Raspberry Willamette (Willamette): features, productivity
When choosing a raspberry variety for planting in a summer cottage, gardeners usually seek to find a plant that combines unpretentiousness, the earliest possible ripening, high fertility and good taste characteristics of the berries. Many would like to receive two crops during the season, one of which can be used for fresh consumption, and from the second one can make preparations for the winter. All these characteristics are answered by Willamette raspberry variety, the detailed description and cultivation of which is the subject of this review.
Variety description Willamette
Raspberry Willamette (in Russian transcription - Willamette, Willamette or Willamette) was bred by the breeders of the Institute of Horticulture and Floriculture, located in Oregon, USA. This happened in 1943, and since then the variety has become very widespread in many countries, especially those located in temperate climates.
Until a certain time, it was considered one of the best varieties of early ripe raspberries, but later, when scientists, including European ones, began actively to develop new varieties of berries with higher taste and market characteristics, Willamette raspberries somewhat lost their position.
Important! Poland, the world leader in raspberry production, today for the most part has abandoned the industrial cultivation of Willamette because of its relatively low winter hardiness.
However, in the Balkans, in particular, in Serbia, the American "classic" is still popular both among farmers and among the owners of small household plots. In Russia, this variety is grown almost everywhere.
Appearance of the bush, size and type of berries, fruiting time
The Willamette raspberry bush is medium in size (the standard height ranges from 2 to 3 m), however, it grows very quickly and gives numerous root shoots. The thickness of the shoots is significant, which ensures their endurance and stability, as well as a vertical arrangement (lack of tendency to bend). Each branch is covered with a large number of thin and long spikes, which somewhat complicates the care of the bush.
Fruiting occurs on two-year-old shoots. Due to this feature, the variety, which is not generally considered as remontant, can be used to produce two crops per season. This is greatly facilitated by the long periods of fruiting: Willamette berries begin to ripen early, in early July, but competent agricultural technology can extend this process by at least three months, that is, until the end of September.
In southern regions with longer summers, American raspberries produce their first crop in late May or early June, and then, after a break during which the bush gains strength, a second wave of fruits ripens, and it is harvested over two months - August and September.
Did you know? Raspberries have been known to people for more than three millennia, but it was cultivated much later. Most likely, the Romans began to purposefully grow this shrub at the turn of the old and new era, and this process acquired mass scale in Western Europe only in the 16th century.
Willamette raspberry fruit is large (the average weight of the berry ranges from 4 to 7 g) and a very rich ruby red color. Berries - the correct form, resembling a wide ribbed cone.
The fruit pulp is dense, well-kept in shape, but quite juicy. Dessert flavor - sweet with balancing acidity. The aroma is pronounced. Tasting assessment on a five-point scale - from 4.5 to 4.8 points.
The variety shows a consistently high yield, which can be significantly increased when planting nearby pollinators. Best of all, Raspberry Brilliantova copes with this role. Depending on the size of the bush and the quality of agricultural technology, one plant produces from 5 to 8 kg of berries.
Advantages and disadvantages of the variety
- To the undoubted advantages of the American variety, gardeners who managed to get to know him with one voice include:
- early ripening;
- tendency to rapid growth;
- the ability to produce a regular, consistently high and long-lasting crop twice a season;
- resistance to adverse weather conditions, in particular, to high solar activity and drought;
- weak susceptibility to fungal diseases (in particular, powdery mildew and gray rot), as well as viral infections;
- good frost resistance and winter hardiness of the bush;
- very good and balanced taste of berries;
- universal purpose of the fruit;
- high commercial quality of the crop - good keeping quality and transportability.
Did you know? You won’t surprise anyone with red and yellow raspberries, but the fruits of this shrub can have more unusual colors. So, the Americans brought black raspberries, and the Swiss, crossing it with red, got a purple color, and it is he who is considered the rarest today.
The shortcomings of Willamette raspberries are rarely spoken about.
- In particular, among the numerous enthusiastic comments, only occasionally can one find a review that this variety:
- not always on sale, or sold out very quickly;
- Needs regular, twice a year, competent pruning to ensure good fruiting;
- differs too pronounced prickly shoots;
- not winter-hardy enough for cultivation in the middle lane of the European part of the Russian Federation and more northern regions;
- in terms of size and abundance of berries it is somewhat inferior to varieties bearing fruit once a year (the latter feature, however, is characteristic of any repairing variety, therefore it can hardly be considered a disadvantage objectively).
