Last Updated on August 16, 2023 by Real Men Sow
5 Best & Easy To Grow Raspberry Canes
The Best Raspberry Canes
Raspberries are some of the tastiest deep red fruit you’ll find growable in gardens across the UK. Fairly new to gardens in the sense that they have been a commercial fruit for the longest time, it’s now really easy to buy your own crop of raspberry canes early, mid and late into the year. The aim is, of course, to hit the ground running with an excellent raspberry bush that’s going to produce a plethora of tasty, juicy fruits for the summer to come.
In this guide, we are going to take you through some of the best variety packs of raspberry canes available to buy online. Whether you’re new to growing raspberries and just want to give one variety ago instead of the whole set of fruits, you’re free to grow and harvest your first crop as you please.
But is there really that much of a difference between the varieties of raspberry you can start growing in your own garden? What do you need to know about soil, and which period is best for you to start getting the first crop or two out?
Once you’ve taken a look through our selection of excellent raspberry canes available for planting across the year, make sure to keep reading down the page. We’ve made sure to answer more than one or two questions about growing raspberries which might just save you some headaches and queries along the way.
The Best Raspberry Canes – Our Picks
How on earth do you judge a good raspberry, or a good raspberry cane? That’s one for the experts.
We’ve taken our time to look through some of the excellent raspberry canes available from Thompson & Morgan. These raspberry canes will hold up well against the likes of all kinds of nasty fruit disease, meaning that you should be able to get an excellent crop of juicy raspberries from them across the year.
Take a look through our following breakdowns and, as mentioned, stick around until the end of the guide for a full tour of what you need to know about growing raspberries for the first time.
In This Review?
Glen Ample (Summer Fruiting) Best Yielding
This wonderfully yielding variety of raspberry plant will bring you delicious berries in a deep red, an excellent crop to enjoy from the summer onwards. These summer fruiting raspberries won’t need that much looking after on the whole, making them a great mid summer treat that’s easy for first time growers and fruit pickers to enjoy.
You will get a large crop of pretty large berries in this variety, too, and what’s more, you can always expect raspberries from these canes to pop up completely spine free. They are amazingly resistant against disease, and if you really want to start making those tasty jams around the warmer months of the year, this might just be your best option.
Flowering Season: May and June
Harvest Season: June and July
Size: 150cm max
- Extremely easy to grow, and not difficult to keep healthy
- Summer fruiting raspberry plant – great for producing delicious berries into late summer
- Large, deep red berries guaranteed
- Extremely disease resistant and spine free
- None to really speak of!
Autumn Bliss (Autumn Fruiting) Best for Small Spaces
If the name Autumn Bliss didn’t give things away completely, this is one of many autumn fruiting varieties available. This particular type of fruiting raspberry plant is really well loved for its hardiness and self-maintenance, as well as for the fact that you get a nice, medium sized crop later in the year than you might expect.
Thompson & Morgan advises that the Autumn Bliss tends to be a good plant to grow in smaller spaces. Therefore, if it is your first time growing any kind of fruit, raspberries included, you may do best to start growing them in containers.
This autumn fruiting raspberry wonder won’t give you much of an issue if you choose to pot it rather than to grow it out in the soil. These are very firm and juicy as far as raspberries go, and if you’re really lucky through the summer and autumn, you will be looking at yielding a bumper crop of big raspberries before the end of the year. What more could you possibly want?
Flowering Season: July and August
Harvest Season: August, September, October
Size: 150cm max
- Very easy to grow in planters and containers on the whole
- Very resistant against the likes of root rot in particular
- Some of the juiciest autumn fruiting plants around
- Great for freezing if you don’t fancy making crumbles or jams right away – they will persist in the deep cold!
- Not especially clear if spine free
Polka (Autumn Fruiting) Best for First Time Growers
This further autumn fruiting choice is referred to by Thompson & Morgan as a ‘customer favorite’, and frankly, we will take their word for it. You should expect a pretty big crop of large raspberries from these plants, meaning that you’re already looking at good value for money. You’ll be able to pluck these fruits ready from the canes any time from late summer in July and August right the way through to October.
