How to grow raspberries in Western Australia
Raspberries are a delicious tasting healthy snack, which are jam packed full of antioxidants and, despite what many people think, can be grown at home. Raspberries are reasonably uncommon in Perth due to our hot weather but they can be grown and thrive in the cooler parts of Western Australia.
Plants are part of the rubus family and there are many hybrids, some crossed with other berry plants like blackberries. Gardeners in cooler areas of the South West can grow a wide range of rubus plants. In Perth’s warmer areas you will need to try one of the low-chill varieties of raspberries. One of the best varieties for warmer climates like ours is Heritage, which fruits in autumn and needs only 250 hours of chilling below 10c. Other varieties to try are Chilliwack, am almost thornless variety that ripens mid-season over four weeks, and Chilcotin a high-yielding variety of raspberry.
Raspberries can be grow in very big containers filled will a premium potting mix with added water-storage crystals. In hot climates, plants must be positioned in an area that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. It is recommended that raspberries are planted in rich, free-draining soils with lots of soil improver. If soil is sandy then add some clay to mix to aid moisture and nutrient retention.
Raspberries are ready for eating when the fruit’s colour changes from a light red to a deeper, darker red, almost maroon. Try pulling off the berry. If it slips off easily it’s ready. If you need to use any pressure to move the berry it’s not ready yet.
If you have any tips on how to grow raspberries please feel free to share them in the comments section below.