Raspberries are among the hardiest of the bush fruits. Some varieties will withstand minus 35 degrees and still produce fruit.
There are three types of raspberries -- red, black and purple. Red raspberries are the hardiest and grow well along the Front Range. Black and purple raspberries do better in milder climates like the fruit producing areas on the western slope.
Domestic raspberries are either summer-bearing plants, which produce fruit in June, or fall-bearing plants, which produce fruit in the late summer and fall. Summer-bearing plants flower and bear fruit on canes that grew the previous year. Once they fruit, those canes won't produce a crop again and should be removed.
Summer-bearing raspberries produce little sucker growth. Their long canes need to be supported by a trellis during the winter months to keep them from being damaged by strong winds. Recommended summer-bearing varieties are Latham, Boyne, Laura and Honey Queen.
Fall varieties bear fruit on new growth produced in the summer. Those canes will produce a light early summer crop the next summer. After that, the canes should be removed. Fall-bearing canes can be cut down to the ground in early spring if an early crop of fruit isn't wanted. Fall-bearing varieties include Heritage, September Red, Fall Red, Red Wing, Amity, Pathfinder, Trailblazer, Plainsman, Perrone's Red, Caroline, Autumn Bliss, Goldie and Anna.
Raspberries require a good soil with slight acidity and adequate drainage. New plants should be planted in the spring before they start to grow. Raspberries also require one to three inches of water a week. More water is required as the berries get close to harvest.
Raspberries should be picked early in the morning while temperatures are cool. When picked, the fruit should not be squeezed or pulled, but rolled off of the stem.
For "Soil tests" listen to message number 1606.
For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).
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Updated Thursday, February 06, 2014