Dorman Red is a good raspberry for the Deep South. Produces good quantities of large, firm, juicy, red fruit, very good either fresh or frozen. Heat, drought and disease resistant. Ripens mid-June. Zones 7-9.
Raspberries are further divided into summer bearing and everbearing (fall bearing) types. Summer bearing produce for about a month and everbearing produce once in summer and then again in fall. Dorman Red is summer bearing.
Choose a location with at least 6 hours of sun each day and plenty of room. Raspberries spread prolifically by underground runners and you’ll need space to work in your patch and pick all those delicious berries.
Raspberries are susceptible to some of the same diseases as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and potatoes so don’t plant them in an area where members of the Solanaceae family have recently grown.
The soil needs to be rich in organic matter, neutral to slightly acidic and well draining. Soggy soil is the kiss of death.
Space plants about 3 feet apart with at least 4 – 6 feet between each row for ease of picking.
Lightly mulch to help the soil retain moisture during drought.
Most raspberries varieties produce upright canes that don’t need support, but some like ‘Dorman Red’ have a trailing habit. A simple trellis makes both types more manageable and the berries easy to pick. Position two posts at either end of your bed and stretch wire between them, about three feet above the ground. Tie the canes to the wire for extra support.
Although raspberries don’t like wet feet they do require consistent moisture. Give them 1 to 2 inches of water every 2 to 3 weeks, every week during fruit production.
You can fertilize each spring with well-rotted manure, compost or berry fertilizer. Raspberries need quite a bit of fertilizer to attain their height but as fruiting time approaches, hold back on the nitrogen. Fertilize in early spring and again in late May.
Some pests that can affect raspberries are nematodes, root weevils, aphids, fruit worms, and crown borers. A few diseases you may encounter are fruit rot, root rot, and spur blight. Keep plants pruned so that air circulation is at a maximum, don’t water from overhead and don’t overwater.
Raspberry roots are perennial but the canes only live for two years. First year stems have green canes (primocanes) and second year stems have a thin brown bark, (floricanes). You need to know the difference to prune correctly.
Prune summer bearing raspberries in fall. Remove second year, weak and diseased canes. Thin the current season’s growth to 6 inches apart.
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