Rather than waiting until late winter, I pruned my raspberries today.
Raspberries are easy to take care of whether you have the summer bearing or everbearing variety.
Remember the Basic idea
The main thing you have to remember when pruning any variety of raspberry is to remove the canes that gave you fruit last year. They won’t fruit again. (Usually the bark will be grayish on these old canes.)
I have Caroline Red Raspberries (Everbearing) which I think are just about the best. They’ll give you an early first crop in June or July and then give you a fall crop as well.
How I Prune my Raspberries
The summer crop on any variety comes on 2 year old canes. In other words, canes that sprouted last year gave the summer crop this year. Those are the canes you’ll prune out now or in late winter or before bud break in the spring. They won’t bear fruit again.
In half of my raspberry bed, I leave 4 or 5 of the fattest and best looking canes per foot to give me a summer crop next year. These canes have grown this year. And I usually end up keeping about 16 to 20 canes. This will be plenty to give me all the summer crop I need.
In the other half of my raspberry bed, I had already removed all the old canes after the summer crop finished. I cut back any canes that have grown over the summer. The new growth that comes in the spring will only produce a fall crop in this half of the bed. It will produce more and larger fall berries than the other half that is allowed to produce a summer crop as well.
Minor Details for Pruning Raspberries
I take out any canes that have grown outside the designated area for raspberries.
I also remove any spindly looking canes.
Also prune the tips of the canes to reduce the height. (I keep mine about 3 or 4 feet tall.) When you cut, cut at a moderate rather than severe angle just above a bud.
Mulching and Pruning Raspberries
By keeping your raspberries mulched you not only keep moisture in, but you make it easy to pull any stray weeds that get into the bed. By keeping them pruned you insure that air and light get inside the plants to inhibit disease. And your berries will be bigger and better.
It took me about 20 minutes to prune and weed my raspberry bed. Only growing what you can use and handle – whether it’s raspberries or something else — makes gardening a lot easier.
Organic Gardening is easy, efficient, effective and its a lot healthier.
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