Sunday, August 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Planting raspberries

Can't see it too well, but this is a 'Jewel' raspberry cane, planted over the weekend in a large container. The folks who sold me more than a dozen canes of red, gold and black raspberries insist you can grow them just fine in containers but I'm skeptical. Definitely need to net them and plan to trellis them, too. Netting is the more important, given the expert gleaning skills of the birds in my neck of the woods. They strip the grape vines, blueberry bushes and fig tree clean.

Planting raspberries

Rosa 'All Ablaze' blazes cherry red in Burke Brothers' Tuscany exhibit, accenting classic Italian elements with bright flowers. (Ron Tarver / Staff photographer)
Rosa 'All Ablaze' blazes cherry red in Burke Brothers' Tuscany exhibit, accenting classic Italian elements with bright flowers. (Ron Tarver / Staff photographer)

Can't see it too well, but this is a 'Jewel' raspberry cane, planted over the weekend in a large container. The folks who sold me more than a dozen canes of red, gold and black raspberries insist you can grow them just fine in containers but I'm skeptical. Definitely need to net them and plan to trellis them, too. Netting is the more important, given the expert gleaning skills of the birds in my neck of the woods. They strip the grape vines, blueberry bushes and fig tree clean.

I bought four varieties of raspberries - besides 'Jewel,' there's 'Killarney,' 'Fall Gold' and 'Heritage.' Nothing exotic; these are well-known, reliable producers, and these in particular are already two years old. So they should fruit this season. Everyone smiles when they hear I'm trying raspberries. Guess they have some associations, as I certainly do. We has a large, unruly raspberry patch when I was growing up. Birds used to dive-bomb us as we picked and I remember the dog getting pecked in the head. Mom remembers being scratched by brambles till her arms and legs bled. A little pruning might've helped but for some reason, that wasn't on the radar. Regardless. Just thinking of those berries, warmed by the sun and popped into your mouth, makes me hungry. They were wonderful for breakfast, for lunch, dinner and impromptu raids throughout the day. Just hope they can deal with life in a container in the middle of the city. 

About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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