|Raspberries: four weeks earlier this year|
Ellen picked half of a small bowl of Heritage red raspberries this morning, nearly a month earlier than in past years.
I was quite surprised a few days ago to see a large red raspberry and promptly picked and plopped it into my mouth. Mmm, delicious. And this morning I noticed quite a few ripe berries, which Ellen picked while I did other garden chores. She predicts there’ll be another half bowl tomorrow.
I’ve just checked my Garden Notes to see if the berries really are ripening earlier than usual, or am I just imaging things? On June 29, 2008, I picked “four.” On July 1, 2007, I picked “several.” On July 13, 2008, I picked “a handful.” Last year I picked “a few” on July 18.
Yes, the raspberries are ripening nearly four weeks earlier than in earlier years. What can I say other than, “Well, the warm winter must have given them an early start”? Everything seems to be three to four weeks early this year—except the dreaded brown marmorated stink bugs. I haven’t seen one yet on our raspberries, blackberries, or tomatoes.
If you’re thinking of planting a raspberry patch, I want to encourage you. I’ve found the Heritage variety to be an easy small-fruit crop to care for. If you want additional information, please read my earlier posting (February 27, 2011), “Raspberries: So easy to grow.” It includes a link to the Western Maryland Research & Education Center” website and excellent, free information about growing raspberries and other berries.