Red Raspberries: Fall? Spring? What’s Up

Red Raspberries

Fall? Spring?  What’s Up

I know a lot of people have either a raspberry shrub or two or they remember raspberries when they were younger.  I thought I would take this blog post to explain the difference between June Bearing or summer red raspberries and Ever Bearing red raspberries.  Most of the United States are used to the June Bearing varieties – those that ripen late spring or early summer.   (Not including the super market ones that come all year from all over the world!)

The summer or June-bearing type that produces an abundance of fruit on second-year canes (floricanes) within a relatively short period in early spring to mid-summer are the ones which have a strong raspberry flavor and wonderful aroma.  They are somewhat sweet.  If you need berries for the winter, I recommend these varieties for freezing.  The varieties that I raise are:

  • Boyne – sweet and the earliest to harvest
  • Prelude – super flavor and next to harvest with good yields
  • Killarney – best aroma and flavor
  • Lauren – large berry with excellent flavor
  • Nova – firm and bright red berry with strong flavor
  • Encore – good flavor large berry
  • Octavia – first year for raising these. Not sure on flavor. Latest floricane for season. This berry bridges the floricane season with the primacane ones.

On a normal year Octavia would be harvested late July and early August.  Of course with every harvest earlier this year I have only a guess of the berry season. Also when I choose varieties not only do I look at the final consumer enjoyment but I am concerned with all of the agricultural characteristics also. Growth habits, winter hardiness, disease resistance and adaptability in the Midwest climate are just a few.

The second type double – or “ever” -bearing plants (primocanes) are harvested in the late summer and fall, as well as the summer crop on second-year canes.  I actually mow these plants down in spring so as to force a late summer or fall harvest.  If this is not done these plants will have fruit all summer with only a small harvest at a time.  The entire yield when mowed is greater then having them bear all summer.  These berries are definitely sweeter then the June bearing varieties.  But they tend not to be that super “I AM A RASPBERRY” flavor that you get from the June ones. They are also larger than the June ones.  The varieties that I raise are:

  • Autumn Britton – large and good flavor
  • Caroline – good flavor and large
  • Heritage – Heirloom variety, good flavor, color and size
  • Jaclyn – dark red sweet berries
  • Polana – large flavorful berries

Watch for the next blog on peach varieties!

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2 Responses to Red Raspberries: Fall? Spring? What’s Up

  1. The last time I was at the Oak Park Farmers market I was looking for apricot preserves which you didn’t have. So I bought raspberry preserves. They were excellent and my wife and I have almost eaten them all up. My question do you have any more for sale in a Chicago location or in Benton Harber. If so please send me the the particulars. Thank-you, Bill Troyer

  2. Sandra Spiegel says:

    To: Ellis Farms

    A few months ago I moved from Chicago to Fort Worth. TX. I brought along a couple of jars of you red raspberry jam. I would like to order another 4 jars. Could you ship this to me? Please let me know if this is possible.