Raspberry ‘Glen Coe’

Family: Roseacea

‘Glen Coe’ is a mid-season, summer-fruiting (floricane) raspberry hybrid that was raised by the Scottish Crop Research Institute.  A hybrid bred from ‘Glen Prosen’ and an unnamed thornless black raspberry; ‘Glen Coe’ is raspberry with a fantastic flavour!  My ‘Glen Coe’ raspberries usually fruit from June until the middle of August.  This is my favourite raspberry, as it produces the best flavoured and most amazing tasting fruit!

I ordered my first ‘Glen Coe’ raspberry plants over 10 years ago.  I adored these sweet and tangy, intensely flavoured raspberries.  However, when my raspberry plants fruited, their fruit didn’t have as rounded a shape as the ‘Glen Coe’ raspberries I’d seen in promotional photographs from online fruit nurseries.  The fact that my ‘Glen Coe’ raspberries’ fruits were nowhere near as purple in colour as the ‘Glen Coe’ raspberries I’d seen in catalogues led me to doubt whether I’d received the correct variety.  To clarify what a ‘real’ ‘Glen Coe’ raspberry looked and tasted like, I ordered more ‘Glen Coe’ raspberry canes from another supplier.  When these raspberries also didn’t resembler the suppliers’ pictures, I placed an order for yet more ‘Glen Coe’ raspberries from a third supplier the following autumn.  None of my raspberries resembled the model ‘Glen Coe’ fruits and the colouring of my ‘Glen Coe’ raspberries was far more like a traditional raspberry than the blackberry-coloured raspberries with a white bloom that I saw pictured in the retailers’ catalogues, but after purchasing plants from various suppliers over a several years, I am now certain I have the correct plants.  I was so impressed with the delicious and entirely consistent flavour all of the ‘Glen Coe’ raspberries I’ve grown.  The colour and flavour of my ‘Glen Coe’ raspberries’ fruits has been the same in all the plants I purchased from all three suppliers.

My ‘Glen Coe’ raspberries have grown at least 4.5m (15ft) tall.  It might seem like a bit too much hassle to create a support frame for your raspberries, but I’d really encourage you to properly support your plants; installing a support frame before you plant your raspberry canes is the best and most efficient way to do this.  I find it much easier to grow raspberries in rows; the unwanted suckers are easily identified and removed.  The extra canes that grow up can be moved and planted elsewhere to extend your raspberry plants, but it’s only worth planting new, healthy plants, produced by healthy, certified virus-free plants that were planted within a couple of years.  Growing raspberries in rows with a support frame allows raspberry plants to be fully supported, making it easier to grow, support, prune, and harvest your raspberries.

Prune ‘Glen Coe’ raspberry canes after they have fruited.  In late summer, remove all the old ‘Glen Coe’ raspberry canes – cut the older canes off at ground level using a sharp pair of secateurs.  The older canes are often tinged with brown, which makes them easier to spot.  The new canes look fresher and are often more green in colour.   After removing the old stems, tie in the new, young raspberry canes to your supports using a soft and strong, yet flexible material.  I favour tying in my raspberry canes using strips of material cut from old pairs of stockings – these work perfectly as they are stretchy and so expand to fit the cane as it grows and are strong enough to support raspberry canes against autumn and winter storms.  It is the new raspberry canes that will fruit next summer – so you want to look after these precious new growths.

‘Glen Coe’ raspberry plants are fully hardy.  Plant ‘Glen Coe’ raspberry canes in a sunny or partially shaded area.  ‘Glen Coe’ raspberries thrive planted directly in the soil – these particular raspberries are not container plants – these raspberries need to be planted in the ground to succeed.  Plant raspberries in soil that’s moist but well-drained.  Raspberries thrive in loamy soils.  My ‘Glen Coe’ raspberries have flourished in the free-draining sandy soil, in my small, sheltered garden.  Avoid planting raspberry ‘Glen Coe’ in areas that are prone to flooding or in wet, water-logged soils.  When given their ideal growing conditions, ‘Glen Coe’ raspberries will fruit every year for a great many years.  Mulch your raspberry plants every year in early February following heavy rain or watering.

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