Give up on heritage fall berries????

Asked January 11, 2015, 11:20 AM EST

Hi, I have a very nice row of Heritage Raspberries which give me a nice July/August crop. However, the fall berries are almost always frozen off with the frosts here in Oscoda. I am considering a cane which is only a summer bearer. OR.... is there a way to encourage (prune a special way) only the summer berries? Or should I pull up some of the Heritage canes (boy what a job!!!) and put in some summer canes?
Everyone just keeps reading to me... which doesn't help! I need someone who really grows raspberries to answer this one. Thanks so much.

Iosco County Michigan fruits and berries raspberries

1 Response

You have 2 options. You can leave the Heritage row in and harvest summer berries and only harvest those berries that ripen before the fall freezes. To do this leave the primocanes for a second year so they can bear a summer crop. Early in the spring thin out the canes to about one every 8 inches leaving the biggest healthiest canes and remove the rest. Thin out all the weaker canes. You should also cut the cane back to about 30 inch high. These canes will bloom and bear fruit in the summer. After they have finished fruiting cut them out as the 2 year old canes will die. New primocanes will emerge from the ground and bloom in the fall for fall berries and then bloom again next year. To get summer berries you need to leave the canes in for 2 years. Heritage does have a tendency to bear more heavily for the fall crop but you will get a summer crop.
The other alternative is to remove the Heritage and replant with another variety.
This would be easiest to do if you sprayed them with roundup in the fall as they were getting ready for winter. This will kill most of the plants.You may need to do this more than once if you have good healthy plants. You could also follow up with 2,4-D in the spring as the new growth starts but the 2,4-D will stay in the soil for a while and delay replanting. Nova and Prelude are 2 good early summer varieties and both have a tendency fall bearing but bear heavily in the summer.
You may find the winter is too cold for overwintering the primocanes so they become floricanes. Latham is a proven cold tolerant variety for Northern Michigan