Better raspberry than heritage? Pls recommend

sunnibel7 Md 7(7)July 6, 2013

Well, it's been 2 years now and I am unimpressed with my Heritage raspberries. They don't seem to grow particularly well, which is surprising considering how the wild brambles get on. But worse is that the fruit always taste bland and the texture is dry, like they have no juice. I thought maybe I was having a little trouble because our soil is on the light side, a sandy loam, and maybe I wasn't watering religously enough (a hose and a prayer?), but we had over 8 inches of rain this past month and the fruit is the same. Bland with a dry texture. All around the property are wild black raspberries, wineberries, and blackberries, all of which seem to thrive and (mostly) have delcious, juicy berries. I'm forced to conclude it isn't me or the land, so it must be the cultivar.

So can anyone recommend a good red raspberry? I have very fond memories of my parents' raspberry patch, but they aren't positive which they were growing. Besides it was a different state, soil, and climate. Thanks!

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shazaam(NC 7B)

Isn't it funny how tastes differ? The dry quality that you mention is one of the things that I like best about Heritage. On the other hand, I also find mine to be quite flavorful, which doesn't appear to be the case with yours. With the exception of wineberries, I'd characterize all of the red cultivars that I grow (Caroline, Autumn Bliss, Prelude, and Heritage) as somewhat dry (with Heritage being the most so). If picked when red, my Royalty raspberries are also on the dry side, but, if allowed to fully mature and turn purple, they're big, plump, and very juicy. Mine lost a bit of their flavor thanks to what's turned out to be monsoon season here on the east coast (we've received 10" or more of rain in the last week and a half), but they're still quite good.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 10:48AM
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Heritage is good here in CA. I grow/like autumn bliss/caroline as well.

A unique red that I like is Saanich. It is a sweet red (no tart balance) and has a cool/refreshing taste.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 11:18AM
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Our Heritage raspberries are of good quality. We have heavy clay soil, which I have amended by mulching the patch with shredded maple tree leaves, year after year. These plants get morning sun, and they are in the shade in the afternoon. I have to pick off the Japanese beetles for several weeks during the summer, and also I have to prune away canes that are damaged by raspberry cane borer. Other than that , they get very little care. I do thin the patch periodically, by digging out volunteer clumps in the fall. Raspberries grow like weeds in this location.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 11:19AM
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I grew Heritage at one point but threw them over for 'Caroline' my new favorite tasting raspberry. I also have a 'Kiwi Gold' yellow raspberries that doesn't have the 'honey' taste of my 'Fall Gold'. If you like the pure essence of raspberry taste and a bit of tartness, Caroline is for you.. IMHO Mrs. G

I spray for borer in the spring.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 5:10PM
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Mrs G.... What insecticide do you spray and how far ahead of the blossoms opening? Is that your only spraying for the raspberries during the year?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 6:01PM
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I use triazicide an insecticide, a sticker spreader and immunox a fungicide. I spray them only after they have leafed and make sure I get the stalks. I do not spray after that. Early spring only. I have insect free and fungus free berries.

Since the berries are a soft fruit I'd never spray while they are fruiting. (also you'll kill the bees!).

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 9:36AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Caroline sounds promising. My Mom dug back through her garden journal (it is older than I am!) and thinks what they grew might have been called Latham. But she's not sure if that is the patch that suceeded or one of those that failed.

I agree that raspberries are drier than wineberries, but these literally feel like slightly damp sawdust. I splurge fairly often in winter and buy raspberries (cheaper than flying to Florida for a bit of summer in winter), and while I'm not looking for mutantly large berries like those, I figure I should be able to grow some that taste at least that good. The wild berries are tasty, I know it is possible! :)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 10:44AM
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I agree with Mrs G!
Three weeks ago the Caroline were blooming and I pruned 6" off the tops to force laterals which are now full of blooms. Caroline replaced Heritage for me years ago for flavor as well as vigor and productivity. Carolines are now over five feet tall. All my primocane raspberries (another favorite is Dinkum),are cut down each winter to have only the 'fall' crop. I thin them in the spring to have only 4 plants per square foot with rows being 2 feet wide. I also thin every few weeks to maximize air circulation and production. My goal is to begin red rasp picking in late July as my 40 blueberries take all the picking time until then. Currently, I use certified org horse manure compost, Ca-25, Sea-90, homemade EM and kelp meal to enhance the berries and clay soil. All my berries are maintained organically in full sun.

The best tasting and juiciest Heritage I ever ate were raised at the base of a huge black walnut tree in central IL. It is interesting how sister plants can taste different on various soils and or mulches. If you have a close by walnut tree, experiment with a few of your Heritage.

IMO, even a 'dryish' red rasp is better than many other treats.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 3:14PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Heritage can be inconsistent. When they are doing well they are a fantastic berry but many years I had mediocre ones. I don't grow them anymore.

Caroline is the standard today, its easy and reliable and tasty. My favorite for taste is probably Josephine, but Caroline is close; Josephine is very aromatic. The new variety Nantahala is also supposed to be great-tasting, I added some of them this spring.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 10:32PM
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My Mom dug back through her garden journal (it is older than I am!) and thinks what they grew might have been called Latham.

I'm smiling, because Latham used to be the old standard. When I put my red raspberry patch in, I got a late order in and they subbed Latham for Heritage. I'm quite satisfied with Latham, has a good taste and is a prolific bearer and easy, but it's a big, crumbly berry for me.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 1:07AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I'm evaluating a number of cultivars. Too early for any conclusions. Some new cultivars like Double Gold look very interesting. Plus I always like to check out what Cornell or the NY experimental station in NY produce.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 9:40AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Well then Caroline sounds like a good one for me to try next. Aromatic, not too dry, and sweet and tart. When would be better, buy and transplant this fall or wait until next spring?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 10:45AM
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