You've heard of miniature vegetables, but imagine a raspberry that stands only 6 to 8 inches tall and produces fruit the size and quality of regular brambles. From a breeding program in Sweden comes "ground cover" raspberry; the result of crossing two low-growing Arctic raspberry species (Rubus articus and R. stellatus). The thorn-free plants spread by underground rhizomes but aren't invasive, and they are hardy in zones 2 through 8.
In zone 5, each plant produces up to 25 tart-tasting fruits in August. As with other brambles, it takes two years to produce but then yields consistently. The foliage turns bright burgundy in fall, and plants survive the winter best with a cover of snow or bark. They make an attractive border or can be used on banks for erosion control. Space plants 3 feet apart.
In zones 5 and warmer, order now for fall planting. In colder areas, wait until spring to plant. Ground Cover raspberry costs about $13 for 6 plants.
Article published on June 23, 2008.