[NAFEX] Heritage Raspberries in Georgia
wawo at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 3 16:11:48 EST 2006
This is my first posting to the list: I appreciate you all being out there.
In February 2003, I planted fall-bearing Heritage raspberries in my Zone 7 garden, outside Atlanta. I obtained the canes from Lawsons Nursery (known for heritage apples), also in north Georgia. I planted them in a raised bed formerly used for vegetables, so the soil was pretty good. I mulched with pine straw, and the canes all looked quite healthy.
But, in three seasons, I've never gotten a single berry.
After the first unsuccessful year, I mowed all the canes down, added fertilizer, checked pH, and mulched again with pine straw. Still no berries.
Last winter, I started thinking perhaps the berries had been mislabled and were spring bearing. So I divided my bed into thirds, cutting one third entirely to the ground, pruning one bed heavily with only a few canes left, and pruning the last bed lightly. The standing canes seemed to start to produce buds, but only green centers of flowers appeared, there were no petals at all on any cane. The canes grew healthily enough, leaves nice and green. As I searched for petals I'd look up and see the wild blackberries nearby white with blossoms; it was a bumper year for blackberries. But no raspberries
I couldn't help hope for autumn berries, and carefully observed the raspberries to try to figure out what the problem was. In June, there was some Japanese beetle damage, but not too much. During the high heat of summer (a number of days in the 90s), the canes did not look very healthy; the leaves damaged by the Japanes beetles withered, and some looked slightly maroon colored. I did water them. As the days cooled in September, new green leaves appeared, but no buds and no berries.
Although I don't have much experience, my best guess at what is happening is the canes suffer enough insect and heat strees that they don't produce in the fall. I have no idea what the petal-less flower centers are.
A horticulturalist friend said that last year was a great one for berries, if mine didn't produce last year they never will, and I should dig them out.
I'd appreciate any input concerning my berries, and any advice on what cultivars do well in Georgia.
Thanks to all,
(Zone 7, outside of Atlanta in Dallas, Georgia)
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