[NAFEX] crabapples, haskaps, sea buckthorn, currants
list at ginda.us
Fri Sep 19 20:34:43 EDT 2008
On Sep 9, 2008, at 3:38 PM, Melissa Kacalanos wrote:
. . .
> Raspberries are on our list already. I've grown these
> before, and the only difficulty seemed to be stopping
> them from taking over the garden. I might plant them
> behind some sort of barrier in the soil this time.
> What are the tastiest varieties? We like flavors that
> are very distinctive, like a nice strong raspberry
> fragrance, and sweetness balanced by nice tartness.
> There are wild black raspberries in the backyard
> already, but I've eaten tastier cultivated ones.
> . . .
Nobody replied, so I'll take a shot, although I am by no means an
There are three or four colors of raspberries: Black, Red, Yellow,
and maybe Purple, which is somewhere between black and red. The
Black/Purple ones have the most distinctive flavor. I don't grow
them because I've read they are subject to yellow rust, and there are
wild black berries all around that are infected with yellow rust.
The red and yellow raspberries are supposedly immune, and my red ones
certainly appear to be so. I don't think you'd care for yellow
raspberries. In my opinion they lack acid balance, and are bland and
dull, although very sweet. (Also, the bees like to eat the fruits,
so they are harder to harvest. I can pick red raspberries while the
bees are working the blossoms, and we never compete. Much simpler.)
Then, raspberries come in summer bearing and ever-bearing. Summer
bearing raspberries bear only on last year's canes. Ever bearing
raspberries will do that if you leave the canes over the winter, but
they also bear in the fall on this year's canes. Unlike my apricot
which bears when I am away in August (that is, if the critters don't
take all the unripe fruit) my ever bearing raspberries bear in July
and again in September, until the killing frost. The fall season is
at its peak right now. I'm harvesting about half a cup a day from my
10' row in partial sun.
As for tastiness of red raspberries: The usual wisdom is that Taylor
and Caroline have the best flavor among summer and ever-bearing
varieties, respectively. I haven't tried either, although I just
planted some Caroline this spring. I bought my mature raspberries
from a small backyard nursery where my choice in red raspberries was
between Heritage and Fall Red. Heritage is sort of the standard to
which everything is compared, but I wasn't wild about it. I felt it
wasn't as rich in flavor as the Fall Red, and had a slight woodiness
to it. It wasn't just that crop, either - I've noticed the same
minor off-flavor in other Heritage Raspberries.
I've been very happy with Fall Red. It is easy to maintain in its
10' x 3' row. It hasn't had many problems with disease or insects.
I do have to be fairly proactive about removing any cane damaged by
cane borer - I lost a whole season when I let cane-borers build up.
But they are fairly easy to control by just removing damaged canes
below the point of damage, with clippers. I don't think they've ever
needed to be sprayed. I mulch them heavily each fall with shredded
leaves (mown from my lawn) and throw the extra corn gluten lawn stuff
on them after feeding the lawn in the spring. They seem to like a
lot of nitrogen to go with their decaying leaves. That, plus pruning
and picking is about all the effort they need.
I like the Nourse Berry Farm catalog because it will say which of the
ones they sell taste better or worse than the others.
eastern MA, zone 6
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