raspberry 'Polka' (PBR)
raspberry - primocane (mainly autumn fruiting)
- Position: full sun
- Soil: fertile, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Other features: large, delicious raspberries from mid summer until the first frosts; the canes require little support
- Hardiness: fully hardy
A primocane raspberry, which has the potential to produce two crops in a year. In late spring and early summer, fruit is borne on the previous years stems, while in late summer and autumn, fruit is developed on the current years stems. Renowned for the exceptional quality and consistency of its fruit, they are large, have a fresh flavour and an outstanding shelf life. The plants also show a good resistance to disease.
- Garden care:Find a sunny spot and prepare a bed by clearing it of weeds and digging in lots of composted manure. The canes will need to be tied onto a sturdy support, so if you have the space, hammer in two robust tree stakes about 3m apart and string two or three heavy-gauge wires between them. Autumn fruiting raspberries tend to be shorter and bushier, so may not need as much height as the summer-fruiting types. In smaller gardens you can grow them against a fence or up a single tree stake. Dig a wide, shallow trench, sprinkle with bonemeal and plant the canes at 45cm intervals, (subsequent rows should be 1.8m apart), carefully spreading out the roots and back-filling with soil. You should be able to see the old soil mark on the stems, so aim to replant the same depth. After planting cut the canes back to around 15cm from their base and apply a generous layer of mulch in spring. As the new canes emerge, they can be tied onto their support as they grow. Feed during the growing season with a general purpose fertiliser and water regularly during the summer. You may need to protect the ripening fruit from being eaten by birds. Cut back all the canes to just above ground level each February if you just want one crop of fruit in late summer and autumn. To grow as a primocane (ie producing two, smaller crops each year), cut back the new spring stems, which have produced fruit at their tips in autumn, to a point just below where the raspberries were produced, soon after they have finished cropping. These half-canes can then be left to overwinter, will put on new top growth in spring and will then go on to produce the first crop of berries in early summer. After these two year old canes have finished fruiting they should be cut right back to their base. In the meantime, new canes will have emerged from the base of the plant in spring and these should be tied onto their support as they grow. These new canes will then produce the second, later crop and should have their tops lopped off after fruiting. This then creates a repeating cycle.
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Q:How do I plant my Strawberries, and Raspberry canes?
Hi, I've just take delivery of my order and need some advice please as I haven't grown soft fruit before. The strawberry (Elsanta) runners are bare root plants, and I wanted some advice on how to plant them, - soil type, size of container initially, and any other tips. Also, the 10 raspberry canes (Tulameen) arrived planted in one large pot - please can you advise how I proceed with these. Do they need splitting and separating into individual pots, - or do I leave them together in a single pot? I'm really in the dark as to how to treat these canes, so as much advice as you can give would be really appreciated. Thanks GillianAsked on 25/2/2010 by email@example.com
A:Hello Gillian, The strawberries can be planted individually into quite small pots initially (say around 1 or 2lt), but they will be equally happy with several squeezed into a large pot pot filled with John Innes No 2 compost. As for the rasberries, if you want them to grow in a really large pot, then use the same compost as above and separate all the canes. Ideally you should just have 1 cane per pot. Alternatively, if they are going in the ground, you should prepare the planting area well, removing all perennial weeds and adding plenty of well-rotted garden compost or manure. Plant canes 8cm (3in) deep, at 45cm (18in) intervals, carefully spreading out the roots and backfilling with soil. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 25/2/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Raspberries how to plant....
I have decided this is the way forward...........asking you !!! I recently purchased some raspberries from you which you will be horrified to know are not yet planted. I'm waiting for my long suffering husband to do the support work first. I suspect he's understandably playing for time until Christmas when he'll feel a little more like it and has a little more time. In the mean time, I'm constantly keeping a concerned eye on the plants. Hang on little plants,hang on..... My question is, I have already done the soil preparation in the spring, or so I hope, and believe, until you shoot me down in flames, with several inches of manure covering the intended area. I then covered this with semi-permeable black weed blocker. My intention was to slit the weed blocker and plant through it , then pretty heavily mulch the area. The canes arrived in one pot for one variety, one pot for the other. Do I separate the canes and plant them singly? Do I then prune them? I've just tried to access your 'How to ' pages without success so I hope you don't mind my request for your advice yet again . Many thanks DeborahAsked on 9/12/2009 by Deborah Waters
A:Hello Deborah, Ideally you should dig in a little more composted manure as most of the nutrients will have leached through from the spring batch. After you have done this, each cane should then be planted separately according the the spacing info we give you on the individual plant cards on our site. You can keep the weed guard in place as long as it allows water to pass through. They have already been pruned though so you don't need to cut them back any further. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 10/12/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Can I plant Blackberry and Raspberry canes in November?
Can you help please? Should the Blackberry and Raspberry canes be planted out now in November? Thank youAsked on 7/12/2009 by K Win
A:Hello There, They should go in the ground as soon as possible, but avoid planting during periods when the soil is either frozen or waterlogged. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 8/12/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Are your raspberries bare-root?
Can you please confirm if the Rubus idaeus Autumn Bliss are bare rooted or pot grown?Asked on 5/4/2005 by Mr C.Reed
A:It really depends on the time of the year. From autumn to early spring, the raspberries are sold as canes. These are bare-root plants that have been bundled up (into packs of 5 or 15) and potted up on our nursery. They will not be rooted in the pot though, so as soon as they are delivered to you, they should be separated and planted out individually at 45cm intervals. In summer we tend to sell 2 or 3lt pots, which contain one plant. This is a more mature plant, which has already developed a good root system. The planting distance for these will be the same as the canes.Answered on 6/4/2005 by Crocus
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