Black raspberry Cumberland: how to grow an unusual berry

There are few varieties of black raspberries. In our country, perhaps the most famous is Cumberland. But gardeners are not very interested in this raspberry. Yes, she looks unusual, the berries are almost black and small. Perhaps for many they look unappetizing. But it is worth trying this variety, because the fruits of Cumberland are not only tasty, but also healthy. And it will be useful for gardeners to learn that the plant is very unpretentious and unusually beautiful.

The history of the Cumberland raspberry variety

Passing by Cumberland raspberries, you won't even think that this is a well-known raspberry berry. Rather blackberries. It is because of this similarity that all varieties of black raspberry are called blackberry-like. Raspberries with black berries came to us from North America. There she is quite a familiar plant. But in our gardens, chokeberry varieties are still considered exotic.

Cumberland raspberry variety native to North America

Raspberry Cumberland is far from new. The variety has already celebrated its centenary - it was bred back in 1888. But an American guest appeared in our gardens only in the 80s. Despite the fact that enough time has passed since its appearance, gardeners are in no hurry to grow an unusual berry. And in vain, because Cumberland, in addition to its unusual appearance, has excellent characteristics.

On the market you can find raspberries with a similar name - Earley Cumberland, but this variety ripens earlier. And then there was a Cumberland with yellow berries.

Description of the plant

The Cumberland bush is a real decoration of the garden. The plant is powerful, up to 2.5 m high, but not spreading. The shoots grow straight at first, and then begin to bend, forming an arch. Stems are thick (up to 3 cm in diameter), with short internodes, dotted with numerous sharp thorns. Young shoots are green with a waxy bloom of a bluish or purple hue. The two-year-old stem is brown.

Video: black raspberry Cumberland in my garden

Due to its good growth, Cumberland is often used as a hedge.

The leaf blade is complex. The surface is wrinkled, slightly rough, bright green in color. The underside of the leaf is grayish, with slight pubescence. There are thorns, but they are small and in their infancy.

The flowers are small, white. Collected in racemose inflorescences of 10 - 15 pieces. They are mainly located on the tops of the shoots or in the axils of the leaves.

The berries are round in shape and small in size - their average weight is 2 g. At the moment when the berry is just poured, its usual color is scarlet. But the ripe berry looks unusual. Its color can go from dark purple to black. The skin is dense and shiny, with a bluish bloom between the drupes.

Cumberland berries have a very unusual color and look more like blackberries than raspberries.

You can distinguish Cumberland raspberries from blackberries during harvest. Ripe raspberries separate from the stalk very easily. And blackberries are torn off only with a tail.

Cumberland berries have a rather bright dessert taste, in which sweetness prevails, sourness is slightly noticeable. Drupes of medium juiciness, with a blackberry flavor and a pleasant aroma. The only drawback is that they contain a lot of seeds. Taste qualities are estimated from 3.8 to 5 points.

Video: Raspberry Cumberland - first impressions

Characteristics of the variety

  1. Raspberry Cumberland is perfect for growing almost throughout Russia.
  2. It starts bearing fruit in the second year after planting. The maximum yield indicator reaches 3 years. Cumberland is capable of bearing fruit for a long time - up to 14 years.
  3. Ripening period is average. The variety blooms in early June, so return frosts are not terrible. Flowering lasts almost a month, harvesting is in July.
  4. Cumberland is not a remontant variety. The harvest per season gives one, but the berries ripen gradually, so the collection of berries is somewhat delayed. Ripe fruits do not fall off the bush.
  5. The yield of Cumberland is small - only 2 kg per bush, sometimes a little more. But on the other hand, thanks to the dense skin, the berries are stored and transported perfectly.
  6. The culture is unpretentious to the soil, quickly adapts to the surrounding conditions.
  7. The variety is distinguished by good frost resistance - up to -30 ° С. Although some sources indicate a threshold of -35 ° C and even -40 ° C.
  8. Berries can be used in any form - they are good both fresh and in blanks. In addition, Cumberland is incredibly useful, because it is known that chokeberry varieties contain more nutrients than red raspberries.
  9. The immunity of the variety is good - diseases and pests are infrequently affected.
  10. Cumberland is an excellent honey plant. Therefore, a bush that attracts bees is useful in the garden to increase pollination.
  11. The plantings of this variety look neat. Cumberland has a rare property for raspberries - it does not give root growth and does not spread throughout the entire plot. Young shoots are formed directly from the bush, like currants.
  12. The presence of thorns on the shoots makes harvesting very difficult, so the bushes need to be tied up.
  13. Black berries are of no interest to birds at all, in this regard, you can be calm for the integrity of the crop.

