Raspberry Taste Champions for Zone 7 A/B

Am about to order Tullameen, Cascade Gold and Double Gold for clay soil (that I’ll improve with compost) here in MD. Do any of those scream disease?
I don’t have SWD here yet. I do have stink bugs- can they ruin a crop? A friend says forget raspberries here, we’re at the very edge of its range.

Looks like there’s no reliable internet source of true to name Josephine. It ripens so late nurseries dropped it.

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I haven’t grown any of the yellows, but have grown four reds - Prelude, Lauren, BP-1 and Josephine.

Prelude has definitely been the winner for production and reliability. Plus the early spring crop beats any SWD issues. They do wind up with some SWD issues in the fall crop, but if you pick them before they get squishy you can pretend they aren’t there and just eat them… a bit of a mental challenge. But they aren’t terrible in the fall, so I would probably feel differently if there were more of them in my immediate area. My patch is small enough I can keep it picked to keep many from maturing and building up the population and I don’t think any of my neighbors have anything that would sustain them. My only issue is that over the years (7 now) my Prelude patch has lost vigor and therefore less productive. I may just have been lax on the fertilizing and they’ve gotten weaker, but I feel like something else is affecting them, just not sure what it is. In terms of taste they have a good strong raspberry flavor, but aren’t the sweetest so are probably not most people’s first choice for fresh eating if you like sweet. They taste good to me, and we also used them for cooking in cakes, muffins, sauces, etc. My daughter made a raspberry and gooseberry (Poorman) jam with them that was one of the best jams I’ve ever had.

Lauren was okay, with much larger, sweeter berries, but they were not as juicy. I decided to remove them and try Josephine and BP-1. I’m not sure Lauren is even still available since other varieties are better.

I put BP-1 in at my community garden plot, where there are a lot more disease and bug issues from all the other plots around, many not well tended. It was a good berry, had a smallish spring crop and a better fall crop for me, and was fairly productive. But Josephine tasted better.

I had Josephine at both the community garden plot and at the end of the row of Preludes at my house - just a few plants. At my house they get less sun and they haven’t been very productive. They could also be effected by whatever is happening with the Preludes. At the garden plot on the other hand, they were fairly productive and very tasty. They had the fall crop and surprised me with more of a spring crop than I had expected as well. Unfortunately, something at the garden plot took out all of my raspberry plants over the winter, so I’m disappointed by that.

I haven’t really seen stink bugs on the raspberries, but may have missed them. They do like to feed on my figs, peaches and tomatoes.

I think raspberries are worth growing here if you choose early spring varieties which should avoid SWD issues. You may have SWD issues in the fall when they show up in your area, but they definitely seem to slow down and drop in population as it gets cold and just haven’t been terrible for the fall berries yet for me.

As the issues increased with my raspberries I replaced some with blackberries that are growing very well. I may try raspberries again sometime, but right now I’m thinking of pulling my Prelude that have gotten weaker and either putting in gooseberries or a row of persimmons.

Good luck.

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The more I hear from people who tried growing RBs in this climate, the more it sounds futile. I just learned that Tim Clymer ripped out ALL his raspberries at this PA farm- Tulameen (winter dieback) and Josephine (not sure the reason there).

I may skip RBs and add some Twilight blackberries!

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Amazon has them. $10 each. No clue if they are true to name.

Cascade Delight is the most resistant to root rot and other diseases as far as i know. Big red juicy berries.

I would look into Purple raspberries. Glencoe is supposedly pretty bulletproof. I have it going and several other purples.

I think once you taste Cascade Gold you wont want Double Gold.

I pulled and moved 20 or so varieties this Fall. I put them where i dont care if something gets them or i get a few here and there… all were sub par to my other personal likings… or had issues.

Reason- For myself im going to grow Cascade Delight, Cascade Gold, and my purples. I really like my blacks too but they are separated.

Boysens/Tays/Logans should all do good for you there as well…and have raspberry qualities.

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@krismoriah Curious what state you live in. How has Cascade Gold been for disease? Yellow raspberries are the only ones that I’ve ever liked, esp. Fall Gold but I remember it as a shy bearer. If Cascade Gold taste is in the same ballpark as FG, and no horrible disease tendencies, I’m sold. Thanks a million for sharing your experience.

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Im in WV similar zone to you. Im 6B but 7A for the most part.

The Cascade series was developed for Oregon/Washington area which i visited and got to taste as well as some of their blackberries.

I dont think they can handle the extreme cold like most other varieties…more suited to our climate i think.

