I finally get it. Why those little containers of raspberries are so expensive?

Here is my raspberry crop this year–A mere handful.

Man, these little berries are tough to grow.  I admit, I am frustrated.  No one says gardening is all sunshine and roses.  It is a mix bag.

But wait…I did a little research and it is amazing what a little knowledge will do to soothe some gardening frustrations.

5 things to know about growing raspberries in the south

  1. Get the right kind–there are varieties made especially for the South:Southland, Dormanred and Mandarin. You see, raspberries are traditionally a cool weather crop, needing a cooling period to really set the fruit. Work with these for best result
  2. Know what to expect. I found out…don’t expect fruit the first year. In fact, it takes a couple of years before you get the full benefit.  Yeah…raspberries require patience.
  3. Plant in the right area.  Raspberries need some sort of trellis or support.  Plus, clear out all the weeds and grass.  It is very difficult to clear out the area if weeds start to take over.  Plus, they do not do well with lots of competition.
  4. Pruning is key to strong and productive fruit. Oh, by the way, each variety of raspberry requires different pruning.  The ones I have are summer bearing and they are not to be pruned the first year, just tied to supports or a trellis. The second year, prune all the stems that bore fruit, but leave the rest.  Third year, you need to thin out.  Pruning should happen in the spring for this variety. If you have others, you should research the best pruning techniques for your variety.
  5. Water, water, water.  Raspberries need water in hot, dry weather.  Oh, food…12-12-12 fertilizer is recommended and don’t let it directly touch the plant. Water after fertilizing. Fertilize when you just start seeing new growth in the spring.  For the first year, fertilize and then repeat 6 weeks later, after that once is enough.

Now that I am armed with some instruction, I will continue to see if I can grow these expensive little jewels.

Stay tuned for progress.  How about you? Have any luck with raspberries? Share some insiders tips below.

Happy Gardening.