How to Train Raspberries
How to make a simple trellis to support raspberry growth
This Lesson Plan is part the Gardening Module of SustainEd Farms' virtual programming.
When growing several raspberry bushes in rows, growers often use a long trellis -- known as a hedgerow -- to support their upward growth and to prevent individual canes from sagging to ground level where they may be prone to disease. Large-scale systems require strong supports at either end with a few strands of twine or wire running between them. For individual raspberry plants, a simple trellis made of bamboo and twine will suffice to prevent excessive drooping, as is demonstrated in our video in this lesson. A properly trained raspberry plant will receive more sunlight where shoots develop, will allow for better airflow around the plant, and will make harvesting significantly easier.
Taking proper care of raspberry plants not only requires some intentional supports to keep fruit off the ground, but also entails correct pruning in order to maximize your harvest. Knowing the variety of raspberry plant informs the grower about when the fruit is expected to appear (fall-bearing or summer bearing), as well as the pruning techniques and timing for a bountiful harvest.
Students will be able to...
Construct a simple trellis to help support raspberry growth
Understand the importance of trellising and pruning raspberry bushes
train (gardening) /trān/ verb. - supporting the growth of a plant with some physical structure, causing it to grow in a certain direction
1. Gather your materials. You will need the following supplies:
Raspberry bush(es) · bamboo sticks or other supports (2 per plant) · twine or string · knife or scissors
2. Watch the following Youtube video to see a demonstration of how to train raspberry bushes. Then, follow along with the remainder of the lesson by reading the steps below.
3. For an individual raspberry plant, drive two bamboo sticks into the ground across from one another -- about one foot or so from the plant.
4. Using the top of the raspberry plant as a guide (or the longest cane), tie a piece of twine or string between the two bamboo stakes. The twine should be placed above the tallest portion of the plant by a few inches at the least. Make sure the twine is tight.
5. Gently tie another piece of twine to the bottom of a single cane (shoot), and loosely wrap the twine around the cane as you work upwards. It is important that the twine is not so tight that it might interfere with leaf, stem, or fruit development. After wrapping the twine around the cane to prop it up, tie the end of the twine to the top of the cross-string between the two bamboo stakes. Repeat this step for all of the shoots that require support.
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