Fall Raspberries

opheliathornvt zone 5November 10, 2013

I've been growing raspberries for some time because I love them, they're easy to grow and expensive to buy. In my area, though, we get inundated with Japanese Beetles starting around the 4th of July and lasting for about a month or month-and-a-half. Nothing turns me off to a ripe raspberry more than seeing those evil devils feasting and mating on top of one. I have caged my bed with tulle fabric to keep them out and it mostly works, but is a pain to put up, only works somewhat, and discourages me from getting in there to pick. I finally had enough and pulled out my plants, planning to replace them with fall bearers, which I was hoping would bear after the beetles are gone. I came here and did a search to find the best fall bearers, but seeing the zones in some of the threads made me wonder whether my new strategy will work. Are there some fall bearers that produce in the narrow window I have before the average first frost date of October 15th? and if so, what varieties do you recommend? I only want a few for my personal consumption. Thanks for any help you can give me.

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My Fall Golds have been pretty productive this fall. I probably had 0.5 to 1 pint trickle in over the last couple months off a few canes in a container on my patio. Just enough to grab a handful to munch on every time I went out to BBQ.

They will bear earlier in the year on the two year old canes, but if I'm not mistaken you could just prune to the ground each winter if you wanted to avoid that.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 10:35AM
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opheliathornvt zone 5

Thanks, that's exactly the kind of information I'm looking for.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 10:42AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Well if you do find early fall bearers, another problem is the fall crop is only on the upper 1/3 of the plant. So you would need three for every summer bearer you replace. I myself take both harvests, so that doesn't matter. I kill Japanese beetles daily when here, but never actually seen them on a berry. Mine fruit before I see them. I guess the difference from zone 5 to 6.

Fall bearers can take a couple years sometimes to adjust to your environment. I grew a Honey Queen this year. Bred in Canada and is fall bearing but this year it was the only fall bearer not to fruit. Some new ones fruited late, but all fruited. You would expect this one being from Canada to fruit early. I assume it needs to adjust to it's new home. I found this true with Fall Gold. the first year the fall crop could not finish before frost. This year it was the first to finish.
One that is said to fruit early is Autumn Bliss, you may want to try that one. I never tried it.

This post was edited by Drew51 on Sun, Nov 10, 13 at 11:09

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 11:04AM
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opheliathornvt zone 5

It's interesting that the JBs aren't a problem for you. I too pick them daily - heck, I pick them at least 3 times a day at their height, and they still decimate my garden. I kill hundreds in a day and have been doing so for years. They particularly like roses and raspberries here.

I appreciate the warning about fall bearers taking some time to settle in - I'll remember not to expect too much at first.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 12:50PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

This year was the first year JB showed up. So pressure was low. i was only killing about 15 a day. 35 miles away at my cottage they are really bad, and the pressure is more like you describe. I heard they do thin out though, so let's hope that happens. Where are you at? As you can see, i have my zone and location listed Zone 6a South East Michigan.
Yes, they like roses too, and many plants. peaches too, and they love grape leaves too. Most were on my raspberries though.

MSU has developed a bacteria pathogen against JBs, and has released infected JBs into the area, hoping it will infect more. I think they want to try and market the bacteria. So only selective releases have been done so far.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 3:04PM
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opheliathornvt zone 5

I'm in northern Vermont near Lake Champlain. I've tried milky spore disease, which may or may not work in zone 5, but certainly didn't work for me. Other people have tried other methods, like traps or pesticides, but I'm not comfortable with poisons, especially on a food crop. I keep picking, hoping that if I start in on them as soon as I see the first scouts, I'll eventually get the numbers down, and maybe it's helping, but dang, it's slow progress. I'm generally a live and let live person, and my plants don't have to be perfect, but I have come to hate the JBs with the white-hot passion of a thousand suns :-)

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 4:38PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

They do not belong here for one thing. Apparently in Japan with so many native predators, they are hardly noticed.
Another defense is live nematodes against the grubs. But to me seems impossible to really work as a few blocks down they can just fly in. Hopefully a native woodpecker or other birds will figure out the free food and go for them.
Here in the great lakes we have many invasive species in the waters. Some of the native fish have started eating them. I have seen it first hand using the foreign species as bait, and have caught native fish myself.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 5:14PM
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I have been growing Autumn Britten here in Toronto. The fruit are big, sweet and delicious. The yield this year was huge! I cut them down in the spring for a fall harvest only. They began fruiting during the second week of August this year and continued right up to frost.

For Japanese Beetles and Cucumber beetles, I have had good results using a dust-buster to suck them off of the leaves and then dumping them into a bucket of soapy water.

You might also try growing things that JB prefer to raspberries, to use as a trap or diversion crop. Around here, they seem to love Virginia Creeper, Grapes and Canna Lilies, far more than anything else in the garden.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 8:50AM
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opheliathornvt zone 5

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to research Fall Gold and Autumn Britten for planting this coming spring.

I've heard of other people who use dust busters for JBs. I've never tried it myself. I keep thinking they will overpopulate themselves or a predator will find them, but for now, I guess their worst predator is me. Of course, I'm also their best friend, growing as many roses as I do. They also love the shadblow bushes I have.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 9:20AM
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We had/have Autumn bliss. the bed was planted over two years with stock sourced from 2 suppliers and the plants show differences...I don't know which is true to name. Some years we did not get the whole crop, but we are in the mountains and always had berries from early/mid september on till the freeze.

