Rarely, on which garden plot, raspberries are not grown - one of the most beautiful, fragrant and healthy berries. Currently, many varieties are known, both traditional and remontant. Not all of them are capable of meeting the diverse tastes of consumers. But there are varieties that, despite the fact that they were bred for many decades ago, are still not only in demand, but also occupy quite leading positions in many characteristics.
These include the Mirage raspberry, a description of the variety and a photo of which are presented in this article. The name of the variety may seem a little unexpected, but after you see the bushes of this raspberry during the fruiting period, then, perhaps, the thought will occur to you that this can only be a mirage. Nevertheless, this sight of bushes strewn with berries is a reality with a real piercing raspberry aroma of wild berries.
Description and history of the origin of the variety
Back in 1976, one of the outstanding Russian breeders V.V. Kichina crossed two raspberry hybrids obtained from D. Jennings of the Scottish Horticultural Institute as part of an exchange program, 707/75 x Large Dwarf. As a result, a hybrid form of raspberry was obtained, which began to undergo tests at the Kokinsky base of VSTISP and in 1978 received the code name K151.
Only since 1980, this raspberry has officially acquired the status of a variety and received the name Mirage. For some unknown reason, the raspberry variety Mirage was not included in the State Register of Russia, although it was very popular all these years and was even grown in some climatic areas as an industrial one. At the moment, it is slightly supplanted by more productive and frost-resistant varieties of raspberries, but nevertheless it has not left the distance and is actively used by both private gardeners and small farms.
The bushes of this variety are moderately spread out in different directions, differ in average height, reach a height of 1.6 -1.8 meters. Fresh annual shoots are light brown in color with a red tint and with a weak waxy bloom without pubescence. The internodes are located at a considerable distance - after 4-7 cm. Shoots are strongly thinned towards the top. Two-year-old shoots are rather grayish. Soft, straight short spines are located along the entire height of the shoot.
Fruit-bearing branches, the so-called laterals, branch very actively. The branch can form three to five orders of branching, each of which, in turn, carries 15-20 berries. Medium-sized, dark green, strongly twisted leaves are characterized by a corrugated surface and pubescence.
Raspberry variety Mirage has a good shoot-forming ability, forms about 9-11 replacement shoots. This is enough to successfully propagate the bushes and at the same time restrain the growth of the bushes in different directions. In addition, each raspberry bush produces about 5-8 root suckers.
Raspberry Mirage belongs to the middle late varieties in terms of ripening. This can be very convenient to fill the gap in raspberry fruiting, when the early traditional varieties have already fruited and the remontant ones are not yet ripe. Raspberry Mirage berries ripen from the end of June in the southern regions and in the second half of July in the middle zone. The crop can be harvested within about a month; in 5-6 harvests, the berries will be completely harvested from the bush.
In terms of yield parameters, the raspberry variety Mirage still occupies one of the leading positions. From one bush, you can collect an average of 4-6 kg of berries. In industrial terms, this gives up to 20 tons per hectare.
Given the fact that the Mirage variety belongs to the large-fruited group of raspberries, it is relatively winter-hardy in its category - it can withstand up to -25 ° -27 ° C. If you give young shoots to ripen well, then they do not even have to be bent down for the winter. Although in the conditions of the Moscow region, this variety can show sufficient frost resistance only in the case of bending the shoots and covering them for the winter.
Important! Raspberry bushes Mirage are not afraid of flooding during possible spring or even winter thaws.
But the raspberry Mirage is relatively drought-resistant and tolerates heat well.
The variety also shows a good degree of resistance to the main fungal and viral diseases. It may be somewhat susceptible only to the overgrowth virus.
Characteristics of berries
Bright red fragrant bunches of berries, which literally sprinkle the entire raspberry bush Mirage at the time of fruiting cannot but cause delight and surprise. The following parameters are characteristic of berries:
- The size of the fruits can be from large to very large: without much effort, you can get berries weighing 4-7 grams. When using intensive agricultural technology (regular and abundant watering and feeding), the mass of berries easily reaches 10-12 grams. The berries of the very first harvest are especially effective.
- The shape of the berries can be called elongated-conical.
- The berries on the bushes are quite even.
- The color is bright red, matte, without pubescence.
- The berries are not prone to shedding from the bushes or shrinking, they hold quite tightly on the stalks.
- The bones are of medium size.
