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How Do I Choose the Best Raspberry Trellis?

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  • Written By: Terrie Brockmann
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 09 September 2016
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Successfully choosing the best raspberry trellis requires some research. You need to know what type of raspberry plants you have and how they grow. Another factor to consider is the space that you have to devote to the berry patch. Generally, gardeners have trellises made of wood and wire, but there are other options, such as mesh or lattice, iron or other metals, and manufactured plastic wood. Often cost is a determining factor when you make your final choice.

Frequently, gardeners hire carpenters or landscapers to build their trellises because it is difficult to find the perfect raspberry trellis system. Whether you buy a trellis or have one made, many of the concerns are the same. The trellis material should be rot-resistant, easy to care for, and sturdy enough to support the weight of the canes, especially when they are heavy with fruit and in a strong wind. Another factor is the size of mature vines, because different varieties of raspberries have different growth patterns.

In order to know how to choose the right raspberry trellis, you should know what a good trellis does. The trellis supports the raspberry canes, keeps the canes off the ground, and increases light and air filtration. A trellis also makes it easier for the gardener to weed around the canes, prune the canes, and harvest the fruit. Whether the trellis is purchased or custom made, it should fulfill these requirements.

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When a gardener chooses a trellis, usually the investment will last for many years. The best trellises have rot-resistant materials, such as cedar, plastic, or metal. Generally, you should avoid products that are treated with preservatives because chemicals may leach into the ground.

There are a few different types of raspberry trellis systems. The most common trellis design is built like a fence with wire strung between two or more posts. Sometimes gardeners train the canes up a garden wall, although this does not allow air circulation as well as a stand-alone trellis. Other types of trellising include the canopy style and the rotatable cross-arm (RCA) system. You should research which type of trellis system will be the best for your gardening style.

There are some extra elements that you may consider when choosing the best raspberry trellis design. If you live in a region where winter freezes are a problem, you may need to bury the supporting posts below the frost line. Contact your local nursery or other gardening expert to learn how deep the posts need to be set. Some people put post toppers, which may be metal like copper, plastic, or wood, on top of wooden posts to prevent them from getting water rot. Another consideration is how you will protect the plants during the winter, which is why some people choose the hinging RCA system.

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donasmrs
Post 3

The biggest issue that I have with my raspberry plants is that they don't stay upright. When they are heavy with fruit, they start drooping and sometimes the berries touch the ground. That's why I prefer a pyramid shaped fence trellis. It's a fairly small trellis and it goes around a single berry plant. Since it's small, and since the little branches stand out of the fence, it's not a problem getting the fruit. I wouldn't use any other type of trellis for berry plants.

fBoyle
Post 2

@serenesurface-- I agree with you. I certainly thought about that when building my raspberry trellis. I knew I didn't want any tight wires or nets for this reason.

Actually, raspberry plants don't need the kind of support that vine plants like cucumbers and tomatoes need. A very simple, yet sturdy trellis will work just fine for this plant. My trellis consist of two very large cross shaped stakes on both ends of the plants. I have a thick string running through from one stake to the other for the plants to rely on. They also give a direction of growth for the plants. But there is no limitation whatsoever in regards to picking the fruit. I can easily get my hands in there and pick the berries without any issue.

serenesurface
Post 1

The fence system is sturdy and it does last for a long time. The issue is that it becomes difficult to harvest the fruit, especially if the openings in the fence are rather small. Raspberries often give fruit throughout the plant. So it's important that all areas of the plant be reachable, no matter how large it grows. I urge those looking for a raspberry plant to keep this in mind when selecting one.

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