The aficionados of the raspberry world will all recommend Malling Jewel Raspberry as one of their top summer fruiting canes. The berries take about 3-4 weeks to ripen in early summer and turn a deep red when ripe. They are larger and juicier than most while remaining firm. Each cane produces a reliable and moderate but not overwhelming crop and the enormous advantage with this variety is that a ripe raspberry will hang on its bush for a good week without becoming over-ripe and mushy. The flavour is excellent which is why Malling Jewel holds an RHS Award of Garden Merit and deserves its place in our list of UK grown raspberries. These are certified raspberry plants grown from virus-tested parent material in the UK.
Raspberries are a staple ingredient in so much English cooking - summer pudding, raspberry jam and scones, raspberry ripple ice-cream - not to mention raspberry vinegar or vodka. Freeze them on trays before you bag them up and they will supply you with vitamin C through the winter too.
Raspberries are easy to grow and generally do not need spraying. The only thing you will need to add to your kitchen garden is a permanent support for the canes in the form of post and wires and you will need to net the fruits otherwise the birds will have the lot. That may sound like a lot of work but the plants last for decades and get bigger and more productive as time passes and the taste of a home-grown raspberry is an utterly different experience from the chilled, supermarket version. Oh - and you don't have all that plastic to deal with either. Put your fruit cage anywhere in the garden bar north facing and then invest in a few other raspberry varieties so that you can keep picking through to November (if you choose an autumn fruiting one).
Raspberries come originally from Asia and the eastern Mediterranean where you can often see them growing wild. The raspberry has been subject to much breeding and hybridising and a lot of this has taken place at the East Malling Research station in Kent. It is an independent provider of research, development and consultancy services for the food and agriculture industries and it is because of their work that so many raspberries have 'Malling' in their name.
Please note that in line with general practice, all our raspberries are delivered with last year's growth cut back to 45-60 cms. Summer fruiting raspberries may, therefore, bear a very few berries in summer following planting but their first full fruiting season will be in the year after.