Raspberry Cumberland is an unpretentious plant with excellent characteristics

Advantages and disadvantages - table

The presence of thorns on the stems often makes picking berries difficult, but if the plant is properly looked after, this will not be a hindrance.

Features of planting black raspberry Cumberland

It is very important to know all the features of planting black raspberries. Not only the survival rate of the seedling depends on this, but also its ability to fully demonstrate all its characteristics in the future.

Site selection and site preparation

Before you buy a seedling, you should find the right place to plant it. Raspberries are very fond of the sun, so we choose the lightest area. We place the rows in the direction from north to south, so the plants will get more light. Cumberland prefers light loamy and fertile soils.

Wind protection is another important requirement. In winter, the prevailing air currents can severely dry out the wood. As a result, not all plants wake up in the spring.

Cumberland can be planted along fences, which in winter will serve as an excellent shelter from the cold wind.

Do not plant raspberries after tomatoes, potatoes, or other varieties of raspberries. Neighborhood with blackberries is considered undesirable.

After you have decided on a place, you need to prepare it. This should be done in advance, for example, if you are planting raspberries in the fall, then in the spring carefully dig up the site, while simultaneously cleaning it from the roots of perennial plants and introducing organic matter. Cumberland is very fond of natural fertilizers, so for 1 m² of soil you need at least 2 - 3 buckets of manure. For spring planting, instead of manure, you can sow the site with siderates, which, after the autumn digging, will become the basis of nutrition for the seedlings.

Siderata are a great alternative to manure

Planting timing and seedling selection

The choice of time for boarding directly depends on the region in which you live. Gardeners of the southern regions prefer autumn, and in spring, planting work begins in areas of risky farming.

Autumn planting is ideal for warm climates. The raspberries planted at the end of September before the onset of cold weather will have time to acquire new roots and safely wait for spring. Autumn is also good because the seedling does not need to be constantly watered. Adequate rainfall will do all the work for you.

In cool regions, preference is given to spring planting, which is carried out in April. It will allow you to observe how the seedling is rooting and help it in case something goes wrong. But you need to have time to plant the plant before the buds begin to actively bloom.

Finding a Cumberland raspberry seedling is not easy. But if you're lucky, focus on the root system. The roots should not be overdried, broken off, have traces of diseases. It is best if the root system is closed. Such a seedling can be planted even in summer.

The root system of the black raspberry is more developed than that of the red raspberry.

Choose 2 year old plants for planting. Be sure to pay attention to the color of the stem and the presence of thorns. In a seedling, the shoot bark must be covered with a bluish bloom.

Due to the fact that Cumberland does not form root suckers, the variety is propagated by rooting the top, cuttings or seeds.

The root system of the black raspberry Cumberland is much more powerful than that of the red-fruited

Step-by-step planting process

  1. Considering the fibrousness of the raspberry root system, the depression should be sufficient for the roots to be located in it without creases. As a rule, 45/45 cm pits are sufficient.
  2. Examine the open root system carefully and cut dry and broken areas, if any, to healthy tissue. Then dip in a mullein mash (the consistency of a pancake dough).
  3. Be sure to add fertilizers to the recess: a bucket of rotted humus, 2 handfuls of nitrophosphate, 4 glasses of wood ash. Add fertile soil and mix well.
  4. Place the seedling on a mound built from a soil mixture, straighten the roots. Cover with the remaining soil, compact it around the seedling.
  5. Gently pour 1 - 2 buckets of water over the bush. When it is absorbed, mulch the surface.

