Raspberries beat the pants off just about anything I grow. Strawberries are whiners; peaches beyond picky; apples moonlight as pest magnets; and grapes grouse to be pruned. I love them all, but the raspberry is the most effortless of the bunch. If you fear there’s little green in your thumb, the raspberry may be a good plant pick for your edible garden.
The Top Ten Reasons I Grow Raspberries
- Easy to grow–they just want good drainage
- Birds prefer blueberries and cherries
- Minimal thorns (if any)
- Sweetness–flavor and perfume that can’t be beat
- Self-pollinating–no need to worry about planting two varieties
- No bending over to harvest–can’t say that about a strawberry
- Easy to prune–just remove last year’s dead canes
- Easy to pick–fruit yields to pull when ripe
- Prolific harvest–a small patch returns a lot of berries
- Freeze well–freeze single layer on cookie sheet, then place in ziploc bags
- Versatile fruit–desserts, smoothies, drinks, vinegar, jams, sherbet, sauces
- Shortcake prefers them (as do I)
Okay, so I went over with my alotted top ten, but I assure you once you start growing raspberries, you’ll be adding to my list. By the way, my favorite variety for the Puget Sound area is Tulameen.
Oh, and just one more reason: Good help is easy to find.
Added July 26, 2010: My pal Deb in Juneau, Alaska had some ten-digit deliciousness to show off as well. Her photo technique is ingenious. In my photo-edited pic, I’m all left hands, but Deb proves a more resourceful photographer. She wrote, “ I shot with my chin, used the tongue of the boat trailer to hold the camera.” Yep she’s part great gardener, part gifted MacGyver and all good friend. Thanks Deb – raspberries in Juneau–impressive.