Shrub and other small fruits .


     

Shrub fruits are a fantastic addition to any garden space! They don't take up a large space, and  don't take many years to begin producing. There is a lot of options to choose from and each one is great in its own way. We would love to be able to tell you what our own favourites are to help you with your decisions, but they are all our favourites! Each of the varieties listed below grows well in our climate, and  taste great as well.

   

A few fun facts about Raspberries!

Summer bearing vs. Autumn bearing       Raspberries


Confused about the difference between summer and fall bearing raspberries?  Maybe this will help! (or just confuse the subject more) 



Raspberry Planting Guide:

Raspberry Planting Guide

     Raspberries should be planted in full sun under normal garden conditions. Raspberries prefer a well-drained spot and do best if kept weeded. Some gardeners provide a light straw mulch to help keep the weeds down. Mulch should not be too thick or new canes will be unable to push their way up through it. An inch or two should do it. Mulching gives a double benefit  to your raspberries as it will eventually compost and feed the canes. It is a good idea to add a layer of fresh mulch each year in  spring. Even with mulch, weeding is needed to keep nasty running roots like quack grass from taking over. Raspberries will reward your weeding and mulching efforts with taller canes and larger berries.

     Raspberries are not heavy feeders, however they enjoy fluffy, well drained, nutritious soil in full sun. How can you tell if your raspberries are begging for a little more fertilizer? If the canes are robust, near to the height described for their cultivar and producing large berries, they are doing fine. If they are shorter than they should be, slowing down on berry production or berries are small, then the canes probably need a good weeding and/or fertilizing.







The yellow coloured Fall Gold raspberries are very sweet with a lower acid level in the fruit. Producing in the fall, they are excellent for all purposes but their sweetness makes them wonderful for fresh eating!


  Confused about the difference between just 

Summer bearing raspberries like Boyne, Red Bounty and Souris, have three types of canes during their lifecycle:

First year Canes  are called Primocanes and do not bloom or bear fruit. These canes grow to their full height in the first year and prepare for fruit production in the second year.

Second Year Canes called Floracanes  bloom and bear fruit by mid-summer.

Third Year Canes need to be pruned out to keep the patch airy, clean and disease free. Their productive life is over. But no worries, new canes are emerging every year to replace the old worn out ones!

Summer bearing raspberry plants always have some first year,  second year and third year canes at any one time, once the plants become established.

Fall bearing raspberries :

Fall bearing raspberries like Double Delight, bloom and bear fruit on first year canes called primocanes in the fall.

 Once the canes have produced fruit, the canes can be mowed down with a lawnmower for quick, easy maintenance.

However, if the canes happen to not get mowed down, the raspberry plants will produce a second crop in mid-summer of the second year on the floracanes . This is one of the few garden tasks that reward a gardener with two crops for procrastinating and forgetting a clean-up chore! In the third year the old canes need to be pruned out to keep the patch healthy and producing.

It is nice to have fresh raspberries in the fall which is traditionally out of season for raspberries and fall bearing raspberries do this. Here in zone 3b hard, early frosts sometimes take the fruit before it can ripen. Most years however there is enough time for it to ripen in the fall.

In the garden both types of raspberries could be treated in the same way. Both types could be mowed down with your lawnmower in the fall to avoid hand pruning out dead canes. However with summer bearing canes, be aware that they will not bear fruit the following year, only in the second year after this will they produce fruit. Another approach is to mow down half of your row of raspberries  and leave half to grow each year to always have a crop. This however means only half of your raspberries will be producing at any one time. You will need twice as many plants to supply your needs.  Confused yet?!

Okay, so here is what we do..... every few years we mow the patch off in the fall  after fruit production has ended to clean it up. Why in the fall? Because I find it emotionally difficult to mow off a raspberry that is blooming or producing fruit. And we plant both kinds, summer and fall bearing. Now wasn't that simple and painless?

Which type of raspberry is best? All of them! Each is unique, with great flavour and productivity.  Some are larger or sweeter , but all are good!


 Raspberry Varieties:
  • Souris - A red summer bearing raspberry with large tasty fruit. Suckers. Zone 3.
  • Boyne - An old dependable summer bearing  favourite. Produces plentiful bright red fruit. Suckers. Zone 3
  • Red Bounty - Sweet and heavy yeilding. Hardy to zone 2.
  • Red mammoth- A university of Saskatchewan introduction that produce large fruit ready in july. Hardy to zone 2.
  • Double delight - A fall bearing raspberry. Produces large double fruit on primocanes in the fall. Suckers. Zone 3
  • Fall Gold. Produces sweet golden coloured fruit in late summer or early fall.
  • Wyoming Black

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 Saskatoons
  • Northline - Tree grows to 10 feet tall. A very productive seedling strain. hardy to zone 2.
  • Smoky - A full sized saskatoon growing 12 feet tall. Large fruit with good yield and flavour. Zone 2.
  • Thiessen - Grows to 15 feet tall  with good quality purple-red fruit. Hardy to zone 2.

