Seems early, but then, strawberries were two weeks early this year, so I shouldn’t be surprised. Weston scrounged around our little home patch last night and came up with a few handfuls of delicious, sweet raspberries. The early Summits (grown on the lower sections of last year’s canes), as usual, are small and suffer from “crumbling” but it didn’t deter Weston’s enjoyment one bit. Big, luscious Tulameens are just starting now–two ripe ones in this harvest. I think if I had the time, I’d just do away with the Summits altogether and go with all Tulameens, but it’s a two-year wait for the latter to produce fruit. So even though I say that every year, I’ve yet to do anything about it.
All planting/growing arguments aside, we pretty much love any kind of raspberry. And last night’s first fantastic taste just whetted our appetite for more. As I type, Weston is hopefully foraging through the canes with a strong belief that more ripened overnight. I hope he’s right.
Time to deal with the raspberries. Only two months late! I would like to have “winterized” our little home berry patch in November, but work, farm and kid activities (not to mention general laziness) kept getting in the way. So last weekend, I finally made the time to get it done.
Mostly just a matter of pruning back the top third of the Summits (they’ll fruit again on the lower parts of last year’s growth) and getting rid of the Tulameen canes, which only bear fruit once, on two-year old stalks. A little deer net repair (the good stuff is expensive, so I just zip-tied the torn spots), some quick weeding and then a nice, thick layer of composted manure.
It’s not really an ideal place for raspberries (too much shade), but most years our little patch provides enough for delicious pick-and-eat sessions, occasionally more. Is there anything more delightful than fresh-picked raspberries? The Tulameens produce unbelievably great fruit–thumb-sized, sweet, juicy–but the plants themselves struggle here. The Summits grow like crazy, but the fruit isn’t nearly as good. Not sure what to make of it, but I do know a little winter maintenance pays off, and we’re always thankful to have raspberries in the summer.