These are spine free summer fruiting plants, too, meaning that they are even lower risk to new or first time growers who want to avoid any nasty prickles on the way through. You should be able to get a great yield of about 2.5kg raspberries per plant, which is an absolutely amazing crop. It’s actually the child variety of autumn fruiting raspberries from the Autumn Bliss, meaning you may actually find the yielding method pretty similar.
For the most berries and the best flavor medium sized raspberries available for your money, you really cannot go wrong with the Polka. Give it a look as your first choice, or plant these as follow ups to the Autumn Bliss – the choice is yours!
Flowering Season: June, July and August
Harvest Season: July, August, September and October
Size: 150cm max
- Sharp steel head and blade great for various ground typestic price
- Easy in the hand thanks to ergonomic grip
- Long handle length
- Very durable and resistant
- A little more expensive than the mainstream
Raspberry Full Season Collection British Bread
If you’f prefer to try a selection of the best raspberry varieties Thompson & Morgan has on offer, then we can highly recommend this fantastic starter set of canes, offering you samples of the Glen Prosen, the Glen Ample and the Autumn Bliss. We think this is a fantastic variety pack that’s likely to do well as an introduction to various fruits in the raspberry produce world.
All raspberries in this set are deliciously red fruits, and as a full year’s crop, you can plant and grow as well as pluck fruits from early through to mid and late on in the year. Therefore, even if you start them late, then simply choose the bliss as a late starter. We think that variety is the spice of life, and the variety here is a great place to kick things off with.
This variety pack – as all good variety packs should – offers a wide window for you to produce some excellent, tasty red fruit to harvest. They are all very hardy against even the most common of berry diseases, meaning that if you have been struggling with varieties elsewhere, this should produce fruit that doesn’t suffer too badly. Some of the fruits here are spin free and thorn less, and some are dark red in color. What a great variety to produce from one kit of canes!
Flowering Season: May, June, July, August
Harvest Season: June, July, August, September and October
Size: 150cm max
- An excellent starting point for newbie raspberry growers
- A nice variety and cross-section of the different types available
- Plant able and pluckable across the seasons, excellent from early on through to mid and late into the year
- Very hardy against common problems
- Very popular – might not always be available!
All Gold (Autumn Fruiting)
Fancy a variety of raspberry that looks a little bit different? As the name suggests, rather than getting the usual mid red fruit you’d normally expect from summer and autumn varieties, this cane offers up golden yellow fruits. The variety you get here is nice and large, too, and you can expect to harvest them up until late in the year, when you can expect to pull fruit up in October.
This is a fantastic summer to autumn fruit variety which we think makes for a brilliant alternative. There is certainly no harm in looking towards autumn to start growing fruit, but many people believe that it all takes place in the summer months. Thanks to the growth in popularity of varieties like these, that simply isn’t true!
This particular plant is really easy to plant early in smaller pots if you want to, and you can also start pruning them fairly easily in containers, too. Again, whether you start early or not, you are going to need to make sure you space things out properly!
Flowering Season: July and August
Harvest Season: August, September and October
Size: 150cm max
- Fantastic, unique color, one of the most striking varieties
- Really easy to grow and propagate
- Ideal for smaller spaces
- Unique flavor compared to red varieties
- None to really speak of
Why Should I Get Raspberry Canes?
Why shouldn’t you? One of the easiest fruits to grow at ground level as well as in pots, these red, delicious fruits are likely to provide you with plenty of high yields across the year.
Despite the fact that Britain is well-known for its absolutely appalling weather, that often won’t stop varieties of raspberry plant. They tend to be pretty hardy even when it’s completely chucking it down!
What’s more, raspberry varieties, medium sized or large fruit alike, are really versatile. Think of all the lovely things you can make with your own crops of raspberries! Whether you start this year or next year, there’s a lot of choice available.
By taking care with your fruiting varieties, and making sure that you protect them well into late summer, you’ll have a raspberry plant crop that bears tons of delicious fruit. To get started, you’re going to need a good stack of new canes, and to make sure that you buy plants which are disease resistant – at least, those which are likely to be hardier than most.
