Berries are always a favorite in every household and kids especially love the juicy sweetness of berries. Cumberland Black Raspberries will soon become a favorite in your house too, because they produce big, juicy berries that are richer in flavor and sweeter than regular red raspberries. They are just as easy to grow and are sturdy, vigorous plants that produce bumper crops with just a little care. They are hardy and thrive in cooler, damp climates where fruits like peaches and nectarines will not be so successful.
Berry bushes do not take up a lot of garden room the way fruit trees do and they are self-pollinating, so you do not need to grow another variety, as you often do with tree fruits. You also don’t need a ladder to pick them. Just step out with a basket and before you know it you will have lots of berries to eat fresh, bake in pies and muffins, or to turn into jams or jellies to enjoy all winter long. Blueberries are hard to grow if you don’t have acid soil, so the Cumberland Black Raspberry makes a great substitute in pancakes and muffins.
Growing Cumberland Black Raspberry Bushes
This berry bush will grow in zones 5 to 8, so it can be grown everywhere except for the hottest and coldest parts of America. It is a vigorous plant that will grow in most types of soil, but gives the biggest crops in soil that is well-drained and rich in organic material. Black raspberries are not prone to many pests or diseases. Deer will normally not eat the canes. Plants should not be allowed to become too dry and during the fruiting season you should give your black raspberries plenty of water. That was you will get lots of large, juicy berries.
The wild parent of regular red raspberries grows all around the northern regions of the world, but the Cumberland Black Raspberry is an American native plant, Rubus occidentalis, which has been selected by gardeners for its unique flavor and rich color. Black Raspberries and Blackberries are often confused, which happens easily because the Black Raspberry is the same color as a blackberry. When raspberries are picked the center of the fruit is left behind on the plant so the fruit is hollow, like a thimble. Blackberries still have their center, so they are solid. This simple difference makes it easy to tell these two fruits apart.
Cumberland Black Raspberry is a vigorous plant that will produce new canes from the base of the plant each spring. These will grow to about 6 feet in length and are called primocanes. The next year these canes will flower and produce fruit and are then called floricanes. New primocanes will also be produced at the same time. The stems of the black raspberry have thorns on them and the leaves are made of 5 separate leaflets. The undersides of the leaves are white. The flowers are white and are carried in clusters that shoot from the sides of the canes.
Like all raspberries it is best to attach your Cumberland Black Raspberry plants to some kind of support. For one plant this can just be a pole driven into the ground beside the plant, but for several plants it is best to stretch three wires between poles, spacing the wires at 5 ½, 4 and 2 feet from the ground. Tie the canes to the wires as they grow. It is also possible to use a double row of wires and grow the canes between them so that tying is not necessary.
Planting and Initial Care
Plant your bushes 4 feet apart and spread out the canes when you tie them in. Black raspberries are more vigorous than red raspberries so they need more room. Dig over the area well, remove weeds and add plenty of rich organic material to the soil. Make your planting hole twice the width of the pot and place your plant in the hole. Put back most of the soil and then fill the hole with water. When it has all drained away replace the rest of the soil. Keep young plants well watered during their first season and after that water as needed so that the soil does not become completely dry.
Black raspberries are easy to grow if you follow a proper pruning schedule, which will bring you the best growth and the biggest crop. When the primocanes reach the top wire, you should cut off their tips. In warmer areas with longer growing seasons side shoots may form in the first season from the primocanes. These should be shortened to 8 or 10 inches and also tied to the wires. In spring the primocanes that grew the previous year will flower and fruit. Some gardeners worry when they see yellow leaves on their bushes after the berries have been picked, but this is normal because the floricanes die naturally after flowering and need to be cut out at ground level. So after fruiting is over cut out the floricanes at the base of the plant and tie-in the new primocanes.
Buying Cumberland Black Raspberry Bushes
The Cumberland Black Raspberry is a specially chosen form of the wild plant that has extra-large berries with a great flavor. For this reason new plants must be taken from specially-grown parent bushes that are known to be the correct variety. These take longer to produce than plants grown from seed or from wild bushes, so avoid cheap offers as these will only be a disappointment.
We only sell plants that are known to be the correct Cumberland Black Raspberry, and we are constantly receiving new stock so that our customers receive fresh, healthy plants. However supplies of this special berry bush are limited so order now to avoid disappointment.