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Growing raspberries in your Planty Garden

Raspberries do really well in a Planty Garden box. Since the soil mix is so loose and airy, taking care of your raspberry plants is a piece of cake: you can easily remove any unwanted offshoots.
Frambozen in de Makkelijke Moestuin
Raspberries in my Planty Garden
Raspberries can grow pretty much anywhere, as long as they get enough sun. They'll grow in most soil types, but they do even better in the MM-Mix.

I noticed that in our first Planty Garden. In the fall, we had so many raspberries we couldn't eat them all:
Frambozen oogsten in mijn eerste Makkelijke Moestuin
Harvesting raspberries in my Planty Garden

Growing fruit in garden boxes

In our office garden, I made a long narrow garden box of 60x270 cm for the raspberries. Well, actually, it was 3 garden boxes of 60x90cm next to each other. We had them left over, so getting set up was easy.

If I hadn't had those old garden boxes, I would have used a few MM-Heroes.
I added a trellis along the back of the garden boxes: 120 cm tall. I stretched netting across the frame. That way, I can tie the raspberry branches up as they grow.

I planted wild strawberries in the front rows of the garden boxes. In summer, I added a few sunflowers to the back rows. It looked really nice that way.

At the beginning of the year, a garden box like that looks pretty empty, but before you know it, it'll be filled with glorious plants. Just don't forget to water your plants regularly.
Makkelijke Moestuinbakken vol frambozen en aardbeien.
Our fruit garden boxes in August 2020

Back to the raspberries

Raspberries come in 2 varieties: summer and autumn. The name says it all: you harvest the summer variety in summer, and the autumn variety in the fall. I only grow fall raspberries, because I think they're the easiest.

Here's how you do it. Plant the raspberry plants at the back of your garden box in early spring. Place them about 50 cm apart from each other.

If you buy a raspberry plant at a garden center, they usually have 1 or 2 branches. They won't produce very many berries the first year, but in the years after that, you'll harvest plenty.

Here's an example from the vegetable we set up at the office. We planted 6 raspberry plants in 2019. I harvested at least 2 kg of raspberries from September through November 2020.
Rondje oogsten van de frambozen en bosaardbeien in de Makkelijke Moestuin
A raspberry and wild strawberry harvest
Water your raspberry plants a lot, especially after a dry spell. The plants will shrivel up if you don't water them enough. Nobody wants that.

At the end of the harvest period (November) cut back all the branches to about 5 cm above the ground. Don't be shy about it. Next year, the plant will produce new branches with lots of berries.

If you forget - like I often do - you can prune them back in early spring instead.
In het voorjaar lopen de terug-gesnoeide takken van de frambozen gewoon weer uit.
Raspberry plants trimmed back for the winter

Offshoots and rhizomes

The plants produce a lot of offshoots, mainly through deep rhizomes. That's why you see new plants popping up everywhere in the spring.

Remove unwanted offshoots right away: dig into the mix and cut back the rhizome as close to the mother plant as possible. This is a piece of cake if you grow your plants in the loose MM-Mix.

That's also one of the advantages of growing raspberries in garden boxes instead of directly into the ground πŸ˜‰

Garden box maintanence: spring cleaning

In the spring, you'll fill your garden boxes with some fresh MM-Mix and extra nutrients. But before you can do that, you'll have to tidy them up.

Here's a couple of garden boxes with raspberry plants that I forgot to prune in the fallπŸ˜‰
Moestuinbak met kleinfruit in het voorjaar
My messy garden boxes in the spring
I start by removing the clumps of wild strawberries and then put them aside. If you leave a big clod of soil mix on their root balls, they can handle it just fine.
Weghalen van de pollen bosaardbeien
Removing the strawberry plants from the garden box
Then I get rid of any weeds and hibernating snails I come across.

Now I have enough space to scoop out the raspberry plant's rhizomes:
Haal uitlopers van frambozenplanten in het voorjaar weg
Removing raspberry plant offshoots
Then, I prune the raspberry branches back to just above a new branch, a little higher than I would in the fall:
Frambozen terugsnoeien in het voorjaar
Spring pruning just above a young branch
When that's done, I sprinkle nutrients over the soil mix, just like I dowith my other garden boxes: 60 ml of MM-Plantyfood per square patch.
Frambozenbak aanvullen met Makkelijke Moestuin voeding
Adding nutrients to the soil mix
Then, I top the garden box up with soil mix. I use the old MM-Mix from 1 of the MM-Mini's that I grew potatoes in last year, but you can use fresh mix too.

I scoop the mix and nutrients at the front of the garden box together. Since raspberries don't take root very deeply, I don't mix up the nutrients and soil mix around the plants. I just leave everything there on top of the old soil mix.

Next, I put the clumps of wild strawberries back. I remove any remaining old and withered leaves.
Makkelijke Moestuinbak met frambozen en bosaardbijen
Left: the pruned raspberries. Right: the wild strawberries
Well, that looks nice, doesn't it?

Here's to a summer of delicious strawberries and a fall full of raspberries πŸ™‚

Update: end of September 2021

Well, guess how it all turned out? The slugs and snails tried their best, but we still harvested some wild strawberries ourselves.

But the main event? Our raspberries:
Raspberry patches at the end of September
The plants grew like crazy. Not only are they taller than I am, they're full of fresh raspberries too. And more are ripening every day.
Raspberries took over the garden boxes in September.
You can imagine how much we harvest every day. And by the looks of it, we'll be able to keep it up for a while πŸ˜€

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