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I have a 5 foot tall Fall Gold Raspberry plant. I bought it as a 4 foot plant from the local nursery earlier this year. It has been producing quite a lot of berries. There are perhaps 20 growing on this plant at the moment. The problem is that the fruit shrivels before it reaches mature size. Here is someone else's photo to show what a mature Fall Gold raspberry looks like:

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All of my berries start shriveling at half that size. I have eaten them before they've shriveled and they are quite sweet and aromatic. However, I'd prefer to eat larger meatier berries. This is a photo of my my shriveled berries:

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This is a photo of the entire plant. It is planted along a southeast fence. It doesn't get sunlight in the morning because the fence blocks the southern sun, but starting at noon, it can start sunbathing. The plant looks green and lush to me. It seems that the few burnt leaves are the ones that receive the most sun. I've been putting a tad bit of cottonseed meal to slightly acidify the soil.

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Update

It's now the middle of summer and my Fall Gold is producing its second batch of berries. This time around, the berries have remained green before reaching full size. The previous batch would become gold far too soon. Temperatures have been a tad bit more comfortable - 60 F at night, under 80 F during the day. I still water it every 2 or 3 days.

The lush cane closer to the camera is newer growth. It's producing some big berries. The sickly one in the background is the original cane from the nursery - the same cane that produced the immature shriveled berries. Even though it has become sickly, it's still producing a second batch of berries now. So I'll let it produce before sending it to the grave. As this is my first year gardening, I don't really know what pale and dried up leaves signify. I'm inclined to believe that it's a cane that's reached the end of its lifecycle.

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  • This is a good candidate for a drip irrigation system if a water source is available. Also the fence is white which will reflect light and heat. Good to ripen fruit but maybe too much the first year it's planted. – kevinsky Jun 11 '14 at 17:23
  • BTW, the drip pipes you see on the ground don't work. The old owner snipped them in anger before leaving the house (short sale). Maybe I should hook them up again. – JoJo Jun 11 '14 at 18:04
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It's a water problem, specifically, not enough, evidenced by the browning edges on the leaves and the shrivelled fruits. Once the berries start forming, you need to keep the plant well supplied with water, or the fruit will atrophy on the stem. You say you bought the plant earlier this year, so the fact it's only been planted this year also means it has a higher water requirement. Increase your watering.

  • I have been watering it 2-3 times per week. Perhaps the soil is too well drained. I used almost exclusively the Kellogg "soil" before I discovered that it's a soil admendment. – JoJo Jun 11 '14 at 18:28
  • First and second year root systems aren't enough to support fruiting very well. Just lost a couple canes worth on the end of the row because I didn't realize the soil was dry. Watering fixed the next batch to ripen. Just finished picking 2 quarts off the established rows today. – Fiasco Labs Jun 12 '14 at 6:09
  • @JoJo; always best to water copiously (a good couple of gallons) but less often to reduce the risk of surface rooting by your plants. At the moment, though, needs a hose trickling at the base for an hour or two, if possible. – Bamboo Jun 12 '14 at 11:43
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    @JoJo did you increase your irrigation? What were the results? – J. Musser Aug 22 '14 at 1:43
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    My friends, I've updated my posting with a progress photo. The berries look much bigger now. – JoJo Aug 23 '14 at 16:42

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