Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Growing Dorman Raspberries in the South

It's late May in the South and that means berries are ripening again. We planted 3 more blueberry shrubs a few months back and they are adding beautifully to the original 5.

Along with the blues, we have planted 4 thornless blackberries and 2 red raspberries. Of the thornless, the Arapaho and the Navajo. The Arapaho is ripening now and the other is still setting flowers as well as ripening berries.

The Dorman raspberry is a variety that really does well here in SE LA and the berries are huge and juicy! It is not the raspberry you find up in the north but stands alone as a sweet red "blackberry".... but better.

The 2 vines we planted last year were quite small and produced a fair number of berries then. After, they concentrated on growing new vines, even throughout most of the winter, and then in the spring these were covered in tiny bud clusters. So I watched and waited and began to fret (what's new, right?) because unlike the blackberries and strawberries which open and reveal the flower and remains open as the berries plump up and ripen, these rascals didn't open. Well, okay, a few did, but I'm talking less than one dozen out of hundreds. They really just got rounder but they stayed closed.... and I fretted.

Then one day last week, just when I could almost not take the strain....... (bah!)..... one bud broke ranks with the others and the berry burst out like popcorn in a skillet and started to fill out. The others followed suit and today they are everywhere!

For what it is worth, I am finding that picking the berries very early in the morning makes for a sweeter berry.

We have planted ornamental gourds as well, and this one is a bird house:

This is one of several varieties out there:
I am excited about decorating the fall with these beauties.

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