Sunday, August 14, 2011

Natural Selection, Quantrell Style

I've had it.

Planted two varieties of raspberries - only two pots worth, but two of them. One looked very healthy, displaying vibrant greens and lush growth. The other had slightly browned leaves on the bottom and seemed more like I was taking a chance when I purchased it. I planned to experiment and find out which was the best producer. I love raspberries. The more the merrier.

The eastern plant, Willamette Raspberry (Rubus Willamette) looked great. High hopes for this one. Did I mention it had thorns? The western plant, Joan J. Raspberry (Rubus Joan J.) did not exhibit the potential for growth and berry abundance. Miss Joan did not have any thorns, which I found odd, but was happy at the prospect of no scratches come harvest time.

Mid-August, and I'm about ready to perform my own version of natural selection! The scraggly, browned leaved western plan, Miss Joan J., is covered in blooms, picked fruit buds, and ripening raspberries! I love this plant! I would like several more like this one, brown leaves, no thorns, and all.

(Miss Joan J.)

Good old Willamette Raspberry is worthless! The only thing it has grown has been MORE thorns and long canes filled with beautiful leaves. NOT ONE flower OR hint of a raspberry. Nothing. So, Mr. Willamette, I'll give you until spring. If there is no sign of something for me to eat, you are gone. Compost-ville for you. Hasta la vista, baby. Thorns, pretty leaves, the whole works. Dug up and tossed out.

(Mr. Willamette)

That's my time line. I'm selecting the variety that does what it's supposed too. Forget the time, energy, water and work for the lazy plant. I keep telling it, "You have until maybe May, beginning of June, and I better see some fruit, or you are out of here!"

It's not working so far, the threats, but maybe after a nice lie in over winter, Mr. Willamette will consider the compost bin...and get busy. Otherwise, it's several more of Miss Joan J. coming to live in my yard.


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