The delivery of my patio raspberry on Saturday (9th January) caught me on the hop. I’d received an email that morning saying it had been dispatched, and thought I’d have a couple of days before I’d have to deal with it.

The problem is that I didn’t do my research before adding it to my order, expecting there would be full instructions pertinent to the care of this particular variety. There weren’t! Just general instructions for several types of bare-rooted fruit bushes.

No insructions here

Usually, I like to quarantine packages for a few days – just in case of lingering nasty viruses – but decided I couldn’t risk leaving it in case it required water. It did, though it probably would have survived for a couple of days.

No instructions here either

It was obvious it couldn’t stay in the house, so I braved the icy chill, dug the remaining snow from my Potting Shed door, and set to.

It’s had a good drink, and is back inside it’s original box (on a plantpot saucer) to keep some of the chill off. I’m sure it is much too cold at present to leave the poor thing outside.

Then I came in to do some research, and get warm.

I bought my raspberry from DT Brown. It cost £15.95 for a 2-litre pot. The RHS is selling the same plant in a 3-litre pot for £19.99. I doubt it will be any larger than mine, but they do have more details on their website than DT Brown – such as eventual height and spread (0.45 metres in both cases or just under 18 inches).

Every supplier states that this plant is ideal for growing in containers (good), likes full-sun (I can manage that), should fruit well in it’s first year (yum), and is thornless (which it isn’t – as you can see from the image above – I’ve just spent 10 minutes with a magnifying glass and a needle removing a thorn). Some say list it as an autumn fruiting bush, though Van Meuwen state it is summer fruiting (flowering May and June, harvesting June and July).

Most agree that if it’s managed properly, it is possible to extend the growing/harvesting period, by removing only the previous year’s stems once the fruit has been picked. The aim is for 6 or 8 fruiting canes per plant – presumable when it’s reached full size.

It’s a dwarf plant, not specifically a container plant and can be planted in the ground (when conditions are suitable). If I follow all the rules regarding adding manure or garden compost each year, making sure the compost is well-drained, it should be perfectly possible to plant it into the largest pot I have this year, and leave it there.

The largest pot – a BIG garden waste bucket with a cracked bottom!

As usual, my favourite gardening website – Garden Focused – has plenty of information about raspberries, including their pests, which I hope NOT to become acquainted with for quite some time.