the year after.

        If you have a garden then it's worth trying to grow raspberries, it's fun and the fruit is tasty, good luck.

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          12.04.2002 23:03
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          Raspberries. They’re red and juicy. They grow on canes in summer. They taste good with ice cream, or cream. They cost £1.49 for a small punnet at Tesco. End of op. Not quite! There is a lot more to raspberries than simply buying them in a plastic see-through box (called a punnet) in your local Tesco’s! In fact, buying them in Tesco’s, for me, would be anathema! There is nothing to beat the sun-drenched flavour of a raspberry picked straight off the plant, and eaten there and then. But have you ever considered how that raspberry got there in the first place? No? Then read on. WHAT IS A RASPBERRY? Raspberries belong to the same family of fruits as the blackberry, loganberry and boysenberry. Collectively, they are known as “cane fruits”, as they all grow on canes, rather than on the ground or on trees! They belong to the fruits known as soft fruits. Their Latin name is Rubus Idaeus. A raspberry is made up from a cluster of pips surrounded by fruit pulp, all held together by a central core, which forms the berry. Raspberries grow best in a temperate, or even cool climate, and can vary in colour from deep red (almost purple in fact) down to yellow. Most raspberries are self fertile, although to see the bees buzzing round the flowers and resulting berries, this is difficult to believe at times. HOW DO RASPBERRIES GROW? There are two main sorts of raspberries: summer fruiting ones, which grow prolifically for about 6 weeks during the summer months, and autumn fruiting ones, which ripen during the latter part of summer, right up until there is a frost. The two different types have different growth cycles. Summer fruiting raspberries grow on canes which began their life the previous summer. As the fruits ripen in one year, the plant puts out new canes, which appear as tender green shoots. When fruiting is over, the old canes (those which have just fruited and
          have now gone woody) are cut out, and the new, tender shoots, are tied into their places, to lie dormant in winter, and crop the following year. Autumn fruiting raspberries grow on shoots that have appeared during the current summer months. After fruiting, the canes will be cut down to ground level, and new canes will appear the following summer, ready for that autumn’s crop. Raspberry canes should be grown in rows, and trained up and along wires or string, which give the plants support. Autumn fruiting plants tend to be shorter, and therefore do not need quite as much support as summer fruiting plants. They need to be grown in sheltered, sunny spots, although, in hot areas, they will benefit from some shade. They need to be watered well during really hot weather, although they do not like boggy conditions and require good drainage. If they are grown out in the open, rather than against a fence or wall, they may need some kind of netting to protect them from attack by birds. When planting new stock, or transplanting existing canes to a different area, the canes should be cut down to ground level for the first year, to encourage the roots to really set before growing fruit. Any movement of canes, or planting of new roots is best done in the autumn, after fruiting has finished. As soon as the first fruits are ripe, they should be picked rather than left on the canes. This encourages more fruit to ripen. If fruit is going to be frozen (and it does freeze very well) it can be picked slightly under-ripe. If it is going to be eaten fresh, it is better to wait until the fruit is really ripe to get the full flavour. Raspberries are a tender, soft fruit, so care should be taken when picking, to avoid squashing and bruising the fruit. VARIETIES OF RASPBERRY 1) Summer varieties Malling Promise Glen Clove Southland Malling Jewel Orion Augusta Some of these will fruit
          earlier than others, with Malling Promise being one of the earliest. The size and shape of the different varieties can vary greatly, with some being larger and denser than others. 2) Autumn Varieties Autumn Bliss Zeva Of these, Autumn Bliss is the better known. I saw some of these growing on the Island of Tresco a few years back, and the size of the individual fruits was enormous. MY RASPBERRIES It is no secret that I grow my own fruit. I would hazard a guess and say that of all the fruit I grow, raspberries are probably the best cropper. Mind you, they also take one hell of a lot of picking come the end of June! First of all, I have 2 patches of raspberries in the garden, one on either side. These were begun as roots dug up from my sister’s garden, and transported in plastic bags from Banbury to Hornchurch! For the last 2 years, they have been encroaching onto the lawn, and stopping the washing line from twirling! I finally persuaded hubby to remove them back behind the stone edging, so we have been digging up plants for the past week, replanting them on the allotment, and begging friends and family to take some off our hands! I really do not want or need any more canes! Out on the allotment, we have five rows of canes, each twenty feet long. The recently dug up canes from the garden have been transplanted amongst the existing rows, and all have now been tied in for the summer. The first flowers are appearing, so we have the net curtains at the ready, to throw over the canes if there is any sign of frost! The first berries will ripen towards the end of June. At first, there will be just enough for the two of us to have a bowl each, with some ice cream, but within a very few days, we will be picking more than enough to feed the whole of Dooyoo! The freezer rapidly fills, bowlfuls are donated to friends, and I am seriously considering putting out a pick-your-own sign this year!
          Each berry has to be separately picked. As you can imagine, it takes up a fair bit of time every evening for about six weeks. However, it is very therapeutic being out in the open air, hidden from view by the tall canes, sharing our space with the ever-busy bees. I have also been known to break into song quite frequently whilst picking! As the canes grow to a fair height, picking is not as back-breaking as it sounds! It is just very time consuming. Gradually, the number of berries will diminish, and by the middle of August, the fruiting season will be over, and we can begin to prepare for the next season. WHAT DO I DO WITH ALL THE FRUIT? Well, my name gives a big clue to one thing that happens to them! I make jam with all my fruit, including the raspberries. I usually add some redcurrants to give a good set, and to bring out the flavour. I have to say, we do make raspberry pigs of ourselves when the fruit is ripening! I think raspberries are more flavoursome than strawberries, and could eat bowls of them quite happily! They are perfect for adding to the morning bowl of cornflakes, or mixing in with other seasonal fruits to make a fruit salad, or just wonderful on their own! I also freeze pounds of them for future use. They can be used from frozen in just the same ways as the fresh fruits can be used. One of my family’s favourite dishes is a simple trifle. I make a pint of sugar free jelly, add it to as many raspberries as I can cram into a trifle dish and let it set. Then I make up a pint of raspberry (or strawberry) blancmange, allow it to cool slightly, and pour it on top of the jelly. Replace in the fridge to set. If you wanted to, you could add a few broken sponge fingers to the jelly mix, or a couple of spoonfuls of sherry. Another quick and easy favourite is individual raspberry meringue mountains. Buy ready-made individual meringue nests (or make your own if you have time). To
          p with either thick whipped cream and piles of raspberries, or use soft scoop ice cream instead of the cream. These take very little time to prepare, although if you are using frozen raspberries, make sure you remove them from the freezer about an hour before required, to give them time to defrost. Some people don’t like the pips that are an inevitable part of raspberries. The fruits can be sieved to remove the pips, and the resulting juice poured onto ice cream, or frozen into healthy juice lollies for the kids (or yourself!) NEARLY FINISHED! Well I began this op by wondering how much there was to say about the raspberry. I’m finishing it by realising that there is indeed, quite a bit to say! We tend to buy things in supermarkets without really thinking about what went in to putting them there. I hope this little op gives you some insight into what goes in to bringing you your raspberries in the summer. And spare a thought for the person who picked those raspberries! Each one you eat was picked by hand. By the way, anyone in shouting distance….if you see my Pick-your-own sign, PLEASE come and pick some! I have a feeling that this year I’m going to have far more than even I can eat! Information from “Good Food Gardening” by Peter Seabrook “The Royal Horticultural Society Encyclopaedia of Gardening” Related web-sites http://www.pick-your-own.org.uk/raspberries.htm http://www.powen.freeserve.co.uk/fruit/Raspberies.htm

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