Can you grow raspberries in Texas?

If you have lived in Texas very long you will learn that you can’t grow raspberries here! They struggle with our hot summers, both heat and intense sunlight are tough! I know, I have tried…

That was the way of thinking till Jacy Lewis, Program Manager at the Extension Viticulture and Sustainable Fruit Applied Research Program in Fredericksburg began to experiment with a very different environment for raspberry growing. For the last couple of years, she has looked at many different varieties grown under 3 different colors of shade cloth.

The experiment is continuing but so far, the fruit has outstanding flavor with intense sweetness, yields are good, and the plants are doing very well. Most raspberry plants, Dorman Red is the most recommended, perform very poorly and eventually just die. These plants are doing just the opposite with good fruit set, great limb growth and lots of vigor. The experimental shade cloth colors are red, black and white and so far, the red is looking slightly better, but the experiment is far from over.

Organic growers pay attention! There are very little disease or insect issues growing raspberries and they love organic fertilizers. The organic market for raspberries is $3 for conventional 6-ounce packages and $5 for organic 6-ounce packages. My sources say they can sell all the organic they can get!

Author: Bob Whitney, Regents Fellow & Extension Organic Specialist

Agriculturalist, extension educator and researcher, organic agriculture enthusiast and promoter, international program developer, Christian, husband, father and friend.

4 thoughts on “Can you grow raspberries in Texas?”

  1. Where in Texas do you live, are you using a red shade cloth and what is the growing season? Also, if you are using a color shade cloth, where do you buy them?

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    1. Alexxander, my office is in Stephenville at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, and I live nearby. Jacy is doing her shade cloth studies at the Texas A&M Research and Extension Center in Fredericksburg. Raspberries are perennials but they fruit in the summer. We grow the raspberries year-round under the red shade cloth, but the shade cloth becomes important in the heat and sun of summer. A quick internet search for shade cloth and you will find many, many companies that sell them in a variety of colors depending on size, shade %, and overall quality.

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