Video: Raspberry Villamette Varieties
Planting and subsequent care for Willamette raspberries involves the implementation of traditional procedures necessary for growing this type of fruit shrub. If you want to get two harvests of berries per season, you need to take into account the features characteristic of the cultivation of repairing raspberry varieties.
For good growth and fruiting, raspberries need intensive lighting, so the area in the shade or partial shade is not suitable for it. At the same time, this culture is very sensitive to gusts of wind. This means that the place under the raspberry should be chosen protected by a fence or other capital building, especially from the north.
In order for all bushes to receive an equal amount of light and heat, it is best to plant them in one line, from south to north - for example, along the eastern or western borders of the site. The lowland is poorly suited for shrubs, because, on the one hand, its surface root system does not tolerate stagnation of water, and on the other, the gentle above-ground part can be severely affected by the accumulation of cold air in winter or in the off-season.
Too high a place is more strongly blown by the wind and prevents the formation of a thick layer of snow at the foot of the bush, which, in turn, increases the risk of freezing of roots and stems. To alleviate temperature differences and reduce air dryness, which is especially important for plants in winter, the proximity helps a lot pond.
Important! In the wild, raspberries prefer to grow on the banks of rivers and lakes, in forest glades, which very well characterizes the plant's needs for lighting, moisturizing and protection.
However, the proximity of groundwater to the surface of the earth can provoke putrefactive processes of parts of the bush.Therefore, if the depth of the aquifer is less than 100 cm, before planting raspberries, you must provide a drainage system, or good drainage from turf, dry reeds or brushwood remaining after pruning fruit trees.
Raspberry is best developed on light soils enriched with oxygen and humus - loam or sandstone. The acid-base balance for the plant does not matter, however, higher yields can be obtained if the soil has an acidic or neutral reaction, while the culture develops worse on alkaline substrates.
Assessing the suitability of the initial soil composition in the plot for growing Willamette raspberries on it, one should proceed from the following rules:
|Suitable soil for raspberries||Unsuitable soil for raspberries|
|gray forest soil||saline|
|peat ground||swamp soil|
It is not recommended to plant shrubs near strawberries, blackberries and meadowsweet, as these plants have “common” pests, as well as among tall fruit trees that will obscure raspberries and inhibit its development. The bad precursors for raspberries are solanaceous plants, but after legumes and pumpkin crops, the berry grows just fine.
Important! From the point of view of crop rotation rules, the period of presence of raspberry in one and the same place should not exceed 7-10 years, after which it should be transferred to another site, and return to the previous cultivation of this type of fruit shrub after 5-7 years.
Landing and care
You can plant Willamette raspberries in open ground in the spring, before the buds open, or in the fall, from September to October, and the second option is traditionally considered more preferable. Landing technology does not depend on the time of year.
First of all, you should prepare a pit up to 50 cm deep and about 40 cm in diameter. When planting several bushes, the distance between them should be at least 50 cm, with a row spacing (if the raspberry will consist of several rows) - about 150 cm.
In this case, an active American variety will get a good area for subsequent growth. The topsoil extracted from the ground during the preparation of the pit is enriched with organic and mineral fertilizers.
Based on each seedling, it is recommended to use:
- superphosphate - 100 g;
- potassium sulfate - 50 g (wood ash - 400 g);
- humus or compost - 10 kg.
The lower, infertile soil layer remaining after the preparation of the pit is not used in further work.
Did you know? The darker the color of raspberries, the more useful it is considered. This is due to the fact that the two most powerful natural antioxidants are resveratrol and pterostilbene - are present only in black fruits, and the first and provides them with appropriate color.
The resulting mixture is divided into two parts: one is laid at the bottom of the pit, the second is left to sprinkle the seedling. Next, a young bush is carefully placed in the pit so that the replacement bud is several centimeters below the surface of the earth. Having spread the roots of the seedling, they begin to fill the pit with nutritious soil substrate, and the earth must be periodically tamped so that no voids remain inside.
Immediately after planting, the bush should be watered abundantly, using slightly warmed, settled water for this. It is necessary to pour it not under the bush, but around the circumference, having prepared in advance small sides around the near-trunk section so that the water does not flow. When moisture is absorbed, the bush should be mulched. To do this, you can use coniferous litter or peat, which will provide additional soil acidification, well suited for raspberries.
