Go Bananas for a Raspberry Trellis

raspberry trellis.jpg
They are exceptionally easy to grow and even easier to eat. Raspberries are a favorite garden plant for many homeowners, both suburban and rural. Even city slickers can get into the act with raspberries grown in community gardens.
Although there are plenty of different varieties, the main habit it similar – tall bushes with slightly thorny stems that are covered in the luscious fruit. When the berries ripen, the stalks tend to bend with the weight and your fruit will end up bunched together near the grass.
Building this simple, practical raspberry trellis will keep the plant healthy and make care easier for you.

Raspberry plants need good air flow throughout the stalks to deter disease and pests. Training them to grow between the trellis wires provides that airy atmosphere. It also allows for easier pollination and better harvests.
1) Start with two tall stakes (5 to 6 feet) at either end of your raspberry patch. Set them into the garden well to handle the weight.
2) At a perpendicular angle, nail a shorter cross bar near the top of the stake, about 6 to 8 inches below the top. You should end up with two cross shapes, one at each end of the garden.
3) Run a wire from the tip of each cross bar, across the garden to the tip on the same side. You’re running the wire essentially along the outside of the bed, not criss cross, and you should end up with a wire frame for the raspberry stalks. Use chain link bottom wire or something else vinyl coated to reduce rust and allow the trellis to last longer.
When the plants grow up between the posts and the fruit weighs the stalks down, they will rest gently on the wire, instead of drooping to the ground and allowing plenty of bugs and pests to snack away. If they’re stubborn, you can pull them up between the wires yourself.
With a simple stake and wire construction raspberry trellises are not the most attractive garden feature. But when your bushes grow well, their healthy look will nearly hide the trellis.
You’ll be so busy shoveling in mouthfuls of raspberries you probably won’t notice it at all.
photo courtesy of Radu Andrei Dan – sxc/andreir