Video: planting raspberries Cumberland

Landing scheme

Given the rapid growth and height of the bushes, up to 70 cm should be left between plants in a row.And if you are growing by a two-row method, then the row spacing should be 2 m.


Raspberry Cumberland is quite unpretentious, it will not be difficult to grow it. But there are some nuances. Let's talk about them.


To obtain high yields, raspberries must be watered. Adult plants with a rather powerful root system are moistened at least 4 times during the growing season with an interval of 15 - 20 days:

  • before flowering;
  • during the formation of a green ovary;
  • during the ripening period of berries;
  • in late autumn, if the weather is warm and dry.

Watering is especially necessary at the time of ripening of black-fruited raspberries. Lack of water during this period will result not only in a decrease in berry weight and insufficient juiciness, but also lead to the development of weak replacement shoots.

Watering is especially important when the Cumberland raspberries are starting to pour.

The frequency of watering should be adjusted depending on the precipitation. Excessively moist soil will not be beneficial, as well as overdried soil when the air temperature rises.

Particular attention should be paid to seedlings, especially those planted in spring. Young plants are watered almost every day until they take root. Under each bush, you need to pour up to 5 liters of water and make sure that the soil in the raspberry bushes during the rooting period of the seedlings is moderately moist. Then the frequency of watering is reduced, but the rate of water application is increased to 1 bucket.

Mulch is a good way to retain moisture in the soil. But during a period of prolonged rains, it can play against the rules, leading to stagnation of water in the roots. To prevent this from happening, remove the mulch with a rake and allow the soil to dry naturally.

Cumberland loves moderately moist soil, so the drip system is great for maintaining water balance in the soil.

Top dressing

The American variety loves to eat very much, so we add fertilizing three times a season, combining them with watering:

  • before flowering;
  • at the time of the formation of the ovary;
  • after picking the first ripe berries.

Cumberland is responsive to organic matter, but it also needs mineral fertilizers. The alternation of these types of feeding will have a beneficial effect on yield. For raspberries, you can make the following cocktails:

  • Dissolve 10 - 15 g of urea, 35 g of superphosphate and a glass of wood ash in a bucket of water. This is the application rate for an adult plant;
  • mullein solution is prepared at the rate of 1 part to 6 parts of water, chicken droppings are diluted with plenty of water - 1 to 12.

If you want to make friends with Cumberland raspberries, treat them to an organic cocktail

In spring or autumn, you can add organic matter for digging - for 1 m² you need to take 6 kg of rotted manure. But in this way, the soil is fertilized once every 2 years.

Raspberries are very sensitive to chlorine, so potassium chloride should not be added. Use ash instead.

For foliar dressing, a solution of boric acid (10 g per 1 l of water) and urea (10 - 15 g per bucket of water) is used alternately. Spray the mixture in the evening so that the leaves do not get burned. The last foliar dressing is applied about half a month before the start of the harvest.

In addition to root feeding, Cumberland can also be fed by the foliar method.


For Cumberland, pruning is an important step in grooming. This is due to the rapid growth of the bush and replacement shoots. The variety bears fruit on annual branches located on two-year-old shoots. Therefore, the following tactics are used for blackberry-like raspberries:

  • starting from mid-June, the tip of the shoot should be cut off at a height of at least 1.5 m. This technique will increase the yield due to the growth of lateral shoots (from 4 to 10 of them may appear). In addition, young shoots begin to grow actively;
  • in the fall, before the onset of stable cold weather, another procedure is carried out. This time, cut out all the dried up, weak and fruiting two-year-old shoots. The shoots of the first year are shortened to a height of 30-50 cm from the surface of the earth. Up to 7 shoots are left on one plant.

