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Mid-Atlantic Gardening: $100 Project: Raspberry Patch

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Improve your diet and reduce your grocery bill by growing your own nutrient-packed raspberries. You can start a patch for $100.

 With ample care my raspberry trellis thrives.

Lowe’s challenged us regional garden experts to do something in our landscapes for $100 or less. I planted a 12x3-ft bed of ever-bearing raspberries and added a trellis to support the canes—all for $96.

Why raspberries?
These fruits offer excellent nutritional content, including antioxidants, high fiber, minerals, B-vitamins—all contained in a low-calorie package.

Why ever-bearing raspberries?
You can prune ever-bearing raspberries to yield in midsummer and fall—a double harvest season. My annual harvest should average 8 to 10 quarts of berries per 12-ft row, offering plenty of berries for eating, freezing, making jam and sharing.

Planting raspberries
Raspberries like rich, well-drained soil. I created a raised bed to provide good drainage. For a 12-ft-long bed I planted six bushes 2 ft apart. Raspberries aren’t difficult to grow—learn how.

Building The Trellis

Gather Tools
You need a posthole digger, shovel, level, saw, triangle and drill to build the trellis.

My favorite garden helper, Steven, helped me tackle the construction end of this project.

Lowe’s materials list:

  • two 4x4x8-ft treated posts
  • two 2x6x8-ft treated boards
  • four 1/4 x 7.5-in zinc turnbuckles
  • eight 25/8-in screw eyes
  • 14-gauge galvanized wire
  • one 80-lb bag quikcrete
  • twenty 31/2-in wood screws
  • six Heritage raspberry bushes

 

Attach crosspieces
First we cut the 2x6s to size. The top crosspiece is longer (42 inches) because raspberry canes tend to arch outward as they grow. The bottom crosspiece is 27 inches. Five wood screws arranged in an X-pattern held the crosspieces in place.

Five wood screws arranged in an X-pattern held the crosspieces in place.

Attach screw eyes
Next we attached the screw eyes to each end of the crosspieces. The screw eyes held the wire that corralled the raspberry canes.

Setting posts
We set one 4x4 post in soil, packing soil tightly around it. The second post was set on a huge rock we chose not to excavate. We used Quik Crete to anchor that post.

Adding wire
A turnbuckle on one end of the trellis allowed tightening wires as needed, especially after winter.

We stretched the wires as taut as we could when we first added them. As the canes grow, we’ll direct the stems behind the wires so the canes are fully supported.

What would you do with $100? Share your thoughts below. I’d love to hear what kind of project you’d tackle.