July 7-8: Can raspberries get sunburn?

I was picking raspberries Saturday morning when I noticed quite a few of the fruit had white spots on them, some affecting most of the berry. It was the first time I was able to get deep into the patch, and as I weaved my way through it,

Did you know that the individual ‘ball’ on the berry fruit that surrounds the seeds is called a drupelet? Me neither, until today.


Raspberries hiding beneath the leaves.

I kept noticing that berries, mostly ones on or near the top, had white spots.

I was about two-thirds of the way through when it hit me. The raspberries looked like they had sunburn.

The previous seven days were all 90 degrees or hotter, so it made sense that raspberries could suffer the same effects that people out in the sun did. And the white discoloration was the burn, right?.

A quick Google search when I got back into the house confirmed what I thought. White Drupelet Disorder Apparently when sunscald (the equivalent of human sunburn, I guess) “is associated with White Drupelet Syndrome, the side of the fruit exposed to the sun will be white whereas the shaded side will remain normal.”

Unfortunately, it appears that the only thing one can do to prevent sunscald is to not plant the raspberries in the full sun in the first place.

Given that my back yard is all-sun, all-the-time, my only option might be one of those big patio umbrellas on wheels — you know the kind you can roll around wherever the sun is? Wouldn’t that be a sight!

Well, even with sunscald affecting my raspberry patch, I still picked about two pints of good berries. As Rachel Ray would say — Yum-O!

I’ll finish with today’s views of the garden. Looking west:

Looking east:

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7 responses to this post.

  1. […] the biggest. And none of the lower ones had sunscald. Actually very few anywhere had the sunscald I wrote about last week, I’m guessing because it’s been cooler […]

  2. Ours just started to ripen. Got one pint yesterday. There’s nothing like berries straight off the canes. Now if we could just get a handle on the MILLION cucumber beetles in the pumpkin patch and on whatever the little brown things that ate ALL my mesclun and kale. There’s always a battle going on in the garden, non?

    • No kidding. Just when I thought I got rid of the pests eating my beans, I see there’s something nibbling at my cukes. I’ve never had that problem before.

      • are they yellow and black striped? Let me know if you find something that stops them in their path. We are just hoping the pumpkins are big enough to survive them. Pictures in today’s post are very nice!

      • I haven’t been able to see what’s been nibbling on the cukes unfortunately. I tried spraying the same thing I use to get rid of deer (egg/milk/cooking oil/dish detergent/water) and I’ll see if that works. Not spraying it on thick, just here and there to see if it will discourage the pests.

  3. Thanks for solving that mystery for me. I had no idea. I’m a berry newbie and I assumed they’d want full sun. Tsk, tsk. I guess I’ll have to move them… that sounds tricky.

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