Our raspberry and blackberry bushes are absolutely flourishing! Here is a wide view of them:
Here is a close-up of some raspberry blossoms (and baby fruit):
The blackberries have just started producing buds:
I’m going to have to have Jerry put up a couple more cedar posts at each end of the trellis where the blackberries are growing, and put bird netting over it. Last year, we didn’t get any of them, thanks to the greedy birds (which don’t seem to care for the more sour raspberries).
The thing I love about growing these two berry cousins is that they are extremely easy to maintain. They can handle a good bit of drought, whereas blueberries need additional watering if it hasn’t rained for a week or if it’s particularly hot, and strawberries like are not quite as drought-tolerant – though much more so than blueberries.
Of course, like all berries, blackberries (mine are a thornless variety, by the way) and raspberries are rich in vitamin C and antioxidant phytonutrients such as the anthocyanin in raspberries.
I have them mulched with a combination of hay and pine needles (which should only be used as mulch for things that don’t mind acidic soil), and am looking forward to two harvests from my raspberries this year. According to my Raintree Nursery catalog, if you prune out the second-year canes after they’re done fruiting, this variety of raspberries, Carolines, will produce again come fall – however, they apparently begin to grow like blackberries and need to be trellised.
This will be my first year trying for two harvests, so we’ll see how that works. A few of the plants are growing too far away from the trellis to get the canes up on them, so I might end up with a mess in this part of the garden.
If you don’t do this extra pruning, they grow bushy and do not need a trellis. But then, you only get one harvest a season.
How about we wrap up with a photo of my blueberries? I only have four plants right now, but will be planting more next spring in the space above or next to our earth-sheltered house.