Children love growing things they can pick and eat straight from the plant, and soft fruits are particular favourites. Raspberry ‘Ruby Beauty’ is a dwarf variety that grows to about 3ft tall, and is perfectly happy in the ground, in a container, or even on a sunny balcony.
As a thornless variety, children will love the easy pickings too, which is why we sent some plants to our horticultural expert, Sue Sanderson and her little helper to try out. Here’s how they got on with a raspberry that, while short in stature, is easy to grow and produces an excellent harvest of sweet, succulent fruit…
Growing raspberries: ground vs containers?
A dwarf variety that grows to a maximum size of just 120cm (36”), raspberry ‘Ruby Beauty’ is the perfect size for a patio pot. Having received two plants to try out, Sue says, “I’ve decided to put this to the test and see just how well they get on when planted in the ground vs. containers. This weekend I spent a few minutes planting my raspberries with some help from my Deputy Gardener. She’s quite new to all this but was keen to get involved!”
Sue and her helper chose a large ceramic container, filling it with John Innes No.3, a loam-based compost. Because it has more body to it than multi-purpose compost, it offers better drainage and more stability for mature shrubs than multi-purpose compost. It also contains higher nutrient levels than other composts which is great for plants that are likely to stay in the same pot for a long time. Sue says she also “mixed in a few handfuls of slow-release granular fertiliser to help the plant establish and keep it well fed into next spring.”
As Sue mentioned, her other plant was destined for the vegetable plot. She says, “I found a nice sunny, sheltered position, sandwiched between some older raspberry canes and the strawberry patch. There were quite a few weeds but my helpful assistant soon sorted that out (she’s closer to the ground than I am!)”
Raspberries love fertile, well-drained soil, which Sue is lucky enough to have in her garden, in fact, she says: “It’s just perfect for raspberry growing; the other raspberries have gone mad, sending up suckers all over the place! Hopefully, raspberry ‘Ruby Beauty’ will be just as productive next summer.”
If you’d like to give this, or any other raspberry, a try we have just the help and advice you need to kickstart your own fruit crop over on our raspberry hub page. Full of excellent how-to guides, there’s also lots of info about our favourite summer and autumn-fruiting raspberry varieties.
Plants and gardens have always been a big part of my life. I can remember helping my Dad to prick out seedlings, even before I could see over the top of the potting bench. As an adult, I trained at Writtle College where I received my degree, BSc. (Hons) Horticulture. After working in a specialist plantsman’s nursery, and later, as a consulting arboriculturalist, I joined Thompson & Morgan in 2008. Initially looking after the grounds and coordinating the plant trials, I now support the web team offering horticultural advice online. I have a keen interest in drought resistant plants and a passion for perennials, particularly hardy Geraniums. I previously stood as regional secretary for the International Plant Propagation Society which gave me lots of opportunities to see what other horticulturalists were up to in their nurseries and gardens.