Raspberries

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Rescued Raspberries in my yard.

Continuing on with the fruit posts, this week I’m talking about the Raspberries. I have a variety do them both in my yard, and out at my parents house.

In my yard I have a more heritage variety that I rescued from a yard that my fiancé was working on a few years ago, and I’ve had a few harvests from them. In fact, last year, none of the berries made it into the house, I ate them all before they even got near the door.

If they survived this winter, I also have some Souris in my yard, and some Fall-Gold (which I’ll talk about below).

At my parents house, we planted some Double Delight and Fall Gold. The birds have done a well good job of propagating the wild raspberries out there as well.

There is a possibility that I will be able to make my own raspberry jam from my own raspberries at some point in the near future.

Double delight is a “promocane” variety. Which means it produces its fruit on the new first year. It has large, sometimes double fruit and ripens in late August-September. Said to be great for both freezing, and fresh eating. Like many other Prairie fruit varieties, it was developed at the Morden Research Station in Manitoba.

Latin Name: Rubus idaeus ‘Double Delight’

Fall Gold is an Everbearing Raspberry. It will produce a crop in June, and a larger crop from late August until Frost. Since it is a fall-bearing Variety, the canes should be pruned to the ground in Spring. (However, I’m tempted to leave them all this year and see how they grow, and then start the proper pruning protocol next year)

The fruit of the Fall Gold is yellow with a slight pinkish hue to it. It’s soft, very sweet and one of the best raspberries I have ever tasted.

Latin name: Rubus idaeus ‘Fall Gold’

I don’t have info on the random one I have in my yard, but they are delicious. Same with the wild raspberries at my parents place. They started as a few small patches in the ditches along the road, but are now all around the open areas in the trees. I never get home in time to get the fruit of these before the birds, but one day!

Like the Haskaps last week, I was going to attempt to get photos of the raspberries while I was back home visiting, but they were deep under the snow. But, as you can see above, I was able to grab some of the labels they came with.

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This is the raspberries I rescued. It is was a few weeks after transplanting to my garden.
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Tomatoes (2019)

This year, I have done something that I haven’t done for a few years…

I only started ONE of a couple varieties. One. Because last year, I had too many tomatoes, and not enough room for other things. So this will be the first year in a while that I won’t be completely overwhelmed with tomatoes in the fall.

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Without much more blabbering on, here are the varieties I have went with this year:

  • Silvery Fir Tree
    • Determinant
    • 55-60 Days
    • 1 peat pellet sowed
  • Czech’s Bush
    • Determinant
    • 75-85 days
    • 1 peat pellet sowed
  • Tasmanian Chocolate
    • Determinant
    • 80-85 days
    • 2 peat pellets sowed
  • Old German
    • Indeterminate
    • 80 days
    • Potato Leaf
    • 1 peat pellet sowed
  • Marvel Stripe
    • Indeterminate
    • 80 days
    • 1 peat pellet sowed
  • Green Zebra
    • Indeterminate
    • 75 days
    • F1 Hybrid
    • 1 peat pellet sowed
  • Oxheart
    • Indeterminate
    • 80-90 days
    • 2 peat pellets sowed
  • Black Cherry
    • Indeterminate
    • 65 days
    • From my own saved seed, but I linked to the West Coast Seeds Page if you are looking for the seed, or more info on it. It is one of my favourite and well producing tomatoes.
    • 2 peat pellets sowed
  • Cherokee Purple
    • Indeterminate
    • 80-90 days
    • From my own saved seed. Another favourite that I plant year after year
    • 1 peat pellet sowed
  • Tiny Tim (I haven’t started these just yet, but will around April 1)
    • Dwarf Determinant
    • From my own saved seed, but I linked to the Wildrose Heritage Seeds Page if you are looking for the seed, or more info on it. It is one of my favourite and well producing little cherry tomatoes. The tops of the plant is always so covered in tomatoes that without a little support it can bend over to the ground and snap the stem.

 

With the exception of the Tiny Tim, I sowed the above on March 15. There is always the possibility that I start a few other early season varieties as well, but for now, I am still determined to not be over-tomatoed this year.

I’m going to do my very best to try and document the whole summer of growing. I know I have been diligent early in the year documenting what I will be growing but a terrible job of actually documenting them growing. My instagram is probably the best for more up to date photos of what is going on. @thecraftycultivator

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I don’t remember what variety these were, but they were delicious

 

Haskaps

Since I’m running low on trees we’ve planted to write about here (and I want to keep up with my regular posting here), I am continuing on with some of the soft fruit we planted as well. You can read about the Nanking Cherries from last week, but this week will be about the Haskaps.

