Last year we decided we wanted to try growing more berries, but our growing space is very limited; we don't have room for a full fledged berry patch. We do have blueberries and service berries in the ground, but this time we are attempting to grow two berry types in containers. We want to keep the plants tidy and to move them around the yard, if we want.
The raspberry bush pictured was planted in its container last fall. We purchased the plant from Dry Creek late in the season and transplanted the two gallon root ball to a weather worthy ceramic pot. The plant was left outside in the pot all winter. Early spring, we pruned it severely, and soon out came several new canes.
Thee are two different types of raspberry plants. One type -- called 'ever bearing' -- produces its fruit on new canes each year; the other produces its fruit on last year's canes. If you have the ever bearing variety, you should severely cut back the plant each fall to allow new fruit bearing canes to emerge next year, and to keep the plant tidy. If you have a plant that needs two years for canes to set fruit, you'll need to be careful not to remove the canes that will be producing next season. We're unsure which type of plant this raspberry is, so will wait to see whether any fruit appears. If it does, we'll know that the plant is an ever bearing variety. If it doesn't, we'll have to wait until next year for its first crop.
You need a fairly large container for berry bush roots. A 16 or 18 inch tomato-sized pot works well. We've added a tall dried bamboo tripod to the container to give the otherwise floppy canes some support. It's been reported that horizontal support is better than vertical support, so we are trying the less popular way just to see what happens. Thus, we hope to train the canes around the bamboo stems. We will limit the raspberry canes to three -- four at the most, to keep the plant nice and tidy.
If you have limited space, like we do, you might try putting the container on rollers so it's easy to move if the need arises.