Le malheur des uns…

raspberry canesI’m rather excited. I’m growing raspberries. Never done it before.

I had no plans to, but a friend of my mother’s was giving away raspberry canes. It’s a sad tale: she’s a fruit farmer, and her poly tunnels collapsed under the winter snows. For various reasons, she can’t afford to replace them… so the raspberries were up for grabs.

I feel guilty profiting from another’s misfortune. But I guess they’d have been thrown on the compost otherwise.

End result: I have a row of Glen Ample raspberries. They’re in, but now I have to stake and support them. Is this going to be much harder work than I could ever imagine?!?

17 Responses to “Le malheur des uns…”

  1. Magic Cochin Says:

    But just think of all those delicious raspberries, it’ll all be worthwhile. (Pause while Soilman admits to not really liking raspberries, full of annoying seeds, etc and they get maggots in them).

    Think of raspberry pavlova, raspberry trifle, fresh raspberries cream and shortbread… or best of all – eat them while standing in the allotment taking a break from weeding. Lucky lucky you!


  2. Soilman Says:

    What?!?! They get maggots in them?!?!


  3. Nome Says:

    I’m growing raspberries for the first time this year too! I haven’t done anything about support yet; I’m hoping to make it up as I go along…

  4. Soilman Says:

    *Has sudden ghastly thought*

    Er, I’ve been casually eating raspberries off the bush all my life. Does this mean I’ve been eating live maggots without knowing it??


  5. Tanya Walton Says:

    No…raspberries are great…i was donated some when i first got my plot and a few canes with a bit of chicken wire is more than enough support for them…and the raspberries are beautiful!!

    As for the maggots…don’t worry about it…if you chewed them properly it’s a good source of nutrients and if you didn’t they’ll clean any crap out your stomach…My friend ate quite a few maggots last year in her peas until I pointed it out to her…lol

    I have never had maggots in my raspberries though and I certainly shan’t start looking!

  6. Mal Says:

    Bumps up the protien content SM!

    BTW Is that a Summer fruiting or autumn fruiting variety, SM?

    Found the following elsewhere on the net:
    “In trials in Scotland, England, Canada and USA, Glen Ample has almost, without exception, out-yielded other trial entries and frequently by a considerable margin. Fruit are large, fleshy and commonly weigh about 4 g, although fruit of 6g are commonly recorded.”

    Looks like you’ve got a whoppa there.

  7. Soilman Says:

    Summer fruiting apparently, Mal. The yields sound great. Anyone know if they taste any good?

  8. carrie Says:

    Raspberries with maggots = well balanced meal.
    One of your 5 fruit and veg portions, fibre from the seeds and protein from the maggots. Stop complaining! God!!

  9. Andrew Says:

    Are you gonna leave them that length? You should really cut them back now to about 6″, once new canes pop up by early summer remove the old one and the canes that grow this year will fruit next year. But that’s all textbook and crap, you probably know that and I’ve just patronised you. I couldn’t help myself…sorry. PS Raspberries are invasive buggers.

  10. Soilman Says:

    Those are last year’s canes, Andrew, so I’d expect them to fruit this year… at least, I hope!!

  11. Simon Says:

    What’s going on Soilman … I think I spot a theme developing. First of all we got to hear about the excitement associated with scoffing the Jerusalem artichokes and now your next post is about RASPBERRIES.
    What’s next? Baked bean trees and trumpet flowers.

  12. The Idiot Gardener Says:

    You have to love the raspberry; like a strawberry, but for people with decent palates!

    As for maggots, get them in the frying pan with a little soy sauce and garlic.

  13. Jo Says:

    What a shame for your mother’s friend, but it’s worked out rather well for you.

  14. Damo Says:

    Accidently swallowed the odd maggot or two when I used to go fishing, done me no harm. Best of luck with the canes.

  15. CompostDave Says:

    I agree with Alan. I’d cut them back to 6″ or so. Glen Ample is a summer fruiting variety (probably the best) so it will fruit on last year’s canes. Transplanting probably does too much damage to give a good crop on the existing canes so better to put the effort into building good new canes for next year. Sorry, raspberries are a long-term crop but once established, should give you good returns for 10 years or more.

    PS One lesson I have learnt with raspberries is not to plant autumn fruiting varieties next to summer ones. As they both spread (as they will unless you are ruthless), you will eventually get confused about which ones are which and so which ones need cutting back in the winter and which don’t.

  16. Soilman Says:

    You’re right in principle, CompostDave, but I think I’m going to leave them; these raspberries have been growing in big pots. They’re well established – I didn’t get them as bare root plants. So I think they should be able to fruit on last year’s canes without stressing the plants too much.

    Anyway… we’ll find out!

    PS Your tip about not mixing summer and autumn varieties is a brilliant one. Thank you VERY much!

  17. Simon Says:

    Raspberries are a piece of piss, no effort at all, keep them weed-free, mulch in the spring with compost or manure or chicken pellets are better than nothing. You’re right not to cut them back (that’s for autumn fruiting varieties). Cut back the canes that fruit this year in autumn to 3 inches and leave the ones that grow from the base this year – they’re next year’s fruiters. Or leave cutting back till next spring when it’ll be obvious which canes are dead. Happy eating. And I’ve never known maggots in raspberries.