The best part to having pie on a special occasion like Pi Day is the homegrown pie filling. At home, we grow black raspberries. They are sweeter and less tart than the red ones.
Black raspberries have their own characteristics:
- Rubus occidentalis, it's an eastern US native.
- For the home gardener, the black raspberry plants use organic methods or products to control fungus and insects.
- Harvest time, mid June-to mid-July, will occur on the second growing year of a cane.
- Can grow in hedgerows, hills or in containers.
- Propagation is by the head of the canes.
- If the primocanes are allowed to grow unchecked, they get long ( 7’ to 9' ), are very difficult to manage and bear little fruit.
- At harvest, the fruit receptacle ( stem ) remains on the raspberry plant as opposed to a blackberry where the stem stays with the fruit.
- Every year, for the health of the plant and for a big harvest, a plant will need 3 cuts: early spring cleanup, summer heading ( tipping) and removal of canes after fruiting.