These plants provide bumper crops of some of the tastiest red fruits all year round. The summer, of course, is likely to be the period where your plants are going to do really well, but you may find some varieties that endure mid summer to late summer and beyond.
Fancy making some raspberry crumble, compote or jam? It all starts with setting up your own raspberry plant crop in your own back garden. Take a look at the top varieties we’ve lined up for you above to get a feel for what’s out there, and what is likely to work well for you!
When Do Raspberry Plants Produce Fruit?
Varieties of raspberries really vary when it comes to fruiting, but you will find that you can get good yields of fruit anytime from mid summer to late summer, and even into the autumn. It all really depends on when you first start planting canes.
You can normally start to plant canes in the early seasons, normally around spring every year, though again, raspberries grow all through the year depending on the variety. Therefore, always make a point to check when it is time to plant based on the advice from the seed or cane provider.
A good thing to do on the whole, of course, is to make sure you water well, and to make sure that you trim back enough for next year. If you’re lucky, you might be able to grow dark red and deep red raspberries well over the years. You just need to turn your garden into a cane powerhouse. That shouldn’t be too hard!
How Many Raspberry Canes Should I Plant?
That depends on how many canes you want to plant. Thompson & Morgan generally advises that spacing cane rows about 1 8m apart is a good idea, though your actual canes should probably stand about 40cm apart, on the whole.
Therefore, you need to consider the size of your plot, your garden or your containers. It’s also safe to say that the space you will need between canes will vary with the varieties you plant.
It’s always a good idea to check the advice you are given when you first start planting raspberry canes. While it may seem like a fairly common fruit on the surface, it’s not something that is always available from garden to garden.
Takle into account the size of your garden, the number of canes you want to grow with, and make sure to read everything you’re advised when it comes to the best varieties of raspberry canes.
How Long Do Raspberry Canes Last?
Generally, you can expect a raspberry cane to last two years providing you look after your varieties well.
This means that they are biennial. However, what you will find is that the roots on your raspberry plants are likely going to weather years and years to come. Therefore, it may be a good idea to buy new canes occasionally?
Providing you look after any fruiting raspberry canes you have available, there are no reasons why you won’t be able to grow crops after crops of delicious fruit for many years to come.
However – believe it or not – some people are able to use canes for much, much longer, maybe even decades. It’s actually possible that a raspberry plant will continue to produce fruit for you well over 15 to 20 years, across early, mid and late seasons. It’s incredible when you think about it!
What is the Best Raspberry to Grow?
That really will depend on your own tastes! There are some raspberry varieties which will grow and produce fruit well into the autumn, meaning that if you want to grow raspberries for long periods, there will be options available to you.
Of course, one of the most important things to look for is disease resistant raspberry fruiting varieties. Disease such as root rot can bring all kinds of havoc to your plants and canes, meaning that no matter which raspberry varieties you really have your eyes on, you should always be sure to look for those which have been bred for health.
As mentioned, you can expect to find plenty of raspberry varieties out there which can continue to bear fruit until they are 20 years old. However, as you can imagine, to get raspberry plants beyond just one year old, you are going to need to show them plenty of attention.
You should naturally look for the safest plants and canes available, too if you are worrying about raspberry picks being particularly prickly. Try saying that three times fast!
There are raspberry varieties out there which you can grow spine free as well as disease resistant. Not all raspberry varieties will be spine free, of course, so as always, be sure to check that and disease resistance out as a priority.
The top raspberry to grow for your own tastes could belong to summer fruiting raspberries, autumn fruiting raspberries or otherwise. There really is no right or wrong answer, and ultimately, you are going to be tucking into some tasty red fruit regardless of what you do.
How Far Apart Should Raspberry Canes Be Planted?
As mentioned, Thompson & Morgan generally suggests that you should allow for raspberry canes to be planted around 40cm apart. Raspberries and their plants have a habit of growing pretty quickly when you give them plenty of opportunity, so always make sure to give enough elbow room to ensure they are growing healthily.
