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Old 04-06-2014, 10:25 AM
 
67 posts, read 81,309 times
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This will be my first spring living in Colorado. Moved here last summer from Duluth, Mn and just enjoyed the best winter of my life! Duluth set several records for cold and snow (7th snowiest winter, 117" so far and it isn't done) and I missed it! When I say- "missed it", I mean that I'm glad I wasn't there for it. Very glad...

Since we have a long, warm growing season in Colorado, I hope to plant vegetables in the garden in a month or so. But what I'm mostly interested in is trying to grow some berries. Blackberries, raspberries and blueberries specifically. I see plants for sale at Home Depot but wonder if anyone knows where they grow wild here in Colorado? I'd much prefer picking wild berries and trying to grow "local strains" from the seeds verses the "tame" varieties. I've asked some people and have yet to find anyone who has ever even heard of wild berries growing much in Colorado.

Anyone care to add your two cents about the topic?
Or if you have knowledge of someone who has some good raspberries growing, I'd like to get some shoots to try out.
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:06 PM
 
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choke cherry or sand cherry grows well here, as does crab apple.
Only red and yellow raspberries grow here, blackberries usually do not.

Here is some info from the extension service: Raspberries for the Home Garden
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Black Forest, CO
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I have seen wild raspberries when hiking the trails above Palmer Lake. I planted some raspberry plants at my house here about 20 years ago. I think they would do well if I tended to them, but I don't. I get maybe 10 berries from them and the plants are still very small. They have spread around quite a bit, but are nowhere near the huge bushes of berries I remember at my grandmother's house in the midwest. But just the fact that they have not died after being ignored for 20 years makes me think if I took good care of them, they would do just fine. If I recall correctly, I ordered them online from a reputable grower - they were the Heritage variety I think.
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Pikes Peak Region
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Strawberries tend to do well here, also. They need a lot of water but I know I have wild strawberries growing on the side of my house where the gutter leaks. They're like a weed, hard to kill and keep coming back. Same with raspberries. I try to hack down the plant but it keeps coming back!
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:35 PM
 
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otowi posted an excellent site for info
I live in the mountains and wild raspberries grow on the hillsides all around here.
Rubus idaeus (Raspberry, Red Raspberry)
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Old 04-06-2014, 02:53 PM
gn3
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Yep, what others said. Raspberries flourish, blackberries just barely get by and don't produce much. Just bear in mind that raspberries can and will spread like crazy - you will be seeing new shoots pop up 4-5 feet from the original plant the second year. It takes some work to keep them in check.

Also, don't wait a month to get things out. Things like spinach, peas, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage can and should be planted now. We just planted some seeds today.
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:35 PM
 
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I guess compared to MN we have a long, warm growing season!


Last frost is May 15 (typically)... so non-hardy items should be planted about then. In the past I have (unsuccessfully, my fault, not the climate) started seeds inside.
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:47 PM
 
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I've seen raspberries growing here and there in the wild on hikes, but no sign of blueberries. I don't think either the soil or climate is right for them here.

A couple years ago I planted a few serviceberry bushes around my house. The first year I got a few berries to snack on, but last year they never even flowered -- I think that late May freeze got them. (None of the ornamental crabapples along the street in my neighborhood bloomed/fruited last year either, although my little hawthorn tree did.)
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:04 PM
 
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Thanks everyone for the info. I picked up 4 blueberry plants today. May have a friend in Minnesota who has a spectacular clump of raspberries send me some starters, once their snow is gone.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:18 PM
 
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You'll need to plant those blueberries in a raised bed filled with peat moss, probably, for them to have any chance to survive. They need acid soil and the native soils around here are alkaline. I think they'll also need a lot of water....
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