In autumn last year I picked up a couple of 'end of the line' plants from a well-known home and garden superstore. Let me just say, I don't usually buy plants from there - strimmer cord yes, all purpose filler yes, but not plants. However, when raspberry canes are on sale for 10p each, it would seem to be a bargain worth snapping up. I mean, what's the worst that could happen? They'd all die and I'll be 30p out of pocket?
So, I took home my new plants and soaked the rootballs in water before potting them up and pruning back the old canes. Then I googled Raspberry 'Malling Jewel' and salivated at the idea of early season summer raspberries.
Fast forward to March/April, I patiently checked for signs of any new shoots but there were none to be seen. Eventually in mid May, they started to break through the surface, slowly yet steadily.
So, we're now heading towards the middle of June, I have my supports in place and the canes themselves are looking healthy but still only about 30cm tall with no signs of any flower buds yet. Somehow, I can't imagine that things are going to be moving so quickly that I'll still have raspberries by July...
What do we think? Is this a case of big company mislabelling/mixing up stock and what I've actually got is an autumn fruiting variety? Or has the cold, cold spring held back the growth? Or were they simply planted too late last year to start producing canes at the optimum time?
This novice raspberry grower would be grateful for all suggestions.