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All About Raspberries

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Blackcap and red raspberries prefer a loose textured, well-drained soil because they are deep rooted plants. Add plenty of Black Forest Organic Compost when planting; manures may be added in minimal amounts as organic matter. Be sure that they are well composted as they contain weed seeds and high amounts of salt which increases the pH in the soil. In some areas where alkali levels are high to start with, steer and horse manure should not be added at all. Chicken manure in moderate amounts may be added. Master Nursery Paydirt, a compost-chicken manure blend, is a good choice.

Raspberries should be spaced 3-4 feet apart in a row with 6-8 feet between rows if multiple areas are to be planted. Each plant will become a hill of raspberries. Afternoon shade, although not required, is recommended for best fruit production. Berries offered afternoon sun and wind protection will be thinner skinned and more succulent because valuable moisture is not lost during the hottest part of the day.

Deep regular watering produces the best fruit. A drip system or soaker hose system is ideal. Raspberries should remain moist but not soaking wet—the plants should not be allowed to dry out entirely between waterings, as poor fruit production will occur. Nor should raspberries be overly moist. Watering 2-3 times weekly should be fine for most soil types (except those with heavy clay or hard pan). A little experimentation may be needed to gauge your plant’s needs.

Raspberries are not considered heavy feeders, but do benefit significantly from regular fertilization. Apply the first application of fertilizer in early spring, followed by another application after harvest. A late fall feeding is also recommended. Easy to use granular formulations like Master Nursery Fruit Tree & Vine Food, Best All-Purpose 16-16-16 are good choices.
Application of water soluble fertilizers such as Master Nursery All-Purpose Plant Food, Stern’s Miracle Gro or Peters All Purpose may also be used, but because of their high water-solubility and the resulting need to fertilize more often, these are perhaps too time consuming for most.

Pruning & Training
Blackcap and one-crop raspberries fruit on 2-year old wood. Pruning, therefore, is usually most efficiently completed in late fall or winter. Prune these old cane as close to the ground as possible. Thin out weak or broken one year old canes leaving 7 to 10 canes per hill. Two-crop or everbearing raspberries, are handled much the same except that they fruit n the fall on 1-year old canes. The fruit will appear on the top foot or so of the cane, and it is a common practice to remove the portion of the cane that fruited after harvest leaving the rest of the cane to produce next summer’s crop. The everbearing raspberry thus produces a summer crop on 2-year old wood and a fall crop on 1-year old wood. As with the one-crop raspberries, the 2-year old canes die and are removed after harvest or during the following summer.

Red raspberries can be supported either with tall stakes or ideally with a 2-wire trellis. The wires of the trellis are usually placed about 1 foot below the height at which the canes have been pruned. The wires are placed on each side of the post with large staples or nails. Cross pieces can be nailed to the posts so that the 2 wires are 12-15 inches apart. A second set of wires may be placed a few feet below the top wires. The canes can be tied to the top set of wires. Blackcap raspberries benefit form staking for the first year only, but is not required after that.

Due to the uncertainty of wholesale grower stock, trucking, and weather, all varieties will not be available at all times. Although we do have the ability to special order some stock, we make no guarantee of its arrival and cheerfully encourage alternate selections.

Available Varieties

Amity (Red) (Everbearing): Large, medium red, good quality berry. Stem does not come free until ripe. Softer and nearly thornless. Ripens early July and early September.
Brandywine (Blackcap): Large, conic, firm, round, glossy reddish purple berries with tart, pleasant tangy flavor and highly aromatic. Good for fresh eating, but excellent for jams, jellies and preserves. Tall vigorous canes, very thorny.
Canby (Red): Medium to large. Light red berry. Firm, sweet, and excellent for fresh use or freezing. Vigorous canes. Nearly thornless. Ripens June.
Caroline (Everbearing): Uniquely flavored, large, firm, & cohesive fruit. Long conical shape berry that fruits early. Plants are very productive & produce fruit over a long period.
Fall Gold (Everbearing): Large, soft golden berries, conical in shape with a very sweet flavor, excellent for fresh eating and processing. Ripens July and late August.
Golden Summit (Everbearing): Large, firm, golden berries. High yields. Known to produce a crop the first season. Fruits early. If mowed off a few inches above the soil level each winter it will only produce a large Fall crop the next season.
Heritage (Red) (Everbearing): Large. Very firm, excellent quality. Good vigor, hardy canes which do not need staking. Moderate early July crop and heavy production of quality fruit early September.
Meeker (Red): Large, ;thimble-shaped dark red fruit with high sugar content and good quality flavor. Good for eating fresh, freezing, canning and processing. Long harvest season. Ripens mid-season.
Munger (Blackcap): Large, plump yet firm, shiny black berries that are not seedy. Delicious, sweet flavor that is excellent for jam, jellies, and preserves but only satisfactory for freezing. Ripens mid-season.
Willamette (Red): Large. Dark red, medium acid. Heavy producer. Excellent for shipping. Ripens June.


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