It’s worth following Thompson & Morgan on this when it comes to growing raspberries of any kind. After all, we certainly wouldn’t have picked their raspberries and canes for this list if we really didn’t believe in their expertise!
Summer and autumn, the rules remain the same. Autumn fruiting raspberries and summer fruiting raspberries will all need to receive the same spacing. The same goes for year old canes or newer – space matters.
What Do I Feed Raspberries?
You will normally find that raspberry bearing plants enjoy a pretty potent mix in their soil. Of course, you will always need to water these plants well – though not too much, or you might invite slugs into your raspberries, and that’s the last thing you need.
It’s entirely possible to buy raspberry friendly fertiliser, which you will normally find is rich in potash, and that’s just what your raspberries are going to need when it comes to growing nice and strong for the months ahead.
You don’t always need to feed your raspberry varieties, but for the best yields and the best results, it’s generally a good idea to start feeding as soon as you plant raspberries for the first time.
Just be careful on overfeeding, too – as too much of anything can affect summer and autumn fruiting raspberries alike.
Do You Cut Down Raspberries Every Year?
Pruning every year is generally a really good idea, but as Thompson & Morgan advises, it really will depend on the raspberry varieties you are growing.
For example, they generally advise that with summer fruiting raspberries, you will need to cut them down in the autumn so that your canes are at the base of the soil. These should come back again next year, and in the meantime, you can safely plant new canes, too, providing you give them enough space. It’s like social distancing for raspberries!
Autumn fruiting raspberries, meanwhile, are going to need you to cut and/or prune back around February. Again, ground or soil level will be best for your canes, as this will allow your various fruiting varieties to start growing again in the latter half of the year.
As always, read, read, read! Check out the precise growing and cutting guidelines for your own fruiting varieties. It’s never a good idea to follow a general rule of thumb unless you really know what you’re doing.
What are Some Raspberry Diseases to Look For?
Unfortunately, as with many fruit bearing plants in the garden, your raspberry canes are going to be at risk of developing some pretty grim diseases. The RHS actually talks at length about raspberry viruses, which just makes it all sound that little bit nastier.
However, there really isn’t any need to worry. There are more raspberries out there now for you to buy which have incredible disease resistance.
However, here is a quick rundown of several known raspberry diseases worth looking out for just in case.
Well rotted roots can be fairly common if you aren’t looking after your raspberry plants correctly, meaning it is certainly something which can be easy to avoid. You will normally find that your raspberries start to stunt, and that your roots and rootlets start to blacken and shrivel up. Avoiding this is pretty simple – make sure that you keep your soil well drained, that you don’t mix certain plants bearing fruit in the same rotation, and always get rid of any plants which are showing signs of root rot in the first instance.
Spur blight is a nasty, spotty disease which can show up on the plant spurs as well as around shoots. This can also mean that your canes start to look silver when the colder months set in. This might look Christmassy, but it’s not good for your yields. It means you’re going to need to keep your weeds down, and it might often mean taking a few canes or plants out of the equation. Spur blight loves damp conditions, meaning it’s often at its best during rain.
Much like strawberry plants, even the best raspberry varieties can develop mildew. This is a powdery issue which you’ll normally find on the leaves, and which can mean you start seeing a massive reduction in the number of fruits you can harvest from your planting. The best thing to do with mildew and raspberry plants is to space out, and to keep getting rid of anything diseased during the autumn.
Viruses are hard to beat back against, and when they hit, they hit hard. They can shrivel up leaves and can result in your fruit taking a dive in terms of taste, look and even yield. The best thing to do if you think viruses are taking hold of your raspberries is to get rid of infected plants, to up your pest control, and to plant new canes.
Sadly, this is just a brief look at some of the nasty conditions that raspberries can suffer from. However, this is all the more reason why you should be looking for a plant or two which offer good disease resistance. If you get plants and raspberries which are more susceptible, both you and your prospective fruit are in trouble.