Cascade Gold is susceptible to both phytophthora root rot and RBDV.

There are other yellows like Honey Queen and Anne… but are much smaller and no where near as good as Cascade Gold.

If you are serious about the Cascade Gold you may want to go with a grow bag and propagate them and that will give you time to get your soil right. I have learned the hard way on raspberries where i live to get the row raised up 6 or 8 inches if i want good healthy plants.

Here is a good link to read about them…

Here is where i bought my plants. Very good plants and excellent service and shipping. Buying 3 or more gets you in the $12 range.

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Great links. I’m thinking about a cedar raised bed 3 ft wide x 2 feet high x 10 ft long with 50/50 topsoil and compost. That should keep root rot at bay, yes? Have to look up RBDV.

A raised bed works great to control root migration, suggest four strong corner posts of treated cedar so that you can have guide wires about 3’ and 5’ above the soil to tie plants up as they grow. Makes picking fruit and much easier.
Dennis
Kent, wa

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Cascade Delight they say is one of the most tolerant to wet soil raspberries yet. I plan on testing that out after mine send up some free ones.

3 feet wide isnt needed for raspberries. Just more work i think.

Raspberries are shallow rooted, and prefer to grow horizontally not vertically…which is the challenge or blessing which ever way you look at it.

Unless you are building the raised bed on gravel or concrete… 2 feet high is pretty overkill.

For root rot and other issues on all of my cane fruits i have been mixing in pine bark fines fairly heavily on all of my new plantings and they seem to be doing very well. Not pine bark mulch on top but the fines in the root area. I have sandy loam in some places but not all… so i use the pine bark fines as a ‘soil conditioner’… Rasps and BBerries love acid soil as well so i think it helps a little as well.

Any time the root area is stressed or not getting proper nutrition the canes and leaves are more susceptible to virus and disease… in a way they are like us and able to fight off most things as long as they are getting the proper conditions.

My others that i pulled and relocated were getting too much moisture. Not raised high enough and their feet were soggy most of the time due to the location. Once the bugs sense the plant is stressed… they go to work. Poor cultivation on my part… and some varieties are less likely to ward off virus and disease than others.

I also had some poor years after tilling in leaves as recommended by some FB ‘experts’.

We each have different soils and climates and many other variables… so its not a once size fits all method.

Just give your rasps soil that drains well, has good nutrition, is within range or near the PH that they like, plenty of sunlight, adequate moisture. And last but not least proper thinning. Let the strongest canes thrive without competition for light and air.

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@krismoriah and @zendog Do you wait til soil has warmed up a bit in spring to plant raspberries?

Scenic Hill Nursery says: “Raspberry plants should not be planted until your daytime temperatures are in the high 50s and above 28 degrees at night.”

Does that sound about right? Say I mound up planting bed to a foot or so, will it collapse over time back to grade level?

Hmmm… I just remember planting them when the nursery shipped them to me and don’t remember waiting for any specific weather. I never lost any and they all seemed to grow fine, but I guess it is possible they would have gotten a better start if I did something different. I’ve also dug up new primocane shoots to give to others at different times in the spring and they’ve done fine.

@krismoriah is certainly more of a cane fruit expert so I’d follow his advice if he thinks there is a best time to plant.

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This is probably the best guide i have seen to do what you want to do.

As far as what Scenic Hill Nursery says… you are ordering live plants. So they are not dormant. They are in a different climate than we are. They can ship year round because their plants are grown in greenhouses.

So as far as their plants are concerned… basically if you plant now you are just buying the roots. As the top green growth is smaller than a pencil and will go fully dormant and not be big enough next year to produce any kind of fruiting material.

If however you buy their plants in the spring…those plants will begin rooting and growing the green growth and may or may not reach the top wire. Also energy spent with small suckers

If by chance your climate and soil prep allows the roots to stay above freezing and you plant now…then the roots will grow for many months as a head start…and the primocanes sent up will likely reach the top wire.

Small roots will not grow healthy strong canes. So planting a small plant in the spring will take an enormous amount of energy to grow roots and canes at the same time. Lots of nutrition, sunlight and water needed.

As for your planting bed staying above or level with grade that depends on if you tilled the earth or not. If so then yes it will settle with time.

Dormant bare canes- plant now or spring.

Root cuttings- plant now or keep in fridge until spring.

Live plants- plant now if soil is optimal and will stay above freezing. Or wait until soil temp will stay above freezing in the Spring.

Not an expert by any means… Just passionate for the plants and trial and error and lots of learning from growers that have had success.

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