Raspberries are small/sour?

bigbad

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I planted some raspberry plants earlier this year and it produced a few raspberries this year...

Kinda strange, as they all seem to be developing differently. For example, I planted two Anne raspberry plants. One of them is around two feet tall, and it's sprouting multiple branches going in different directions. It also sprouted a baby cane nearby. So far, it's yielded nothing.

The second Anne raspberry plant is still about a foot tall, and it doesn't have as many branches or canes, as the aforementioned. However, it yielded 7 or 8 berries. It kinda tastes like mango, but tart.

Then I have two Caroline raspberry plants, but one of them just died. The other is very short and barely alive... maybe one foot tall, and it sprouted extremely small berries - about 5 or 6. The size of the berries were smaller than a dime... the berries from the Anne were like six times bigger.

Also, the Caroline raspberries were very tart... if I bought them from a store, I would've thought they were just poor quality. But recently, the Caroline raspberry cane yielded two more berries, and while they were still extremely small, they were much sweeter than the initial harvest.

So my questions are...

1. What affects the sweetness of raspberries?

2. What affects the size of raspberries? Does it have anything to do with what I'm doing? Soil? Weather? Watering? What's the primary factor?

Thanks!
 

lesa

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I wouldn't worry about this years berries. Some recommend that you don't even let them flower the first year- so they concentrate their energy on the root system. Certainly, water is super important to size and flavor. I don't ever water my raspberries. They are out in the back 40- they get what nature gives them...As your plants mature the berry size and quantity will grow. My bushes that I planted a few years ago, are huge and covered with fruit. Next year will be a whole different story for you....
 

Kassaundra

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I planted two different kinds of raspberries, in the same location, both of mine were planted years ago and I have long since forgotten what kind but they were for the south. Anyway one of the kinds consistantly bears smaller berries has ever since it's been planted around 10 years or so. The big thing I have noticed about sweetness is harvesting just at almost overripe, makes them sweeter.
 

bigbad

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lesa said:
I wouldn't worry about this years berries. Some recommend that you don't even let them flower the first year- so they concentrate their energy on the root system. Certainly, water is super important to size and flavor. I don't ever water my raspberries. They are out in the back 40- they get what nature gives them...As your plants mature the berry size and quantity will grow. My bushes that I planted a few years ago, are huge and covered with fruit. Next year will be a whole different story for you....
What do you do if you don't want them to flower? Once you see a would-be berry, you pluck it?

The Anne raspberries were a decent size... comparable to the sizes at the supermarket. The Caroline was just freakishly small...
 

bigbad

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Kassaundra said:
I planted two different kinds of raspberries, in the same location, both of mine were planted years ago and I have long since forgotten what kind but they were for the south. Anyway one of the kinds consistantly bears smaller berries has ever since it's been planted around 10 years or so. The big thing I have noticed about sweetness is harvesting just at almost overripe, makes them sweeter.
Is there a good indicator for it being "overripe?" I can't seem to tell... once it's irrefutably red (Caroline) or golden yellow (Anne), I pluck it before I draw the birds.

I can usually tell how ripe there were, by how easily they come off the plant, though... but it's obviously too late to put it back on the cane, using that method...
 

bigbad

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thistlebloom said:
Warmth has a lot to do with the sweetness of berries. I think.
Maybe we can blame the weather. :)
Well, I live in Southern California, so I get a ton of warmth. Perhaps more than the raspberries need...

The Anne raspberry that is planted in the corner, is like 3 feet tall. I'm assuming the extra shade is benefiting it well. The Anne that's out in the open is still just 1 foot tall, but it produced some decent berries (7 or 8 so far).
 

lesa

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Yep, just pinch off the flower or the berry. If you have the heart! Otherwise, time will take care of it. They want to grow, they really do!
 

Kassaundra

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bigbad said:
Kassaundra said:
I planted two different kinds of raspberries, in the same location, both of mine were planted years ago and I have long since forgotten what kind but they were for the south. Anyway one of the kinds consistantly bears smaller berries has ever since it's been planted around 10 years or so. The big thing I have noticed about sweetness is harvesting just at almost overripe, makes them sweeter.
Is there a good indicator for it being "overripe?" I can't seem to tell... once it's irrefutably red (Caroline) or golden yellow (Anne), I pluck it before I draw the birds.

I can usually tell how ripe there were, by how easily they come off the plant, though... but it's obviously too late to put it back on the cane, using that method...
The birds love my cherries, but have never eaten a raspberry. The feeding station is about 10 feet from the berry patch and they perch on the branches, but for some reason don't eat the berries.

It is hard to describe, they get bigger and fatter, they have a "feel" when you are harvesting them allow some to stay a day or so longer then you would normally, pay attention to how they feel as you pick them, and taste them see if they are sweeter.

I am not a jelly eater so this year I tried something new I dehydrated them, they turned out unexpected, airy and crunchy, like popcorn, and it mellowed the flavor, too.
 

Kassaundra

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bigbad said:
thistlebloom said:
Warmth has a lot to do with the sweetness of berries. I think.
Maybe we can blame the weather. :)
Well, I live in Southern California, so I get a ton of warmth. Perhaps more than the raspberries need...

The Anne raspberry that is planted in the corner, is like 3 feet tall. I'm assuming the extra shade is benefiting it well. The Anne that's out in the open is still just 1 foot tall, but it produced some decent berries (7 or 8 so far).
Before I got this patch to live I and my Gma had tried to grow raspberries in OK for many years unsuccessfully. Mine are planted on the east side of the house next to the house, they love this location and took off like gangbusters. They get full morning sun and full afternoon shade, and protection from the house. My Gma lived even more south then me and when she tried a similar location for planting hers actually became invasive they did so well.
 
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