- The taste of the berries is excellent, they are not just sweet, but dessert ones with a slight touch of sourness, which gives a feeling of complete harmony. An intense raspberry aroma is felt several meters away and completes the picture.
- Even during the period of prolonged rains, the berries do not lose their sweetness and do not become watery.
- In the sun, the berry is resistant to baking, does not wilt.
- The density of the berries is quite sufficient to endure a short transportation.
- The use of Mirage berries is universal, they can be eaten fresh, dried, and made from them numerous preparations for the winter, from compotes to jam and marshmallows.
Features of cultivation, pruning
Given the average spreading of the bushes, when planting, they leave up to 1.2-1.5 meters between them, and it is better to make the row spacing about 2.5 meters wide.
Abundant mulching of bushes with organic materials will solve several problems at once: it will preserve the structure and moisture of the soil and provide raspberries with additional nutrition.
Spring pruning of Mirage raspberries is quite important, since it allows you to influence both the stability and the yield of the bushes. In early spring - in April, all damaged and weak stems are removed so that no more than 8-9 shoots remain on one running meter of planting. Then the tops of the stems are trimmed at a height of about 1.5 meters. On other raspberry varieties, additional pruning is often done in late May - early June to increase fruiting. The raspberry variety Mirage does not need this, since the formation of many lateral fruits along the entire stem, and not only at its top, is genetically laid in it.
Fruit-bearing stems should be cut immediately after the end of fruiting, without waiting for the onset of autumn, in order to minimize the spread of possible diseases and infections.
In contrast to the spring formative pruning, autumn is the time of predominantly sanitary pruning of Mirage raspberry bushes. Only broken and weak shoots are removed, given that some fallout may occur during the winter due to frost.
Otherwise, to obtain good yields, standard methods are used: regular watering and feeding: in early spring with a predominance of nitrogen, before flowering with complex fertilizer, and during budding and fruiting with a predominance of phosphorus and potassium.
Advice! It is not recommended to apply nitrogen fertilizers under the Mirage raspberries, starting in June, so as not to provoke a rapid build-up of greenery and insufficient ripening of the shoots.
Reviews of amateur gardeners and professionals who grow Mirage raspberries on an industrial scale can vary quite a bit. If for the former, the excellent taste of the berry and very good yield indicators are important, then the latter have found for themselves more winter-hardy and interesting varieties in other respects.
Elena, 39 years old, Kursk region
Considering the question of what is the best way to make money while working on the land, my husband and I settled on raspberries. I have long liked the large-fruited varieties of V.V. Kichiny. Having decided to allocate about 1.5 acres for planting raspberries, we went to Moscow to purchase seedlings. Most of all we were inspired by the variety of raspberries "Mirage" and I must say we have never regretted this purchase. For more than five years we have been growing both berries and seedlings for sale. From 1.5 acres we get a very decent harvest - more than 30 buckets of luxurious and tasty berries, which are immediately sorted out by buyers. We are already working with many on order. The berries are quite large, up to 4 cm in length, dense, sweet and very fragrant. Wind, rain and other weather disasters do not affect them - the berries adhere perfectly to the bushes and perfectly retain their taste and shape. They also keep well in blanks for the winter. You do not need to wash them, because there are no pest larvae inside. But, of course, if the care seems to Mirage insufficient, then the berries become smaller and poorly tied. Therefore, one should not forget about watering and feeding during the entire growing period, from April to August.
Leonid, 56 years old, Tula region
Raspberry Mirage is a good variety that has many indicators that still allow it to be popular with summer residents and gardeners. But we are engaged in the cultivation of raspberries for sale and are constantly in search of the best and most promising. Therefore, it has probably been ten years since they switched to new, more frost-resistant and productive varieties of raspberries, and Mirage is a thing of the past.
Galina, 48 years old, Belgorod region
I have been growing Mirage raspberries for more than 10 years and no matter how much I have tried different new products, I am not going to give it up. In terms of taste, remontant varieties are not suitable for him. I also like its resistance to heat and disease. It is a very reliable variety, which from year to year pleases with good and high-quality harvests and does not cause any special problems. The only downside is the need for a garter of shoots, since they are rather thin and, not withstanding abundant harvests, can bend under the weight right up to the ground.
Raspberry Mirage, perhaps, can yield to some non-large-fruited varieties in frost resistance, but in terms of the sum of all indicators, it still remains one of the most promising varieties for cultivation.