Raspberries. Beautiful little beauties. We have been harvesting raspberries for about 8 years now. At our new farmhouse, we now have blackberries. They are a pretty easy plant to maintain but there are a few key things you need to keep an eye on.
You can get a peek at our blackberry patch in our new Farm Life Vlog Video Below:
Raspberries are ready to harvest usually towards the middle/end of July here in New York. As with all fruits, this depends on the winter and summer you are having weather wise.
SUPER GOOD FOR YOU
Did you know raspberries contain more vitamin c than oranges? They are super high in fiber and low in calories!
PLANT RASPBERRIES WHERE YOU HAVE ROOM TO HAVE THEM SPREAD
Raspberries grow new canes every year. They will take over if you let them. If you do not have an area for them to expand be prepared to prune these things back and cut back new growth every year. As you can see in the picture below we have a pretty large raspberry bush and they have now created a row all on their own. They also show up in the lawn around the perimeter of the raspberry bush.
RASPBERRIES FREEZE AWESOME
Raspberries and blueberries are my absolute favorite to freeze. You can easily throw them in a bag and pull them out as needed. Or if you have freezer space you can lay them all out on a freezer sheet and let them freeze for a few hours and then store in a plastic Ziploc freezer bag.
When your kids want a snack in the winter they have berries! These also are great in smoothies and the summer days that are super hot. My chickens love them as well. Have a little one teething? These were a huge help when my girls were teething.
Raspberries average 100 -120 seeds! Depending on the variety you have some are tougher to chew than others. The seeds are the fiber though!
PRUNE EVERY YEAR
Every year you must prune out the dead shoots of your raspberries. This will increase your production of berries.
For a single fall crop on ever-bearers, start by cutting off all the old canes at ground level when they are done fruiting. Be sure to remove the dead canes from the patch.
Summer-bearing red raspberries produce fruit on 2-year-old-canes. So you will want to cut down the old, grayish brown fruit-producing canes after you harvest, but leave the new, current-season canes to produce berries next year.
In late winter, remove the smallest canes to leave three to six sturdy canes per foot of row.
THE MORE YOU PICK THE MORE THEY GROW
Harvest your berries when they are ripe and sweet. They will not continue to ripen once picked. Our rule of thumb is if you give them a slight pull and they easily pull away they are ripe. If you have to really give it a tug they are not ripe yet.
PICK BERRIES IN THE EARLY MORNING
You really want to pick your berries when the sun is just starting to come up. Bees are a friend you don’t want to fight with over the berries and boy did we all get stung not realizing this was a key thing. It’s also better to pick when the berries are cool- which they are first thing in the morning.
WATCH OUT FOR DISEASES
We had orange rust in one of our patches and it is pain. When you have a large area of raspberries you want to treat any type of disease right away because before you know it it has spread all over your entire patch.
Here is a great reference of the types of diseases your fruits can get and what to do about them.
THEY HATE TOMATOES
The University of Maine says you should plant with caution to not plant where tomatoes, potatoes, peppers or eggplant have been grown within the past four years because of these crops carrying a root rot called Verticillium that can attack the raspberries.
RASPBERRIES CAN KEEP DEER AWAY
If you need to have some type of fencing or an area to keep deer out of considering using raspberries as a way to block it. They spread so quickly and the prickly vines keep the deer away. Plus if you free range your chickens they love going through the patch and you’ll rest easy knowing they are safer.
Do you grow raspberries?! What tips do you have to share with us?