In those regions where a frosty winter suggests shelter, pruning is carried out not in autumn, but in spring. For the winter, old shoots (if they are not infected with anything) will serve as a support and protection from strong winds for the young.

Healthy cut shoots can be used on site as a base for warm beds. The contaminated material will have to be burned.

Video: spring pruning of Cumberland raspberries

Garter and shaping

Given the tallness of the Cumberland raspberry, she needs a garter. This procedure will not only facilitate harvesting, but will also help create a unique decorative corner on the site.

There are many options for a garter. But the most common is the tapestry. Install it one year after planting.

  1. Along a row of raspberry bushes, strong posts are dug in every 8 m.
  2. A wire is pulled between them in 3 - 4 rows. The first is at a height of 60 cm from the soil surface, the second is at the same distance from the first, etc.
  3. The shoots pre-shortened to 1.5 m are tied to the rows of wire.

If we take as a basis the natural tendency of the Cumberland raspberry shoots to bend at the top and fall down, then you can build a green arch that will decorate the site from spring to the fall of leaves. To create such a structure, pruning is not carried out in the spring, but the raspberry shoots are allowed to grow to a maximum height (by the way, it can exceed 3 m).

For the Cumberland raspberry garter, you can choose one of the suitable types of trellis

Shelter for the winter

Favorable winter conditions and high frost resistance of the plant make it possible to grow Cumberland raspberries in the south without shelter. You can do without shelter structures in the Moscow region. But nevertheless, it is imperative to close the root zone with a thick layer of mulch. In this case, even if the shoots are damaged, the root system will remain alive and the raspberries will quickly revive.

In regions with cold winters, the Cumberland raspberry bushes need to be removed from the trellis, tied and gently bent to the ground, pinned to the surface with metal staples. During the procedure, it should be borne in mind that shoots that have grown during this season bend much easier than two-year-olds. If the winters are snowy, then the snowdrifts will reliably shelter the bushes from frost. But if there is no snow cover, you will have to cover the plants with non-woven material or spruce branches.

In this form, raspberries are not afraid of strong winter winds.

What diseases and pests can threaten Cumberland raspberries

The Cumberland variety, despite such a venerable age, is famous for its high resistance to many diseases and pests inherent in raspberries. Nevertheless, it does not hurt to know the signs of fungal and viral diseases, as well as the measures to combat them.

Verticillary wilting

The pathogen is in the soil, from where it is introduced through damage to the shoots and roots of raspberries. On black-fruited raspberry varieties, the first signs appear a month earlier than on red-fruited - in June - early July. The lower leaves of diseased plants will have a dull appearance, then, starting from the base of the shoots, the leaves turn yellow, wither and fall off prematurely. The stems are covered with blue or purple stripes rising from the very bottom. The next year, on the affected plant, it will be covered with small yellow leaves, the buds will be shriveled. Most likely, the bush will die before the fruit forms. With the help of fungicides, it will not work to overcome the disease that has invaded the bush - the plant will have to be completely removed from the soil and destroyed. The main focus should be on prevention. It consists of the following:

  • purchase only zoned seedlings;
  • plant on light, neutral soils;
  • observe the correct watering regime;
  • remove and burn fallen leaves;
  • be sure to trim, remembering to disinfect the tools;
  • once a month it is useful to process plantings with Bordeaux liquid, HOM, Kuprozan.

Verticillium wilt on black raspberries appears earlier than on red raspberries


Most often, the symptoms appear on the shoots, especially the young ones. In the spring they are covered with spots of red-violet color. As the disease progresses, the spots enlarge, and a depression appears in the center. By the end of summer, the spots turn gray, a purple border appears at the edges. On the affected shoots, deformed fruits are tied, dry and unsuitable for food. Premature leaf fall, wilting of lateral shoots and death of fruiting ones are observed.

Control measures include complete removal of affected stems and treatment with Bordeaux fluid. Spraying is carried out:

  • early spring, before bud break;
  • 10 days after the first treatment;
  • after harvest;
  • in the fall, when the leaves fall.

