This post on DIY raspberry supports was originally published in March 2012. I updated it in May 2017 to make instructions more clear and to post better photos after a blogging platform transfer.
Before we get started on how we built DIY raspberry supports at home, I need a huge favor. I need you all to send this post to 5+ friends or family members. Troy said if I put these photos on my blog, that I need to “keep his bulge out of the frame, and this better get like 3,000 page views”. As my friend Angela said when she saw the pictures “that right there is a real man”. Troy needs the praise and high page views for being so ballsy by letting me put these pictures up.
I came home from Lowes with my gardening building supplies last Saturday morning to find Troy and Jack in Superman costumes. For the record, it wasn’t known to me that my husband of almost eight years owned a Superman costume. I immediately directed them outside to the front yard with camera in hand, and demanded they build my DIY raspberry supports. Right then and there. In costume. I’m nice like that.
So, here is how our family builds DIY raspberry supports. In “super” style.
Two 2x4x8s (weather treated, or painted)
One untreated 2x4x8
8 eyebolt thingys (Troy assures me those are real words)
2 bags of pea gravel
Saw of some kind
Saw the untreated 2x4x8 into four pieces. Two of the pieces should be longer than the other two. These will be the boards that connect the wires to contain all the raspberry canes once they start to grow.
At the top of one of the treated 2x4x8, hammer two nails to connect one of the larger untreated pieces on to the top of the treated piece. Add the shorter untreated piece about 2-3 feet below that. Repeat for both treated 2x4x8s.
Check for quality control.
Using a power drill, drill 8 total holes in to the untreated pieces of wood. One on each facing end of the wood.
Insert the eye bolts in to the holes that were just drilled.
Preparing the site for installation
Using a post hold digger thing, dig two deep holes – at least 18-24 inches deep if possible. You’ll want to dig one at end of your raspberry planting area.
Put the treated post in the hole.
Look around for an extra pair of hands. Where did your helpers go? Oh right…
Steady the post with one hand, and while trying not to give yourself a hernia, fill the hole with pea gravel. Give it a good shake to help it settle, then add more pea gravel. Repeat with the other post.
Dig your holes for your berry plants, add compost, then the plants, then fill the holes with compost. Water, and then cover with the mulch of your choice. This is easiest done using your child’s wagon that he just received as a birthday gift from his Auntie Anne.
Voila. We’ll string the wire on the eye bolts once the berry canes add a bit of growth. The wires will be used to support the canes as they continue their upward growth.
Total cost for this project – $43.40 (that includes 4 bags of compost even though I only used 1 in this bed). I tried for months to get free lumber on Freecycle, but I couldn’t find a darn tootin thing that was being given away. The raspberry bushes were free from my aunt and uncle from thinning their current patch. The cost of organic raspberries at the market? At least $4 per pint. So assuming we can get 11 pints out of this in the next 1-2 years, our break even point will be under 24 months.
May 2017 update: in that first year, three of the six raspberry canes died fairly quickly. The surviving three were hardy and multiplied, and the following summer, our raspberry patch looked like this:
These DIY raspberry supports were the best $43 we ever spent and are still going strong five years later.