After attending a program on small fruit given by Jennie Stanger at Monroe Extension several years ago I decided to set aside part of my garden and dedicate it to a couple of rows of strawberries and a row of raspberries. It was one of the best decisions I ever made! My love affair with raspberries started with the purchase of 25 (5 plants minimum order) plants from Nourse Farms in 2009, with the variety Caroline (an improved Heritage) being my choice. Nourse is a great supplier and they have a very informative and colorful website which takes much of the guess out of choosing a variety, planting, harvesting and caring for your plants.
The first spring of planting those wooden looking sticks in the ground it didn’t look very promising. As that year progressed new plants started appearing in the rows between the “sticks” and by fall I even picked a few handfuls of raspberries. The next year the row had pretty much filled in and I was in business. The photos are of 3 years after planting – one 30′ row of about 18 plants (I shared extras) gives me all the raspberries I could want. So far this year I have made 3 batches of jam, 8 pies and shared with my daughter and her family for smoothies and cereal. I am picking about 5 quarts every other day and the season is only about half over.
I hope by sharing my story and seeing these photos you will be encouraged to try dedicating an area for raspberries.