As The Trowel Turns… Raspberries!

Last week FAB reader Sarah asked to see pictures of my raspberry patch. Well, lately it’s been a hot spot for the neighborhood kids to hang out.  Not only do they pick berries… but they play with our pet chickens as well.

This spring when we ordered baby chicks I decided to house the chickens just outside of the patch.  I did this for two reasons.  #1 Free fertilizer.  🙂 #2 By having the “chicken run” within the raspberry patch the chickens would be able to take dirt baths to cool down during the long hot months of summer.

I tend to pick raspberries every other day.  And when I do… the chickens tend to gather by my feet in hopes I will drop berries to them.  Pictured above is a Jersey Giant chicken, she is suppose to grow to a whopping 10+lbs!  Yikes!

When I first planted a raspberry patch (a few years ago) I ordered my raspberry canes from Spooner Farms. Everything you could ever hope to learn about how to plant your very own raspberry patch is on their website.

When your raspberry canes arrive in early spring they’ll look like this.

Planting was easy. I simply planted 7 rows… each about 12 feet long.

And waited for a patch of berry goodness to erupt. 🙂 The first year you can expect your canes to produce 25% or their capability, the second year around 50% and after that… you’re looking at a full blown berry patch!

Here’s what our berry patch looks like right now (the berry’s should be done in about 2 weeks or so). 🙁 For an initial investment of around $150 for 100 raspberry canes… I think it was money well spent. 🙂

I’m curious… What’s the your favorite thing you’ve ever planted in YOUR garden?

If you’re looking for some FAB recipes to enjoy this summers berry bounty… This is my new favorite book! The Berry Bible: With 175 Recipes Using Cultivated and Wild, Fresh and Frozen Berries

And these… These are my new favorite garden shoes. 🙂 Sloggers Women’s Midsummer Garden Shoe. And Oh Happy Day… they’re currently on sale!


  • Love this post 🙂 makes me miss my chickens. I hope some day I’ll be able to move back to a place I can have them again.

  • Desi

    Love the pictures, thanks for them. What variety did you grow do you know? I think I might talk a friend into going in on half of an order for raspberry canes. Are yours thornless?

  • Kristina


    Your whole garden looks impressive. How much space do you have?

    I have a very tiny backyard (25 ft x 75 ft) and obviously not much space. I’m wanting to grow some veggies and fruits but I have no idea where to start or even when to plant…

    Do you have a suggestion for a good resource for beggining gardening in a small space?


    • Mavis

      I love He’s such a wonderful source of knowledge. I would start with an 8′ by 4′ raised garden bed.

      One Magic Square: The Easy, Organic Way to Grow Your Own Food on a 3-Foot Square is a great book to read on gardening with limited space. 🙂

  • Susan

    Amazing Mavis!

    I’m curious of what variety you have. We are planting some too. How many pounds do you think you yield a year?

    • Mavis

      I think Cascade Delight. I don’t know how many pounds… but we currently have 12 quart sized bags in the freezer, I’ve made jam twice this season and we eat a lot fresh as well. 🙂

  • Anissa

    Mavis, I love your posts! They are one of the first things I look for on this site. However, I would like to point out something that has been popping up on all the blogs I read lately. I don’t blame you or the other bloggers, but it clearly shows the state of education in this country.

    Plurals are not made using ‘s. This is the possessive form. So you pick one berry, or many berries. Berry’s means “belonging to the berry,” so we could use it to mention the berry’s bright red color, but not for more than one berry.

    I mean this in the best of all possible ways, as I am on a personal crusade to stop the wholesale decline of proper English usage.

    I wish I had those berries in my backyard!

  • Tammy

    Beans are my favorite plant so far. Just plant a couple plants and they yield enough beans for all summer (just two of us to feed) and they are the low bush variety. Cost 99 cents for a packet that has lasted over five years now. I cook them in the leftover bacon grease from breakfast and they are delish!!

  • CathyB

    Just a suggestion for those starting a raspberry patch. Plant your plants in one or several rows (give yourself plenty of room between rows) and then at each the end of each row put two metal stakes about 2-3 feet apart with the berry plants centered in the middle. It would look similar to Mavis’ picture only with two stakes on each end with the plants between. Now take some wire and run it from the stake at one end to the stake at the opposite end on the same side of the row. Do this at a couple of different heights on both sides of your raspberry row. This will act as a guide in two ways: 1) It will provide just a little bit of support for your canes to lean against as they get tall. 2) It will be a guide to remove any plants that start to grow outside of the perimeter of the wires. Believe me, raspberries will fill in and take over and become a jungle if you don’t have some sort of line to contain them. It seems so hard to make yourself kill the little starts that come up unless you decide some boundaries ahead of time.

    I hope this helps! I just moved and no longer have berries, so I am very jealous of Mavis’ bounty right now!

  • Kira G

    I have to share that Ball Home Preserving has a recipe for mango raspberry jam, and it is heavenly!!!
    As far as home plants we have ALWAYS had success with sugar snap peas, the kids pick and eat the whole thing straight from the bush. They are an early plant and I plant against the fence so they climb the chain link. Carrots are also a really easy one. If someone has a small space my mom has done hay bale gardening, google search it. She had HUGE peas, tomatoes and greens.

  • sue

    If anyone loves garlic I have plenty of free seeds to get some started. It’s usually planted in the next 4-8wks, tolerates winter to about 5degrees has been my experience so you could mulch it a little in Novemeber & pull that off if March). I live on the way to Kuna or can leave them at work Behind the McDonald’s on Eagle Rd near the freeway onramp

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