Back in February we planted 2 Latham and 2 Heritage Everbearing bare root raspberry canes. We were pleasantly surprised when they began growing and did not die like our attempt last year. But what was even more amazing to us is that the 2 Heritage Everbearing canes were putting out fruit! A few weeks ago we were doing our evening walk in the garden and out of the corner of my eye I saw bright red over at the raspberries.
I was so excited and darted over there with Jon quickly catching up. There on one of the Heritage Everbearing canes was a small handful of ripe and ready to pick raspberries. There were actually a few that were too far gone as we hadn’t been checking any of the berry canes and bushes regular because we were not expecting anything.
Since that day we have been getting a small handful from both of the Heritage Everbearing canes almost daily.
|Heritage Everbearing Raspberries|
We had chosen 2 different varieties so that we could get the early berries from the Latham and the later harvest from the Everbearing, giving us a longer raspberry harvest season. But still we were surprised to have raspberries on our first year canes so we did a little more research.
We found that summer-bearing raspberries like our Latham fruit for about a month. Then it’s all over (the fruit and the work) until next year. Fall-bearing raspberries like our Heritage Everbearing, well cared for, are ever bearing. On a mild winter one may even find a few ripe berries still hanging on in December. Once established, everbearing raspberries may begin production in summer with canes loaded down. Everbearing red raspberries are self-pollinating and have two crops, which make them a favorite for the home garden, as well as commercially.
What we did not realize is that two-crop or everbearing raspberries, as they are also known, fruit in the fall on first year canes. The fruit will appear on the top foot or so of the cane, and it is a common practice to remove the portion of the cane that fruited after harvest, leaving the rest of the cane to produce next summer’s crop. Everbearing raspberries bear a crop on the tips of first-year canes in the fall, followed by a typical summer crop on the lower portion of the canes the second year. It’s easy to tell first-year canes from second-year canes. First-year canes have green stems, while second-year canes have a thin, brown bark covering them.
Heritage Everbearing raspberries are picked for their flavor, firmness, and large fruit size. This variety has two harvest seasons with a moderate yield in July and heavy yield in September until frost. Preferred uses include extra-sweet, juicy fruit that is good fresh, canned, or frozen. We also found that raspberries have an extremely brief life on the cane or shelf. This would be why I rarely see fresh raspberries almost anywhere in a store. The ripe raspberry only has approximately 1 or 2 days on the vine before it is withered and dried up. Once the raspberry is picked its best chances are in the refrigerator for at best another 1 or 2 days. All berries have a short “fresh life”, but we had no idea raspberries was so short. If you are wanting to have fresh raspberries to snack on you’ll need to consistently pick and eat them or they will turn on you before you know it. If you are planning on using them canned or frozen for juice, jams, etc your best bet is to freeze them a little at a time as the harvest comes in until you are ready to prepare them.
Not only are they delicious, but raspberries are also loaded with healthful attributes. They are high in fiber and contain vitamin A, folate, antioxidants, and numerous minerals. The juice contains vitamin C and those sometimes annoying little seeds contain vitamin E. However, we can barely even notice seeds in the raspberries we have been picking this year. It is possible that as the canes mature and we are harvesting larger raspberries that the seeds will be larger, but comparing them to wild or domestic blackberries the seeds are negligible.
Bare Root Raspberry Series:
Purchasing Bare Root Raspberry Plants (Canes)
Planting Bare Root Raspberry Canes
Bare Root Raspberries 2 Month Progress
Bare Root Raspberries 7 Month Progress
Bare Root Raspberries 8 Month Progress
Growing Raspberries Year 2