Saturday, July 12, 2014

Raspberry pruning

Mid July is usually the time for pruning summer fruiting raspberries. The stems that grew last year have produced their fruit, the leaves are looking a little yellow and now is the time for a tidy up to prepare the plant for next years' fruiting.

Consigned to the compost
Start by pruning to the ground all the canes that produced fruit this season. They're usually pretty easy to spot as they still bear the remains of the fruits and flowers and will be starting to turn dry and yellow. Once these are out of the way, things become a little clearer.



The plant will have already started to produce canes this year and these will be your fruit producers next summer. Retain the tallest and strongest looking ones. There will be shorter and thinner canes also, which you need to decide which to keep and which to prune out. Remove the really small ones and also anything that looks decidedly spindly. Weak looking canes will not produce fabulous berries.  Focus too on allowing air to the lower stems and thin out canes where they're crowded.


Once that's done, give the plant a good water to rejuvenate it and keep to a regular (maybe weekly or fortnightly) feeding regime. The effort you put in now will pay off with next years' harvest.




8 comments:

  1. Pruning now is a but early for us as the mid season canes are still fruiting and the late summer ones are just getting started. New canes are being sent up but they need to do more growing before we can thin them out.

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    1. I only had 3 fruiting canes this year as it was the first fruiting year. Planning on planting these out in a border later in the season.

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  2. Do you grow all your raspberries in pots, Jules, and still get a good crop? I planted mine in the ground (primocanes) and have to pull out dozens of runners every spring! If pots work, I think I may go in that direction.

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    1. These were planted in a pot as I had nowhere else for them to go. However, they seem to be establishing themselves well and I now have room in a narrow border so they're off there in the autumn. The crop was okay considering the plant size. Watering is always a challenge, but being sited by the back door we emptied every pan of water used in the kitchen (veg steaming, egg boiling, etc) into the pot after the water had cooled down, which seemed to keep it nice and moist.

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  3. I've a feeling I need to tackle the tayberry as well. It's horribly thorny, it'll be a tricky job.

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    1. My bayberry is still fruiting so I'll be doing that one later in the autumn. Wrestling a spiny snake is how I describe it...

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  4. you forgot the most important part (especially if you have rows and rows of canes to prune): wear a long-sleeved shirt!

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    1. Yes, I did get caught a few times. The tayberry is much more prickly though I think.

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