The joy of growing raspberries

We picked raspberries at dusk yesterday, delighting in how plentiful this crop has become for our family. We have strawberries, blueberries and a garden full of veggie plants. But it is our  raspberry bush, abundant in those sweet red goodies, that we love the most.

Raspberries are one of the most expensive fruits to purchase, with the average price of a small container fluctuating between $1.99-3.99 throughout the year. However, the purchase of this fruit plant is inexpensive and easy to grow.

It’s known for its wild nature and can be difficult to tame. If you have the space, let it grow big!

If you don’t have a lot of room, most varieties have soft limbs and are extremely easy to keep trimmed down. We grow all of our edibles organically, so sometimes we have to do some research and create a variety of recipes to keep bugs away, as well as to feed our plants the nutrients to thrive. However, I can say that we have never had any problems with our raspberry bush in the four years that we’ve had it. It has virtually stayed bug-free and continues to produce plump, sweet berries each season. It simply needs a lot of sun and a lot of water!

Last year we planted a different type of raspberry plant right next to our established one. Introducing a different kind of the same fruit or vegetable helps each plant thrive by creating what’s called cross-pollination.

Raspberries grow into bushes! I’ve found they have soft leaves and stems and do best when they have support to lean against. They do well along fences. We created a unique trellis for ours that enables us to walk completely around it. These scarlet colored little gems beg to be plucked as soon as they’re ripe. One of the reasons we love this crop so much is that the more you pick, the more it produces!

Our 4-year-old has been picking her own raspberries since she was in diapers, crawling along the grass to her favorite spot and searching for that vibrant red color. It will always be a favorite for our family — not the fruit itself, but the laid-back mornings and warm summer evenings we have spent together, searching through the foliage for clusters of red rubies that present themselves as fresh, ripe berries.

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