Raspberry - primocane ripening times

northernmn(3/4)September 15, 2010

This spring I planted two rows of raspberries (52 ft each).

One row is Boyne (hardy florocane) and the other is Autumn Britten. There have been so many favorable comments on this forum about "Caroline" and "Anne" that I would like to add another row with one of them. My problem is my Autumn Britten have only ripened about 1/3 of their potential crop an it could frost any day here (150 miles north of Minneapolis). My berry book indicates that the above varieties mature later than Autumn Britten.

(1) Is there a chance that the Autumn Britten are maturing slower than normal because they were just planted this spring and they are still getting established? Canes made it to about 4ft and are quite lush. They got plenty of water, aged manure, and mulch. After getting established, do you think Anne or Caroline could ripen in time to be worthwile in Z 3/4?

(2) Autumn Britten - Pronounced "Brite-en" or "Brit-ten"?

(3) Each row was planted with 25 bare root plants. 3 of the Boyne plants had some berries this summer. Is this possible or are those mis-labeled primocanes?

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glenn_russell(6b RI)

Wow! 52'! Unfortunately, my Autumn Brittens, Caroline, and Anne primocanes are all ripening about the same time... now.
I've always pronounced it "Brit-ten". Yes, there is a chance that your primocanes got a late start this year... but, since mine are just ripening now in 6b, my guess is that they are not. I wish I could offer you more advice... I just don't have any experience growing raspberries where it's that cold. Good luck,

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 8:46AM
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Thanks Glenn!

It's at least a little incouraging that your Anne and Carolina ripen at the same time as Autumn Britten. I think that I will still prepare the next 52ft row this fall so it can be planted in the spring. Possibly putting a row divider at 26 ft so I can do 1 summer variety and either Anne or Carolina in the remaining 26ft. At least then I'll have less to pull out if they don't mature in time.

What are your thoughts on some Boyne having berries there 1st year? The plants are short like Boyne and the berries look like the pictures of Boyne berries. Excellent flavor.

Our summers are beautiful here but I sure wish that they were a little longer. So many good varieties of fruit that I just can't try. I also planted 34 blueberry plants. 25 are half/highs because of the cold winters. I'm gambling with the other 9 high-bush that are fairly cold hardy.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 10:02AM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

Hi Northernmn-
I am a little surprised about 3 of your Boyne's having berries in their first year. Can you tell me where and how you got them? If they were potted plants, then you could have some 'basal canes', which means they're not true priomocanes, but just below the dirt, they shoot off from a pre-existing (cut) floricane. That's one way you could get 'em. Other times, I have seen where a summer bearing variety did give just a couple of berries in the first year... but it was a very low quantity and intermittent event.

Looking at the Nourse Comparison chart, it looks like Boyne is indeed a good choice for your zone.

If you're looking to put in a summer variety, and if Prelude will grow for you up there, I'd look a doing that. Because it's a sorta a hybrid between a summer and fall bearer, you'll still get your summertime berries and still get a full crop the first year. Good stuff!

Good luck,

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 4:33PM
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Hi Glenn,

The plants were purchased from Nourse and came bare root with many having about 5" of the previous years cane attached. They were planted between 2" and 2.5" deep. I think that you are correct about the plants with fruit being basal canes coming off of last years cane from just below the soil surface.

It's interesting that you mentioned checking out Prelude. I had been looking at it earlier and have decided that the split crop characteristic might work well in my zone. Your comments in other posts about Prelude's flavor helped in the decision. I will be planting at least 26ft of Prelude if not the whole 52ft row next spring. I might have to find a small spot somewhere to test Anne or Caroline though.

The fruit and berry books that I have are very good for issues on plant culture but nothing beats this forum on info about plant varieties. The info here is very specific and as current as possible. Gotta love it.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 7:53AM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

Hi Northernmn-
Sounds good! My only fear is that I have no experience with these berries up in your climate. I'm confident about my recommendation around here, but smaller test patches are always a good idea... In fact, that's pretty much all I do. Many of my beds are just smaller 9-12 foot beds. By having multiple varieties, I stagger my harvest from June until December. I'm taking out 2 beds (Heritage and Reveille) at the moment, to make room for another Anne... and then some other summer bearer that I haven't decided on yet. We'll see! Have fun,

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 11:18AM
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