Saturday Spotlight - Autumn raspberries...

11 May, 2013

After growing predominatly summer fruiting raspberries, over the last couple of years I have purposefully sought out and grown autumn fruiting raspberries to extend the season.

I'm not sure that it is worth it. They don't taste anywhere near as good as summer fruiting raspberries in my opinion.

But they are fruiting, and I am eating them, which tells you something.

Interestingly, raspberries do have distinctly different tastes with some having a much better flavour than others. I suppose its not that much of a surprise. Think of apples, pears, plums, strawberries and many other fruits, let alone veg - all have varietal differences and everyone has their favourite!

For autumn fruiting raspberries I have the following varieties: Heritage and Autumn Bliss, as well as the dual cropping varieties Willamette, Sandford and Chilcotin.

I have written before about pruning methods, so I won't recap that here, but instead focus on the eating qualities.

The first specifically autumn fruiting raspberry I grew was Heritage.


I have always been a little disappointed with both taste and texture of this variety - I find it grows a small, dense, somewhat tasteless berry. They aren't terrible, just a vague semblance of what a good raspberry can be.

I thought it was maybe a variety thing. So I moved onto Autumn Bliss. I planted these out last year in the same area as Heritage so that I knew if there were any taste differences it would not be due to the growing area and more/less sunlight, rain, different soil, microclimate etc.


Unfortunately, as you can see, they have been pretty popular with the local birds. The few I've managed to get my hands on are better than Heritage, but still not that delicious full raspberry flavour.

Willamette is probably the best flavoured I've found, but being a dual cropper I only get a few berries at this time of year. There weren't any quite ripe for picking, this is the closest.


Sandford is the best cropper so far, producing luscious full berries.


Again, they don't have the best raspberry flavour, but they are on a par with Autumn Bliss and definitely better than Heritage.

Chilcotin is quite a good cropper. The taste is slightly better than Sandford and Autumn Bliss I think, but I don't like the way the berries fall apart when you pick them.


Here is a comparison of picked berries from what was good for picking this morning.


L to R: Sandford, Heritage and Chilcotin.

So overall, there is no real standout variety. If I had to pick one on pain of death, I'd go with Sandford.

Does anyone else have any suggestions for other contenders? And does anyone grow Australian native raspberries? I've always wondered about those...

I'm contributing this to Liz's Saturday Spotlight series.

14 comments:

  1. Totally agree - my autumn fruiting raspberries were not much chop on the flavour front. Whereas the summer fruiters are the first real fruity kiss of the new season over here - heaven!

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    1. Good, its not just me then. Though I wish for all our sakes that autumn berries were as good as the summer ones!

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  2. Good to know! I've just planted four raspberries - two autumn and two summer. I'll be very interested to compare and contrast.

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    1. Cheers. I hope you will also blog about how yours go!

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  3. Hi Bek, I have been loving my autumn berries,well they are the same as my spring ones but for some reason this year I have had great success with the autumn flush (suspect it was my extra heavy prunning regime on the older canes last winter). Not only have they been bigger but also more flavoursome than what I got in the spring. I have no actual idea if they are spring or autumn or what they are (were from the big shed beginning with 'B')but they look more along the lines of your Chilcotin.

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    1. I envy you your success - I wish my raspberries were as civilised.

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  4. Apologies my post was so late - I have now put it up with links. I am toying with the idea of growing raspberries in an area of my garden I'm not sure what to do with. Based on your thoughts though I think I'll choose a summer fruiting variety. What would you recommend?

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    1. Not a problem! Do it!!! Raspberries are one of my must-grows and if I had limited space I would make room for them, they are so worth it. I'd go with Willamette (dual cropper, prolific in summer, good taste, easy variety to find in a few online sellers and nurseries), Tullameen (great flavour, summer fruiting only, not as prolific as Willamette but still good) and Sandford (dual cropping, nice big fruit, prolific, not as great a flavour but good in autumn).

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  5. Thanks Bek, this is timely. Like Liz I am thinking of summer raspberries for my patch and like her, your suggestions of variety would be great.

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    1. No problem. You won't regret it - they are delicious! I'm not sure if any of the varieties I mention will be the worse for a colder climate, but I doubt it. I look forward to hearing how they go!

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  6. We have Williamette raspberries. the summer crop is awesome but the Autumn one is miserly and really just bird food, luckily we have plenty in the freezer.

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    1. Damn, I wish I had saved some for the freezer now! Maybe next year, if I'm not too greedy and don't eat all the summer ones. Its amazing how easy it is to eat them all!

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  7. If you're not too busy, can I ask if a bigger crop of Autumn Bliss raspberries improved your opinion of them? Also, have you added any new varieties since this post?

    I'm starting to look at what raspberries I would like to add to my garden, which already has a selection of hybrid brambleberries.

    My friend has Pink Neika and Purple Raspberry amongst others, and she's given me permission to transplant any wayward runners that have popped up on the opposite side of the garden bed. But I'm tempted by some other varieties I've seen on Diggers website - Bogong and Lloyd George.

    I'd love your feedback if you've got a spare moment.

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    1. No problem! I've been away on holidays, but am happy to respond now I'm back.
      I have tried Lloyd George but not the others. I didn't find it any different to the other raspberries to be honest, and in the end I pulled them out of the area they were in (to plant some passionfruit) and didn't bother to replant them elsewhere, so that just goes to show I didn't think they were that worthwhile :)

      If I had to start from scratch with buying and planting raspberries I'd have a heap of Willamette (I think they're one of the best flavoured) and Sandford for autumn as they are a good size berry and quite prolific.

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