Further care for the shrub involves watering and top dressing, and the frequency and balance of both of these procedures are crucial for the final result. Watering raspberries, like fruit trees, is rare, but plentiful.
The maximum moisture demand of the shrub falls at the beginning of its growth, in addition, a lot of water is needed for raspberries during flowering and fruit laying, that is, in relation to the repair Willamette, from May to June and from late July to August.
Did you know? In Russia, raspberries were sometimes called the “bear berry”, because the clubfoot gourmets showed no less love for these sweet fruits than for honey. Therefore, harvesting in wild and thick raspberries was not as safe an activity as it might seem.
When the berries begin to pour on the fruit branches, watering should be reduced to prevent the development of fruit rot and improve the marketability of the crop. The last watering is carried out in late autumn, at the stage of preparing the raspberry for wintering.
As for top dressing, they should be started no earlier than the third year after planting, provided, of course, that the above recommendations regarding nutrient enrichment of the soil in the planting pit were fulfilled.
In spring, emphasis is placed on fertilizers containing nitrogen - urea (urea) or ammonium nitrate. The drug should be diluted in a concentration of 20-30 g per 10 liters of water and used for root irrigation with a flow rate of 3 liters per 1 m² of raspberry. During flowering, harvesting, characterized by long fruiting, Willamette is especially in need of a comprehensive feeding.
During this period, for fertilizer, you can use:
- potassium sulfate (30–40 g per 10 liters of water);
- infusion of wood ash (250 ml per 10 l of water);
- boric acid (10–20 g per 10 l of water) - foliar spraying;
- nitrophosco (30–45 g per 10 l of water);
- special preparations for fruit and berry crops, diluted in accordance with the instructions ("Ideal", "Planta", "Radiopharm", "Ryazanochka", "Vila", "Agrekol", "Rosla", "Ekolist").
In autumn, the reproductive repairing raspberries must be fed with potassium and phosphorus, otherwise a plant depleted by the formation of a large number of berries may be unprepared for winter. During this period, top dressing can be applied under the bushes in a dry form, followed by mulching with organic matter.
Recommended dose of fertilizers (based on each plant):
- superphosphate - 1 tsp;
- potassium sulfate - 1 tsp;
- compost or humus - 1 kg.
Pest and Disease Control
Despite the good immunity characteristic of the Willamette variety, this raspberry can significantly suffer from various diseases and pests, if you do not pay due attention to the preventive protection of the bush.
The main enemies of the fruit bush are:
In order to keep the bushes always healthy, in the spring, for preventive purposes, it is recommended that raspberries be treated with fungicidal and insecticidal preparations of systemic action. For example, protection against fungal infections can be provided by spraying with copper sulfate or Bordeaux mixture, urea can help with pests.
Did you know? Locust is considered the most harmful insect on the planet. Under favorable conditions, a flock of these amazingly voracious creatures is capable of simultaneously covering an area of 2000 hectares and covering distances of up to 1000 km, leaving «dead» land completely devoid of vegetation.
As a treatment tool, one of the modern biological products is suitable, which is not so high compared to traditional pesticides, but does not harm the soil, useful insects and the health of the gardener - Polyversum WP.
Given the specific life cycle of parasites that affect raspberries, spraying is recommended in 3-4 stages - before budding, before flowering and in subsequent periods, with a frequency of 3-4 weeks.
In addition, a healthy raspberry is not possible without standard sanitary measures, including thorough cleaning of organic residues, including fallen leaves and berries, before winter, digging around the bushes in autumn and spring, in order to destroy parasites wintering in the ground, as well as immediately pruning and removal (burning) of shoots affected by the disease or pest, including root shoots.
Important! The less time left before the harvest, the less toxic the drug must be selected for processing.
Tall Willamette, as well as any other raspberry, needs a garter. The support for the bush must be built in the spring so that young shoots, kept upright and separated during the garter from each other, get the opportunity to be evenly lit.
In addition, unconnected bushes do not allow to control abundant root shoots, and berries and leaves, when in contact with the ground, are easily infected with fungal infections.
The standard way to garnish raspberries is trellis. To organize it, strong supports up to 2 m high are driven in from both sides of each row, and two rows of strong thread or wire are pulled between them: the lower bar is fixed at a height of 60–70 cm from the ground, the upper one is indented another 50–60 cm.
As the raspberry grows, new supports are gradually added so that the threads do not sag between them, and, if necessary, form new horizontal levels - starting from 30 cm from the ground to the top of the support point, every 25-30 cm.
