“I was astounded by how many berries there were after the rain,” said grower Debbie Lawless. “I didn’t think that we would have very many.”
Lawless said her berries managed to survive the dry heat. But she said there were other factors that caused for concern.
“The blossoms, I felt, weren’t as many as there should have been and I don’t think they were fertilized as well as they should have been,” she said. “I think the bees were a little slower this year.”
Dayle Wilson has been growing raspberries to sell at the Amherst Farmer’s Market for almost five years. She said her crop has been good this year, but she’s made sure to water her berries.
“We have blackberries too and I’ve noticed that the upper branches are not as big as the branches down below where they got more shade,” she said. “But mine were two weeks early. Everything seems early.”
Lawless said raspberries are easier to care for. She said berries like strawberries and blueberries need more attention.
“Raspberries grow up nicely,” she said. “For some reason, for us, strawberries seem to be a little bit harder to grow on their own. It’s harder to keep the weeds down (we don’t use chemicals). But raspberries, you can leave them a little bit on their own.”
Lawless said she’s noticed that raspberries are able to grow and ripen with less water than other berries.
“The berries are much smaller, that are not going to be big and plump like a strawberry,” she said. “Raspberries seem to be more of a survivor but their season will run quicker when there’s not enough rain. But we do need more rain. Our garden is very dry.”
Amherst Daily News