Originally native to northern forests in Asia and North America, they have gone through extensive breeding at the UofS, much like the romance series of cherries (like our Crimson Passion). They are extremely hardy. Also known as Honeyberries or Blue Honeysuckle. If you are wanting to know more about them, check out Haskap.ca as they will have much more informative knowledge than me. I just want a record of what we are growing, and will be referring to that site myself.

I would describe their flavour (from the few berries I’ve been able to taste) as a mix between blueberries and Saskatoons.

I can’t speak to which varieties taste the best or produce the most, but I do want a record here of how they are growing. Hopefully we get some fruit off the plants this year and I can share our findings.

Here are the Haskaps we planted in 2018:

  • Berry Smart Blue
    • Latin- Lonicera caerulea ‘Berry Smart Blue’
    • Pollinator: Aurora, Borealis, Indigo Gem, Polar Jewel, Tundra
  • Indigo Gem
    • Latin- Lonicera caerulea ‘Indigo Gem’
    • Pollinator: Aurora, Polar Jewel
  • Tundra
    • Latin- Lonicera caerulea ‘Tundra’
    • Pollinator: Aurora, Polar Jewel
  • Polar Jewel
    • Latin: Lonicera edulis var. kamthcaica caerula ‘Polar Jewel’
    • Pollinator: Borealis, Tundra

My plan behind having a few (more than just 2) varieties is that they can all pollinate each other throughout their bloom times. We may not get a sizeable harvest from them as they are new plants, but I hope we get enough to have enough for each of us to have a decent taste of them.  I might also have a Borealis tucked into my bed of other over-wintering things. I’m not 100% on if I rescued one or not… or if it will survive this brutally cold winter without much protection.

While I was back home visiting, I was going to get a photo or two to add to this post, but they were completely under snow, so here is 2 of the labels that my dad kept.

Potting up: Savory, Thyme, Marjoram, Greek Oregano and Anise (and some Hollyhock sowing)

The majority of the herbs I have started up to this point, were getting to the stage of needing more room. I pot them up into newspaper pots that I make from free newspaper. This way, the roots get disturbed as little as possible, because I can just plant the whole pot out in the soil once its safe to do so outside.

I did this March 10, and here is what I potted up:

  • 2x Winter Savory
  • 2x ‘Midget’ Summer Savory
  • 2x Summer Savory
  • 2x Greek Oregano
  • 2x Sweet Marjoram
  • 2x German Winter Thyme
  • 2x Anise

And I had one newspaper pot left over in my tray, so I sowed some ‘Black Watchman’ Hollyhocks. I also sowed some of these last year, so as long as they got through the winter (which they should) I should have some beautiful dark hollyhocks. This sowing would likely not bloom until next year, unless I get lucky. I also have some self-seeded hollyhocks. They were those butter-yellow ones that I had 2 years ago, and I’m interested to see what colour they will be this year.

I have a few more little peat pellets of herbs that aren’t quite ready to be potted up, but are growing nicely. They are growing slowly in the kitchen window, which is perfect for me. I don’t want them to be growing like wild yet because they will still be inside for at least 2 more months, possibly 3, depending on what kind of mood Mother Nature is in.

I’ll be sowing some new herbs very soon, and Tomatoes before the end of the month. Still have no idea where I am going to put everything, but I do this to myself every year, and somehow find a home for it all.

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Butter-Yellow Hollyhocks from a few years ago

 

Nanking Cherry

I don’t have a tree post lined up for today, but I figured I would start adding the fruit we planted as well. So today is Nanking Cherries. I don’t remember the exact amount of plants we ended up planting, but there was a few. Mostly because they were rescues and would otherwise have been burnt. So the big test will be this spring to see how many have survived. Then I’ll let you know how many we have. Although, I did put one in my own yard, and all the rest out at my parents place.

They are self fertile, but are also a pollinator for the ‘Brookgold’ Plum tree that we planted.  Because of this, we made sure to put one of the Nanking cherry plants near that Plum tree.

Nankings are a nice way to add some beautiful spring colour. They have beautiful delicate white blooms (or pink, if you can find the pink variety). The bees and pollinators will love it in the early spring, and you (and the birds and probably squirrels) will love it later in the summer when you get the wonderfully tart little cherries. The fruit is typically ready in the early-mid summer.

I’ll keep you posted on how they survived the winter (if it ever ends), and how they grow this year. I didn’t find any pictures we took of them after planting, and I would add one of the Nanking Cherry that I have in my own yard right now… but it is under a 3 foot pile of snow, and you can’t really see any of it. So this is yet another boring no-photo post.

  • Latin Name: ‘Prunus tomentosa’
  • Mature Height: 8 feet
  • Spread: 6 feet

If you have any hints, tips, advice, stories or recipes for Nanking Cherries, share them in the comments below .