 Honeyberry
  • Berry Blue - Large, blue,delicious, oblong fruit grown on a vigorous 5 foot shrub. Hardy to zone 2.
  • Borealis - Large fruit size . Hardy to zone 2.
  • Cinderella - Excellent for fresh eating. Hardy to zone 2.
  • Honeybee - Developed as a polinator for other varieties. Hardy to zone 2.
  • Tundra -Excellent  flavour. Fruit picks cleanly off plant. Hardy to zone 2.
 Jostaberry
A thorn-less cross between gooseberries and blackcurrants this hardy shrub grows 6  feet tall. Vitamin c and antioxidants are plentiful in the dark coloured, almost black fruit. Hardy to zone 3.

 Gooseberry
  • Pixwell Gooseberry - Sour green fruit ripen to a cheerful pink/deep burgundy and are delicious for fresh eating and jams. Hardy to zone 2.
 Black Currant
  • Ben Conan - Grows 3 feet tall, with thorns. Harvest time is earlier than Ben Nevis. Black currants make excellent jelly with a unique flavour and a good wine. Hardy to zone 2.
  • Ben Nevis - Grows 4-5 feet tall , with thorns. Hardy to zone 2.

Red Currant

  • Fruit is good for wines and jellies. Jelly taste similar to Pincherry . Hardy to zone 2.
  Golden Currant
  • Grows 4-5 feet tall with small black fruit in late summer. Good for sauces or jellies or bird food. Hardy to zone 2.
 Black Nanking Cherry
  • For fresh eating or jellies. Beautiful blooms in spring followed by delicious fruit. Hardy to zone 2.
 Sea Buckthorn
  • Leikora Sea Buckthorn - Female fruit producing shrub grows to 6 feet. Fruit are yellow Requires pollination by A male shrub like Pollmix Sea Buckthorn. Hardy to zone 2.
  • Pollmix Sea Buckthorn - A male pollinator for Leikora grows to 6 feet. Does not produce fruit on it's own. Hardy to zone 2.


 Cherries

 One variety that does stand out for us is the  cherries. Gone are the days that the only cherries that will grow on the prairies are tiny, sour cherries which are great for jelly (fantastic actually) but not the best for fresh eating. And wild chokecherries these days are suffering from black knot disease and becoming more difficult to find.  Evan's and  Juliet, Romeo, Cupid and Valentine grow large, sweet fruit that you can happily eat right off the bush!
     This category of cherries are winter hardy for the prairies. Hardy to zone 2, these cherries are a good choice to add to your orchard. Beautiful when blooming, flowers are more tolerant of late frosts than other fruit trees. Self pollinating, not necessary to have two varieties for cross pollination. The pictures are all of Evan's cherries from bloom to harvest. 
  • Evans - A good variety that reliably produces large bright red fruit that are ready in August. Excellent for pies, jams, wine and fresh eating.

  • Crimson Passion - Suitable for fresh eating and preserves. Large fruit with a high sugar content.

  • Juliet - A sweet variety that is ready in mid August. Dark red fruit.

  • Romeo - A sweet variety that is ready by late August. Dark red fruit.







Evans Cherries from bloom to picking. 


Rhubarb

  • Canada Red - A very hardy plant with ruby red stalks. Juicy and flavourful. Zone 2.
  • MacDonald- A vigorous grower with bright red stems. Zone 1(wow, you don't see that very often!)

Asparagus


 Male asparagus, like Millenium, put their energy into making spears instead of producing seed, so they are more productive. It also means that they don't cast seed and spread everywhere like older varieties did  but stay where they are planted.

  • Millenium - A high yielding male asparagus.
  • Martha Washington - An older variety that produces excellent spears and spreads through seed. (Which if you want it to spread and fill out an asparagus bed, that's a good thing!)



Strawberries

Fort Laramie - Firm, bright red ,everbearing fruit. Zone 3.

Kent - June beaering fruit. Large juicy fruit, bright red in colour. Zone 3.

Berries Galore - Day neutral. Very prolific, tasty large fruit. An excellent choice for hanging baskets and containers. Probably won't overwinter in Manitoba but with adequate cover of straw there is a fair chance of survival.


Grapes

We offer a selection of prairie hardy grapes that produce delicious fruit. 
One of our favourites is Valiant,  because of it's taste and dependability. Ask us about it the next time you visit the greenhouse.

  • Valiant - A hardy variety that produces blue fruit. Best grown on a fence or trellis. Zone 3
  • Beta - Similiar to a Concord Grape. Hardy to zone 3
  • Other varieties are available as well, but Valiant and Beta are the two hardiest for our climate.


Blueberries

Blueberries are hardy for our climatic zone but they really don't like our soil types. Usually heavy with clay and some areas have sandy soils but all soils in our area have a higher PH than what blueberries prefer. Digging a nursery container into a hole in the ground and filling it with low PH soil mix helps fix the problem. Keep applying acid to the soil mix yearly to keep the soil PH lower.

  • Chippewa - Dark blue fruit that ripens mid-summer. Zone 3.