Did you know? Suitable for garter material "Old" tape: it stretches well and exhibits exceptional strength. Therefore, do not rush to get rid of things that have become obsolete - they can serve a new and sometimes completely unexpected service, if you show a little ingenuity.
Pruning and wintering
The fast-growing Willamette must be cut twice during the season - in spring and fall.
At the beginning of the season, the shrub should be carefully examined, and then remove all frostbitten, weakened or diseased stems. Pruning is carried out “to healthy tissue”, that is, the cut must be done directly above the first living kidney.As the bush begins to form root shoots, you need to leave only the strongest shoots that appeared first, shortening them at a height of 15–20 cm, other sprouts must be removed. Such thinning will ensure the formation of large berries, otherwise all the forces of the bush will be spent on the growth of green mass.
Important! The correct rationing of raspberry trees implies the location on one square meter of no more than 10-15 full root shoots.
In autumn, after the completion of the second phase of fruiting, the two-year-old seedling shoots are removed, since the berries will no longer be tied to them. It is not recommended to leave such branches until spring, since during the winter the shrub should not “carry” the extra mass of branches, this will take away extra forces from it.
Preparing for winter is another important element in caring for raspberries. Willamette does not have too high frost resistance, so you should approach the procedure especially carefully. The maximum risk for the plant is not so much the low temperature as such, as the absence of snow cover, which is a natural protection for the bush, and not only the roots, but also the raspberry fruit buds freeze out in snowless winters.
Thus, the technique used by some gardeners to bind the raspberry bush with a “bunch” and leave it in this form for the winter is much less successful than bending the shoots to the ground and fixing them, which subsequently provides shelter to the fruit buds with snow.
Before laying raspberry shoots from them, be sure to carefully remove all the foliage, because it is in it that the causative agents of many diseases, some pests winter. You need to remove the leaves from the bottom up, otherwise, moving “against the coat”, you can damage the fruit buds and lose the future crop.
As the snow falls around the raspberry, you need to try to build the highest possible snowdrift, covering all branches as much as possible. In regions with snowy winters, cover can be artificially made using materials with good breathability, such as burlap or agrotechnical fiber.
Important! The root system of raspberries Willamette freezes when the temperature in the soil drops to -21 ... -23 ° C, if the bush is not covered with snow. Under a snowdrift, it can withstand frosts down to -35 ... -37 ° C. As for the aerial part, its endurance threshold, with good shelter, is a decrease in temperature to -30 ° C.
During the cold period, it is important to ensure that the ice crust does not form on the bedspread, otherwise in the absence of oxygen the plant will cross and in the spring it will hurt for a long time or die at all.
As soon as the most severe frosts are left behind, the cover from the raspberry should be removed so that the bush does not overheat, but gets an additional hardening before the start of the growing season. Removing excess snow is also important from the point of view of preventing waterlogging of the soil during the period of intensive melting - as was said, the raspberry root system does not tolerate this.
Harvesting and transportation
Raspberry Willamette is an early ripening variety. Depending on climatic conditions, the bush can begin to bear fruit actively from the first decade of July until the beginning or mid-August. Harvesting can last until the end of September.
A distinctive feature of Willamette berries is their excellent keeping quality and transportability. Harvest can be transported over long distances without loss and stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks or more, without losing any external attractiveness or aroma.
American raspberry Willamette can rightly be called a time-tested classic. Over the three quarters of a century of its existence, this early-ripening high-yielding variety has managed to win a huge number of admirers around the world and does not give up its positions even despite the fact that science does not stand still and annually presents to the world more and more breeding achievements.
The unpretentiousness, long-term and abundant fruiting of Willamette raspberries, combined with the excellent marketability and taste characteristics of its berries, make the variety an excellent choice for planting in its summer cottage, and this applies even to those gardeners who do not have much experience growing fruit bushes.
Network user reviews
3 new PZs grew and nettle appeared. To my surprise, the grown shoots are not erect, and not even semi-erect, but creeping, completely lie on the ground. It’s certainly convenient to cover them so for the winter, but next year you will have to tie them up, i.e. the variety needs trellis. To my taste, so far unfortunately my favorite variety. Unfortunately, because I love bezpalerny raspberry, it is more convenient. Yes, and I would like more productivity, somehow Himbo-Top in the first year already gives 3 times more yield, if not 5.