Saturday, October 15, 2011

Everbearing Raspberries

Summer has come and gone, but the flavors of summer can still be enjoyed in early fall if you plant everbearing raspberries in your yard.

Kiwi Gold, Fall Gold, and Heritage Red raspberries harvested October 15.
I planted a short 20-foot row of Kiwi Gold, Fall Gold, and Heritage Red berries when I first started developing my backyard garden. It didn't take long for the first few berries to show up, but now that the canes have matured and grown for a few cycles I am harvesting more and more berries each day.

The name "everbearing" is a bit misleading because they typically provide two large crops of berries rather than a continuous harvest. Kiwi Gold and Fall Gold are exceptionally sweet, and the Heritage Red berries have a classic raspberry flavor. I personally prefer the gold varieties, my wife likes the red berries, and the dogs will eat all three varieties without hesitation.

Gold and red raspberries. The berry in the top right looks a bit over-ripe and mushy. That's what I get for harvesting when it was nearly dark outside.  
I definitely recommend all three varieties for the home garden in the mid-Atlantic. I'm sure other varieties are well-suited to this climate, but these three have delivered well in Newport News, Virginia. I have ten suggestions for growing raspberries based upon a my brief personal experience tending to my berry canes:

1.  Make sure your planting site has good sun exposure and drainage.
2.  Keep your planting site weed-free.
3.  Berry canes need support -- plant against a trellis, tie loosely to wires.
4.  Water well during dry spells.
5.  Feed your plants with rich, organic compost.
6.  Keep your canes mulched with a layer of wheat straw or other suitable mulch.
7.  Determine if you want a single large crop or two crops per year. This will dictate how and when the canes should be pruned.
8.  Dispose of pruned canes to prevent the spread of disease.
9.  Enjoy every single bite. Homegrown berries are superior to anything you can buy in the store.
10.  And don't forget to share the harvest! What goes around comes around...

6 comments:

What Pigs Don't Know said...

Man, those berries look so good!

.09 Acres said...

I can assure you they were!

Veggie PAK said...

Beautiful raspberries! It's funny that the dogs like them too!

.09 Acres said...

VeggiePAK, I just saw on your blog that you are also harvesting a late crop of raspberries. I definitely enjoy keeping up with your gardening and canning posts.

Sybil Mays said...

Our raspberry patch finally petered out after a decade.... loved the Fall Golds and Heritage. We were smitten with a new introduction called Jaclyn - a very long berry. Delish! I agree, they should be called Two Season Berries or something - not everbearing! Glad to know the garden is still doing well - looks beautiful!

Greg W said...

Thanks for the recommendation of Gold raspberries, I have been growing Heritage for five years and love them both for their taste and abundance.

This year we didn't get any because I had to move the whole patch last year due to encroaching into neighbors yard. They produced a lot of canes and only two berries. But they will be back.