Old gardening books recommend growing raspberries in home gardens because they are delicate to move and hard to keep fresh. I decided to grow them because I love the berries and have had some in my garden in the past.
Helping the vines grow in a semi-orderly fashion has not been pretty. Recommendations are usually to build a structure with tall wires or to grow them along a wooden fence. Since I don’t like either, I decided to build a raspberry bed using cut down cedar branches.
My friend Tom’s garden inspired me. He has a tall arbor made out of cedar boughs, and a gate into his apiary. As a gift last year, Tom surprised me with an air compressor, nail gun, and a short lesson on how to use it.
Add a pile of cut down cedar branches. Frankly the part that takes the most time is cutting and collecting the branches.
I started with the shortest sections to get the hang of using the nail gun without hitting a finger. The side sections were about three-feet long and relatively easy to shape.
For the back side of the raspberry bed, I decided to curve the 10-foot section, easier said than done. After a few false starts, I found I could use the cedar branches themselves to help hold the curve I wanted.
Once the pieces were installed, I tied the corners together and my handyman Robert secured the back of the ten-foot fence piece with a short piece of rebar. It takes two sets of hands to hold a ten-foot fence in place.
Robert suggested we should build an arbor over the berry bed, something I loved to have to shield the raspberry roots.
No waiting until next year, I already have raspberry plants planted and ready to grow.
Charlotte Ekker Wiggins is a gardener, beekeeper, and sometimes cook. For more, visit gardeningcharlotte.com. Published by Kaleidoscope Weekly with permission. Copyright 2018, all rights reserved. This column may not be copied, published, reprinted, rewritten, or redistributed. Contact Charlotte at email@example.com.