Raspberries either fruit on 1 year old canes (Summer fruiting varieties) or on the current season’s canes (Autumn fruiting varieties). The type of Raspberry you have will determine when you get fruit after planting your Raspberry bush.
When To Plant
Raspberries are usually sold as dormant canes, and should be planted in Autumn or in early Spring once temperatures start to warm up.
The bushes will stay dormant until mid Spring when they will begin to sprout new leaves, and then the blossoms that will set to become Raspberries.
Raspberry bushes are made up of multiple canes which when first planted are usually only approximately 50cm wide but as your Raspberry bush matures new canes will sprout from the root system which can trail metres beyond the original bush.
The canes can grow over a meter tall, although it is best to prune them back to this height.
Raspberries love to be in full sunlight, in a free draining soil.
Like many plants, they love a supply of fresh compost and plenty of water.
Raspberries like to go through a cold period in Winter, for their best performance in Summer, but be sure to protect them from strong winds, particularly at blossom set.
Do not plant Raspberries anywhere that you have planted Tomatoes, Potatoes, Capsicums and Eggplants as the diseases they crops can be subject to can also affect your Raspberries.
Water well during the fruiting season, for fat juicy fruit.
Also apply fresh compost before fruiting and during their dormant period.
Your Raspberries need to be grown against a support structure so the canes can be tied to them so they don’t bend and break during fruiting. Also use the support structure to fan the canes out so as to allow as much air and sunlight through the bushes as possible.
You will need to prune your Raspberry bushes after each fruiting season. This ensures your bushes stay healthy and helps to improve yield and fruit quality. See this article on Pruning Your Raspberries to learn how to best prune your bushes.
The more fruit you pick, the more fruit you will get. Picking the fruit as it becomes ripe will encourage more blossoms and fruit.
Fruit should be picked when it is bright red and is easily pulled away from the stalk.
If you leave the fruit on the bushes it will rot very quickly, especially in warm weather.
Excess Raspberries will go off reasonably quickly if not eaten fresh or preserved in some way and can be frozen, dried, or made into Raspberry Jam.