Both are nice. One produces much larger and tastier berries...they were a treat...actually, they were fantastic and everyone agreed. miss them very much...

Do you notice all the past tense? Spotted Wing Drospohilia (SWD) has moved into Vermont over the last 3 years. this year was devastating for many (but not all).
Anything sweet with thin skins after mid summer...wasted. If you think JB are a turn off wait until you find dripping rotting fruit on all your plants.

We are taking ours out. Raspberries are well known as particularly susceptible due to their timing and extremely thin skins. In addition the dense patches make culling infested fruit challenging, so they become incubators for the bugs. I may replant a small path that an be effectively covered with screen or row over.

You may want to bear this new pest in mind and research it a bit as you make your plans.
sorry to be a downer.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 12:50PM
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opheliathornvt zone 5

Oh, yikes! I have not heard of that and will do some research. If you don't mind, where in the state are you located? We have some (quite a few, actually) berry farms all around us and I wonder whether it has reached this area, or whether the farms are doing something I wouldn't want to.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 4:10PM
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Drew51.....All the info I have seen says Honey Queen is a summer berry on 2 year old florocanes.I have them and there are no fall berries.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 4:39PM
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We are in Huntington

SWD is present now throughout the state.

Many berry farms are really struggling with this, most are either spraying far more aggressively (with limited success) or netting (large expense and hassle), and some are shifting crops to earlier varieties or less effected species.


at page bottom are the working guidelines UVM is developing, but its all new and no one is sure where things will end up...

Here is a link that might be useful: UVM SWD

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 5:02PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Drew51.....All the info I have seen says Honey Queen is a summer berry on 2 year old florocanes.I have them and there are no fall berries."

Thanks! I bought them from Berries Unlimited, they do have them marked as fall bearing. I informed them, they better double check. That explains a lot, thanks! I have them next to the summer bearing Cascade Gold, i grow both, so all is good! Thanks so much for the correction!!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 6:07PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

SWD has been spotted in my county, but they are not here in my area. Luckily I'm far from any source. I probably will get them eventually. It sucks bigtime. I will probably pull them, and grow something else. But the first year, I'm going to scrap the berries and throw everything at them. I have some old heavy duty stuff I need to get rid of anyway.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 6:11PM
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opheliathornvt zone 5

Drat, Rob. I'm in South Burlington - I was hoping you were farther away (no offense).

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 11:12PM
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jas4141(Zone 5)

Hope this question fits here even though I have everbearing raspberries. Is it too late to prune raspberries this season for summer bearing?. Mine are gangling all over the place and need to be tidied up, although, I hate to ruin the June crop. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 2:42PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

It's actually too early, it should be done in late winter. Let them at least go completely dormant. Pruning stimulates growth so you don't want to prune them until fully dormant. And I wouldn't prune in early winter as the cold might damage the wounds. But near spring in March it is not as cold, and the plant is getting ready to start growing.
Having said that pruning them now won't kill them. I have both Summer bearing and Fall, so it's difficult in March to figure out what's what! But I look carefully, and do wait.
On one Everbearing I'm going to move it, so I'm cutting all canes to the ground soon, and moving this fall. I'm waiting for it to lose all leaves first.

It's OK to cut canes to the ground after fruiting. Best to do so actually. But thinning, and removing upper third of fall bearers for a summer crop should be done in late winter.
I also prune trees and blackberries at this time too.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 3:43PM
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Hi all. I just finished pruning my raspberries for the year. I do my pruning at this time of year, every year. They are bountiful and strong. Same for my blackberries. The 'Carolines' are still my favorite and my crop this fall just seems to increase every year. It is such an excellent tasting raspberry. Had my last two handfuls yesterday. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 8:32PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I agree it seems easier to do it now. You can see what fruited, and what did not. Mine still have leaves, I will at least wait till dormant. Most guides say late winter. Well every guide.
Caroline's are good! My first crop this year. I really liked Prelude too. Polka was excellent also. Out of the three I liked Prelude the best. Many Summers will fruit next year and maybe push aside these favorites, we will see...
Crimson Night was low acid, no tartness, but had flavor. Some may really like it. Rosanna is supposed to be like candy. Very high sugar. Next summer I will have a taste.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 10:58PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

I also liked my Prelude. Very productive, with a long season. But Anne yellow raspberries really stood out this fall. In addition to their extra sweet and extra flavorful berries, they taste good when a bit under-ripe. They also continued to bear through the first week of November. The 27 degree nights were OK, but the berries were damaged by the 23 degree night, so they are mostly done (I found a few semi-edible ones a few days ago).

Pic: some semi-edible berries from 2 days ago.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 1:33AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Bob, my plants look similiar, though the last berry I tried was rubbery and not good. So I'm done. Double Gold produced berries, but never matured in time. Bummed. i will prune for a summer harvest. I love the yellows too. I have all i could find. Fall Gold, Honey Queen, Anne, Double Gold, Kiwi Gold, and Cascade Gold.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 9:44AM
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Drew51....I also have Honey Queen from Berries Unlimited.Their website says they bear on floricanes.That means 2 years old in the summer

Primocanes bear in the fall on new canes.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 10:29AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a


Yes I got them to change it from primocanes.
Here is an email I got from them....

"They ARE Floricanes! We know this! So this is our computer guy made a
Thank You!

This post was edited by Drew51 on Mon, Nov 18, 13 at 10:49

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 10:47AM
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