My garden is wonderful as I focus my efforts on organic eating and cooking. Although exciting, this is all new to me! This is the first year that I’m ok with getting a little dirty and assisting with our outside chores. (There are many, and I find many creative ways to avoid them.)
Along the west side of our garden we have raspberry bushes that were transplanted from my husband’s grandmother’s house. These delicious bits of goodness produce wonderfully and have never failed us! There are new, ripe berries to be picked every day, which is something my children look forward to helping with! (Even if the majority of the ones they pick go directly into their mouths).
Last year I yielded almost 3 cups a day! My family was enjoying raspberry muffins, pancakes, cheesecakes and my personal favorite, raspberry jam! Besides being a fun activity to include your children in, (remind them about those teeny tiny thorns!) raspberries are easily-grown, delicious and low maintenance! The only maintenance you will really have to do besides watering is thinning them out, as they can spread quickly. Raspberries pack a lot of healthy benefits too:
- High amounts of vitamin C, which helps improve the immune system
- Include Lutein, which assists in healthy vision
- Help prevent bladder infections
- Provide a quick healthy snack
- The antioxidants, like in many other berries, help to lower the risk of certain forms of cancer and heart diseases
- Raspberries also include iron, folate, potassium, lots of insoluble fiber from the seeds and pectin.
Instead of paying up to $3.99 for a container of raspberries from the grocery, we produce our own and eat them daily in my household. They are a breakfast staple with our granola, yogurt and oatmeal. I also add them to my smoothies!
Here are some helpful hints and tips if you’d like to start your own raspberries bushes:
- Plant in rows against wire or fencing in late fall or between fall and spring.
- I suggest transplanting bushes since I have never started from seeds, and plant them in a trench approximately 3 inches deep and 6-9 inches wide with about 18 inches in between plants. As they produce and spread you’ll appreciate this space because it will fill in!
- Cut down all the canes until the last good bud.
- Fertilize in the fall.
Although we don’t use any kind of chemicals on our garden, we do occasionally experience problems with Japanese Beetles.
Raspberries will grow sweeter as they get a darker color, while they will taste more tart when they are a bright red color. They should easily fall off without much coaxing or pulling.
You may not get the best yield your first year, but no worries. Be patient, because the second year will blow your mind!
Looking for a skinny fruity dessert? Check out our Skinny Chocolate-Stuffed Raspberries!