Raspberry Report, Summer 2014

jstubbs_gwJuly 18, 2014

Inspired by jtburton's thread on raspberry and blackberry harvests this year (95 posts and counting!) I thought I'd give my own. The summer harvest is just getting underway here in southern Maine, and I have several different varieties growing.

Yellow - Fall Gold, which was newly planted last year, has yielded a small amount of berries and is growing well. When ripe they have a nice, sweet flavor that I like. Primocanes growing well and I hope for a good fall crop.

Red - Prelude, newly planted this year, has thrown out a few berries, probably later this year than in future years since it's just getting established. Seems to turn a hint of purple when really ripe; all have tasted great.

Also have an unknown red variety from a coworker that has started ripening - it's tart and firm, and isn't so good if it's overly ripe. Makes good pies, though.

Purple - Royalty, planted last year, has set an enormous number of berries a few of which have come in. I wasn't sure I liked it when I sampled some last year, but this year I'm also able to try them at the "full red" stage which do taste remarkably like just a red raspberry, while the purple stage is more mild with more of a black raspberry flavor.

Glencoe, newly planted last year, was too small to have any fruit but is growing really well. Some of the primocanes started branching even before I topped them.

Brandywine was a big disappointment because I planted two last year, one started growing this year with disease symptoms so I pulled it and the other one, when it finally got around to fruiting, has turned out to be a black raspberry plant. I bought these at Home Depot last year before I new any better and now I know they were probably mislabeled. At least I like black raspberries but the size and flavor of these is inferior to either jewel or bristol.

Black - Jewel has started yielding and the berries are huge, much bigger than the small ones it produced last year. So far this year I've picked 33 berries and their average weight is 3.2 grams, one berry was a monster at 4.0 grams! I like the flavor of these a lot.

Bristol has also started yielding, berries are a little smaller than jewel, and don't taste quite as good, but are still good to eat fresh.

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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

That's cool Jewel is bigger! I hope Allen is like that for me. I just planted Jewell too. I'm almost done with my summer crop, still though probably a week or more left. Yield is fantastic! Slowing down to about 30 berries a day, still that's a lot! I don't really count them, but my yield now is about a regular butter container's full a day.
It was 2 or 3 during the peak. it took me over an hour to harvest. With the amount of plants you have expect a decent harvest in future years.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 1:51PM
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Thank you for the mention JStubbs! scottfsmith started the western trailing blackberry threads a couple of years ago and those exchanges of ideas, issues, and outcomes really got me interested in growing berries. I really like comparing notes with all of you on this forum and sharing my wins and losses.


- Anne. My planting of Anne is in its second year and I have gone the route of two crops (Spring and Fall) per year. My output is generally pretty low and the birds and other pests have gotten wise to the flavor of yellow raspberries. I'm going to move to a single Fall crop next year to see if I can increase the output. Anne has a great flavor and I intend to keep them either way. The Fall crop is flowering now (7/18)

- Double Gold. I have a sample planting that has a few canes. It overwintered fine in a pot and then was moved into the ground. Flavor is good but I don't expect to expand it anytime soon.


- Caroline. I have had the Caroline red raspberries for over two seasons now and they have performed well although I have never matched the cane sizes that I saw in other online pictures. Like Anne, I'm going to move to a single Fall crop to see how they do. The Spring crop ripens really early in early June (completed fruiting 6/22). I find the flavor very good, much better than the black raspberries. The Fall crop is already starting to ripen on some canes while other canes are still just flowering. (7/18)

- Cascade Delight. This is their first fruiting season and I was a bit disappointed. It appeared that this variety overwintered well but as the season progressed, I noticed some latent cold injury. The production was low and the berry quality was really bad with sunburn and other issues. It appears that this variety ripens with a lighter color than Caroline, so I was waiting a little too long to pick them. The berry size is quite large, almost 50% larger than Caroline but the taste was only average. Since this was their first fruiting season and there was obvious cold injury, I'm going to give them a pass this year. These started ripening several weeks after the Spring Caroline crop.


- Jewel. This was the first fruiting season since these were planted last year. The second year primocane growth has tripled the number of canes. Berry size was rather small at around 1 gram each. Flavor was OK but not as good as the red or yellow raspberries.Hoping these have larger berries in 2015. (completed fruiting 6/22)

- Mac Black. As advertised, this variety was about 2 weeks after Jewel, so it provides a nice extended black raspberry season. Berry size was 2-3 grams, much larger than Jewel but the flavor was about the same.

- Black Hawk. I have just one plant and it is potted but the interesting fact about this is the flavor was a lot better with this variety. Berry size was small. I'll keep this around another season for the flavor comparison in 2015. (Completed fruiting 7/5)


- Royalty. With only four canes, I collected several pounds of fruit which I'm keeping for jelly/jam. Amazing productivity. The berry size is large and like others have said, you cane eat them at red or purple color stages. Flavor is OK, but probably best suited for processing. Handled cold winter temperatures without issue. This year I have 20- 30 canes, so next year I could be overflowing with purple raspberries. (completed fruiting 7/5)

- Glencoe. Planted as tissue culture this Spring and they are around 12-18" tall. Hopefully get a little more growth this year for a few berries to taste next year.

- Wineberry. Cold weather killed off the canes to the ground. Two fruiting laterals popped up from the crowns of two plants. Berries are really small, less than 1 gram. Not sure I'm going to stick with these after this year. Not a lot of flavor.

New Plants. Drew51 got me interested in Rosanna Red Raspberries, so I might try them out for next year.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 3:18PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

Raspberry report (most planted in 2010 or 2011):

Anne- Best tasting (sweet and flavorful), medium productivity. Plenty of nice big berries. Spread out season.
Caroline- Very good tasting (best of reds), but productivity is quite low for me. Fairly late.
Prelude- OK to good tasting and pretty productive. Quite early.
Autumn Britten- OK tasting, with large berries, but not that productive. Medium early.
Royalty- OK tasting at best. They aren't bad, but if you eat an Anne or Caroline after it they don't even seem the same fruit. Royalty is mild to the point of bland. But, boy is it productive. My 8' row produced over a pint on several different occasions this year. It was a bit slow in starting out the first couple years, with low yields, but was my best yielder both last year and this year.
Wineberries- I like the taste, but it is more tart than most raspberries and have relatively small berries, so they may not appeal to all. They also grow pretty well with very little light. Unlike the other red/yellow raspberries, they birds really go for these. The good part of that is that they've seeded them throughout my yard. The bad part is that they have nasty thorns. Each year, they start ripening for me just after the 4th of July (mid season).

Removed last year:
Autumn Bliss- Large, bland berries with medium to low productivity. I removed them as they were especially hard-hit by SWD and not that impressive (except in berry size).
Jewel- Mine tasted fine, but I got very few of them, as they weren't very productive and what did grow got snatched up by the birds.

Anne is still the clear winner for me. Caroline has almost as good a flavor, but it is lower yielding, with smaller berries. It also gets worse hit by SWD. In fact, earlier today I found my first two berries (both Carolines) with gooey SWD filled centers. If I add any more raspberries (in doubt at this point), I'll make sure they are early-mid summer varieties (Lauren looks pretty tempting). If Josephine can produce a decent summer-crop, it would also be worth considering, given the descriptions I've seen.

Pic: Royalty, from 7/13

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 1:00AM
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