If you’d like to know more about the conditions and diseases which can really impact raspberries, always make sure to do some research online. One of the best guides to viruses and raspberries, as mentioned, is published through the RHS.
Common Raspberry Pests
As if it wasn’t bad enough that your raspberry plants are at risk from a large number of diseases and conditions, there are also plenty of garden beasties likely to want to feast on one or more of the fruits your plants bear – given half a chance. It’s not just the height of July when these critters and creeps attack, either. June, July, August, even beyond – there’s plenty of reasons why you should get in early and plan a pest attack before it’s too late for your fruits.
Here are some of the more common pests likely to attack your raspberry bearing plants, and regardless of whether you’re growing in a container or in the ground:
Specifically, it’s going to be the raspberry beetle, funnily enough, which is going to take a large fancy or two to your fruits and plants over the months to come. These tend to spring up from the soil and take to eating your raspberry crops from the start of the summer onwards. They base their life cycle around raspberries, meaning it really will pay for you to take excellent care of these blighters as soon as they pop up. As soon as you spot them, get rid of any free or fallen raspberries and the mulch that you’ve seen them on. You’re then going to want to take a hoe or rake through your soil until the autumn, when there shouldn’t be much of a problem left.
raspberry sawfly, again, funnily enough, will take a large bite or two out of your crops if you give them enough elbow room. The fact is, you are going to need to get rid of these beasties when they are in caterpillar form, as this is when they are going to be on the serious munch throughout your garden planting. Generally, to get rid of these pests, you are going to need to catch them out. As soon as you spot a caterpillar, it’s time to reach for the spray. However, you’ll soon know if you’ve been successful or not, as the sawfly is able to strip down a plant and its leaves within a day or two. Nasty!
yes, unfortunately, mites can get at your raspberry bearing plants too, and again, if you don’t act fast, then you can kiss goodbye to some delicious fruit as well as a further year or so of growth. This pesky pests love sucking the life out of raspberry plants, whether in containers or otherwise, meaning that no matter where you keep your plants, you have to be on red alert at all times. They can often be spotted under leaves and again, there may be no better way to get rid of them than to carefully spray. However, it is always a good idea to look for human deterrents elsewhere online, if you can, as chemicals are only going to cause problems of their own if you let them.
Fruit rot and the pests that take a fancy to your fruits are sadly going to be common no matter where you choose to start planting. However, this doesn’t mean you have to give up altogether. if you pay as much attention to plant pruning as you do to pest prevention, you will be able to clear out the nastiness sooner than you might imagine. Break free from garden pests at the first possible opportunity!
Can I Grow Raspberries in Containers?
Yes – there are absolutely no reasons why you can’t start planting raspberries in pots or containers. However, as always, remember that golden rule – space them out!
Whether you are planting raspberries in containers in early summer, midway or late into the year, you should always be carefully to give canes at least 40cm space. We can’t stress this enough.
As you’ve read in our guide above, bugs, pests and all kinds of dodgy diseases can set your plants at risk from spring through to July and beyond.
Therefore, providing you emulate soil conditions well in your containers, and you are careful in spacing, you’ll be fine growing a crop in no time.
There is no doubt in our minds – raspberry canes are some of the easiest fruit bearing crops you’ll grow in your garden, however, you are still going to need to make sure you take excellent care of your plants. As you can see, there is a lot to keep an eye out for.
What’s more, as stated, space matters. Thompson & Morgan is not joking when advising that you need that 1 8m row spacing to avoid any chances of fruit getting nasty diseases over the months to come.
That said, you should always, always look to buy excellent varieties which are going to give you plenty of disease resistance. Some people may feel that putting these canes and plants in the ground may not feel too natural. However, the fact is, looking after plants to this extent can be tiring – and there is an awful lot you are going to need to look for.
However, across June, July onwards, raspberry growing is extremely rewarding, and as stated, you’ll probably want to look at a few interesting and tasty recipes for your crop. This red fruit is one of the most versatile, and providing you pick the right canes, there are no reasons why you won’t achieve a solid crop of great fruits to put in compote, jam and more. Try and go spine free, too, for the smoothest experience!