Raspberries: The best varieties for the home garden

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Raspberries are among the few fruits we rightly call native. Like the closely related European forest raspberry (Rubus idaeus), the cultivating varieties that ripen in summer reach an altitude of 1400 meters. The breeds, often crossed with robust American raspberries, have light to dark red berries; yellow fruit lovers or American black raspberries such as 'Black Jewel' are grown almost exclusively in the home garden, in the trade, they are hardly to have. And even when hobby cultivation usually decides not the color, but the maturity on the variety choice.

summer raspberries

Summer raspberries have a two-year development cycle, fruits are produced only on the rods formed in the previous year. The flower buds, which are planted in early autumn, open in May and the berries ripen in June and July, depending on the variety. Then the trays get dry. At the same time, new, fresh-green rods are drifting out of the rhizome in early summer, which then produce fruit in the following year.

summer raspberries

autumn raspberries

In autumn raspberries and the included Twotimer raspberries, the development is shortened. Young rods form flowers in the upper third of the shoots as early as July of the first year. The fruits gradually ripen, mostly from August to October. In late autumn, only the drive parts that have borne fruit die, the lower part of the rods remains vital. Normally you cut the shoots of the autumn varieties completely. If you reduce the rods to about knee height instead, put them in the following summer in the lower part of flowering and fruits and you can reap in June again. This harvest period lasts about three weeks, after which the rods die off completely.

autumn raspberries

However, who now expects twice the amount of fruit, is disappointed: The harvest quantity is thereby distributed only on two appointments. But there is a trick: cutting only one or two shoots per rhizome will weaken the plants less and you can look forward to a small summer harvest and full baskets in the fall.

Raspberry 'Autumn Bliss'

Raspberry 'Fallgold'

'Autumn Bliss' (left) is still considered one of the most popular autumn raspberries. The proven breeding is largely immune to root rot, aphids and rod dying and the low rods need no support. 'Fallgold' (right) is a very late fall American variety. The honey-colored berries are very large and sweet. With appropriate cut a smaller summer harvest on the two-year-old rods and an autumn harvest on the annual rods is possible

The conclusion is: For the recovery - so to freeze and jam jam, juice or syrup - the cultivation of summer raspberries with a short harvest period is recommended (see table). If you want to get fresh berries for muesli, fruit quark or cake as much as possible for a longer period of time, choose aromatic autumn locations such as 'Autumn First'. Even better: you have space for both variants. If you plant several shrubs of an early, middle-early or late-ripening selection, you can pick aromatic berries without interruption from June to the end of October.

Practical tips for raspberry cultivation

Plant raspberries

Plant raspberries at a distance of 40 centimeters

Raspberries are relatively frost hardy, but make quite high demands on the soil. Even short-term waterlogging damages the sensitive roots. When planting new plants, one chooses a place where neither raspberries nor blackberries or related species such as tayberries used to stand. Loamy soil should be improved by incorporating humus-rich potting soil or sieved ripening compost (20 to 40 liters per meter). In densified locations, the cultivation is recommended on about 50 high dams. The planting distance is 40 centimeters. Raspberries are usually grown on the fence in the classic farmer's garden to save space. The berries are better sunbathed and ventilated on a free-standing wire harness. And because they dry faster here after rain, there is less infestation with fruit rot fungi (botrytis).

Expert Tip: How To Avoid Virus Diseases

Nicole Fischer

Nicole Fischer is specialized consultant for fruit growing in the nursery "Kiefer fruit world" in Ortenberg (Baden)

When is the best planting time?

Potted shrubs can be planted in the fall or spring and even now. In warm, dry weather, however, you have to water more often.
What should be considered when buying?

When planting new plants, only use quality seedlings from recognized tree nurseries, which offer a high level of plant variety protection and are free of virus diseases.
Is the proliferation of existing shrubs worthwhile by sinkers or root extensions?

Plant health and growth rate are not optimal.Older populations suffer more or less from viral and fungal diseases such as root or rod dying, although this is often not recognizable at the time of propagation.
How do you fertilize raspberries?

From March, distribute a high-quality organic berry fertilizer or a chloride-free mineral long-term fertilizer. But only superficially apply both. Raspberries have a sensitive root system.
Do you have to fry raspberries?

In fast-growing summer locations such as 'Meeker' or 'Willamette' you should thin out the green young rods in May. In doing so, one lays eight to ten medium thick shoots per running meter, thin or very thick rods are removed.

Video Board: How to Grow Raspberries - Complete Growing Guide.

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