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The Country Enterprise Handbook
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Growing soft fruits
>..Raspberries
...- Protection
...- Selling
...Strawberries
...- Beds
...Blackcurrants
...Redcurrants
...Gooseberries
...Blackberries
...Blueberries

If you are fortunate enough to live in Scotland, you may well be able to pick these delicious fruits growing wild.

These wild berries have more flavour than the bigger, cultivated ones. However, if you do not live near such a delicious wild crop or would rather not trust that your competitors will not get there first, you must grow your own.

Raspberries need good drainage but prefer heavy soils in which to grow. They thrive on well rotted manure so put a good layer in the bottom of the trench in early autumn. It must be well rotted; many manures, especially pig manure, will scorch and kill roots if the manure is not sufficiently aged. The best time to plant the canes is in early Winter. If you have to leave it until the spring, the canes will need special coddling should the summer be a dry one.

Make sure that the canes are from a virus-free crop. Raspberries are especially susceptible to virus attack. Whole varieties have been wiped out by these attacks. Ask your supplier for a Ministry of Agriculture certificate to prove that the stocks are certified. The canes should be one year old.

If your site is well prepared and free from perennial weeds, the canes should establish themselves well and quickly. Cut the canes down to one foot in height in February. In May apply some good compost or well rotted manure all over the rows to a depth of one or two inches. Raspberries like being mulched as their roots are fibrous and shallow they rarely reach down more than six inches. You can erect a trellis-type arrangement on to which the growing canes can be tied. Or you can put wires stretched horizontally either side of the canes: with this arrangement you do not have to tie the canes in as they lean on the wires.

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