Prevention, in addition to proper agricultural technology, includes the timely removal of affected shoots, mummified fruits and fallen leaves.

One of the signs of anthracnose is depressed spots on the shoot.


This viral disease can completely destroy the bush in 3 to 4 years. The affected plant will have thick, short stems. Leaves wrinkle, shrink, become brittle. A bronze sheen appears on the underside of the sheet plate. The top foliage may not open completely, turning yellow ahead of time. The berries shrink, become small and sour.

The virus is carried by garden pests and untreated pruning tools. The main measure to combat the disease is prevention. Buy only healthy seedlings; do not let wild raspberries get close to plantings; if you notice signs of damage on raspberries, immediately uproot and burn the bush; fight harmful insects.

If you do not pay attention to curliness, after 3 - 4 years the bush will die

In addition to diseases, pests can also threaten the Cumberland black raspberry. In order to save the planting from mass colonization of harmful insects in time, one must not be mistaken in identification, because pest control can be carried out in different ways.

Stem gall midge

The raspberry stem gall midge is a small dipteran insect that begins its flight in May - June, which coincides with the raspberry flowering period. The insect lays a clutch of 8 - 15 eggs on a young shoot at the very base of the bud. Through the fragile bark, the larvae penetrate into the stem and begin to feed on the juices of the plant. Signs of damage are clearly visible on the stems - these are spherical swellings, inside which there is a loose tissue resembling sawdust. A weakened shoot is often subject to fungal diseases. The infected bush dies off.

Before starting the fight against gall midge, all shoots with visible signs should be removed. After that, treat the bush with 1 or 2% solution of Karbofos. Spray the raspberries with 1% Bordeaux liquid the following spring and fall.

For the purpose of prevention, you can treat the bush with a solution of tobacco, wormwood or walnut. The gall midge does not tolerate the smell of garlic and onions, therefore, several perennial representatives of this family can be planted between the raspberry bushes - chives or batun. And when choosing a seedling, carefully inspect the stem so as not to accidentally acquire an infected plant.

These are the growths on the raspberry stem leaves the gall midge larva


The pest, although small, is incredibly insidious. You can skip its first appearance, because the insect hides on the underside of the leaf. The danger lies in the very rapid spread of aphids. Before you can blink an eye, colonies of small insects will stick around young shoots, leaves and buds. It feeds on aphids with nutritious juices, which are obtained by piercing a leaf blade with a proboscis. As a result, the leaves curl, turn yellow, the tops of the shoots are bent, the number of ovaries is reduced. Raspberries cease to resist various diseases.

When fighting aphids, use the following drugs:

  • Antitlin - 450 - 500 g per 10 liters of water;
  • Nitrofen - 300 ml per 10 liters of water;
  • Kilzar - 50 ml per 10 liters of water.

If the threat is identified at an early stage, folk remedies can help out:

  • a solution of laundry soap - dissolve 1 piece in 10 liters of hot water, cool and process the affected bush;
  • tobacco solution - 400 g of tobacco per 10 liters of water, insist for several days before use;
  • decoction of chamomile, yarrow or dandelion is also a good remedy.

To prevent aphids from threatening the raspberry plant, weed out weeds in plantings, fight ants, and attract ladybirds and praying mantises.

Such a small insect can cause big trouble.

Reviews of raspberries Cumberland

Cumberland raspberries are a versatile food product. Not only fresh fruits are useful, but also various preparations from them. Jams, compotes, liqueurs - all this will delight lovers of delicious food. In addition, Cumberland perfectly tolerates a single freeze, so thawed berries are able to diversify the vitamin menu in winter. If we add to this very simple agricultural technology, frost resistance and strong immunity of the plant, then we get a wonderful variety of raspberries for our gardens.

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Good day! My name is Irina. I live in a wonderful place - Crimea. Educator by education. I love nature and animals very much. I have been fond of floriculture for a long time, but I have just begun to master garden wisdom. My motto is live, learn.

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