Fall is Raspberry Season

raspberries.jpgToday I picked this bucket of raspberries from the small patch we have in our back yard. Raspberries are incredibly easy to grow, and unless you have a very small yard, they are a great use of garden space. I planted these last year in a 4-by-16 foot raised bed. I put in six plants and they have filled the bed already.

These are mostly a variety called ‘Caroline’, a huge, red berry with a nice sweet-tart taste. I also have some ‘Anne’ berries, which is a yellow variety, also large and sweet. The raspberries perform well in the raised bed, but I neglected (or was too lazy) to put in a trellis or other system to keep the raspberry canes upright. Picking is tricky because I have to lift the cane up to see how many berries are there, then hold it up while I pick. Not great for the back. So, my fall building project is to construct a post-and-wire system for training the berries.

Last year I cut all the canes to the ground to encourage spreading. This year, I’ll prune the top third of some of stronger canes. Those canes are supposed to bear a crop in July. New canes that grow up next spring will bear in the fall. The best thing about fall raspberries is how long they will produce fruit. Most will bear well into October. A vendor who sells berries at the Northfield Farmer’s Market told me she’s picked berries as late as the first week of November. Let’s hope for a long fall!

6 Replies to “Fall is Raspberry Season”

  1. We must have planted fall raspberries this spring because they just started producing. We planted 20 sticks in 2 raisd beds about 3 by 8 feet. Now they look like real little bushes and have a good amount of berries. There are also some tiny ones popping up. If I understand you I should cut the lones that are about 3 feet high back about 1 foot. How soon can I do that? I am leaving Minnesota Nov. 3 and will be back for the month of Dec.. Shall I cut them before I leave or in Dec.?

  2. Paula: Thanks for stopping by. If you want to get both a summer and fall crop from your fall-bearing berries, prune back by one-third the strongest looking canes. Cut the rest of them back all the way to ground. I did this last fall and got a small crop in July and a larger one this fall. I wasn’t that satisfied with the summer berries, so this fall I will cut all the canes to the ground. You can do it as soon as the canes stop producing fruit, so either Nov. or Dec. would be fine. The U of M has a nice fact sheet on raspberries here: http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/DG1108.html

    The cutting back works only with the fall bearers. The summer bearers bear fruit on second year canes.

  3. We have fall raspberries and dont cut them back untill
    spring. We have such an abundance of berries.
    What is the diffrence from duing them in the fall ?

  4. Sue: I don’t think it makes much difference when you cut them back and several sources recommend waiting until spring. I tried cutting some of them halfway down for a July crop but it didn’t work that well. I cut them in the fall because it is one less chore to do in the spring.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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