First raspberry!

A raspberry coloring up on relatively-new primocane red raspberry variety ‘Double Delight’, still in a pot on my porch waiting for its future home to be dug and trellised. This variety has pink flowers!

ETA: I moved the pots out into the yard to test spacing – turned my back – and a bird ate the berry. Stupid birds. 😉 Looks like I’ll be incorporating some netting into the trellis setup.

I’m using Stella Otto’s 1995 ‘The BackYard Berry Book’ as my general handbookfor small fruit, as the growing information is still wonderful even if the variety lists don’t include the newest cultivars. Growers around here really talk up the ‘Heritage’ and ‘Autumn Bliss’ varieties for best production in a farm setting, which are listed in all my mailorder catalogs, but most nurseries around here only had ‘Souris’, a new variety which at least SOUNDS optimized for my area. I had to hunt to find someone carrying some of the good old varieties mentioned – but I did manage to pick up two each bareroot Boyne, Killarney and Cumberland (which I was pleasantly surprised to find out was a black raspberry, when I got home and could look it up.) Blacks are convenient as they don’t spread as much by runner (=tidy patch), and are more reliable in times of water stress than reds. I’ve temporarily potted them up while the digging is pending, and all but one Cumberland have definitely broken dormancy. (It’s been a cold, wet, cloudy June.) The nurseryman advised if I was going to pot them, to keep them there for at least a month to get a good root system to hold in the soil – removing too early where the soil would fall off the tender new roots would possibly damage them.

All of these others are floricane bearers/summerbearing, and so need trellising. I plan to use a V-trellis system as described in the newest issue of Pomona, NAFEX‘s journal, to allow the canes maximal headroom, and hopefully encourage new shoots to come up in the middle of the row instead of outside it in mowing territory.

Cultivated blackberries are too wussy to make it up here with any fruit quality, but if you’re able to plant them, remember to keep the roots covered during the planting process! For some reason, exposing blackberry roots to light will greatly reduce their transplant success (which may account for the secondhand stories that “you can’t dig up wild blackberries and plant them at home, they’ll die.”) I’m in envy of those people who “have this great wild blackberry patch which is completely adapted and gives us buckets every year,” – as it’s rather hard to purchase Wild blackberries commercially, hopefully I’ll find one of these people soon who’s willing to share. 🙂 

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