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Three great choices for planting your own

a pile of raspberries

Everyone loves raspberries. When they're fresh, they're sweet, tender and juicy. When you buy them in the grocery store, they're often ... well ... not so terrific. And they can be extraordinarily expensive.

But since raspberries — actually a kind of bramble — are pretty easy to grow, why not try growing the plants yourself? In most cases, you'll find the plants take only about a year to begin bearing fruit and should reach the height of their productivity within three years. Not bad statistics compared to, say, your average apple tree.

At The Victory Garden, we chose to plant three raspberry varieties to give us some rotation in fruit bearing. You may want to do the same. The advantage is that as one variety finishes fruiting, another will still be in its prime. All three varieties listed here are classified as "Summer Reds."

* Reveille
According to our gardener Kip Anderson, Reveille is a vigorous, hardy early variety that can survive the fluctuations of winter weather fairly well. It can be successfully planted in Zones 4 through 8. The medium to large fruit is bright red and flavorful. It promises to be a productive plant.

* Canby
Canby is a midseason raspberry variety that yields large fruit with excellent flavor. An additional plus with the Canby is that its canes are virtually thorn-free, the variety is less winter-hardy than Reveille.

* Taylor
The Taylor raspberry is another vigorous, winter-hardy variety with productive plants yielding delicious, bright and firm fruit medium to large in size.

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This segment appears in show #2701.

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Published August 31, 2007