Saturday, April 7, 2012

What Little I Know about Pruning Raspberries....

Two years ago my mother-in-law gave me a dead looking raspberry plant because she loves me very much. I threw it in the ground expecting to pull it out the next year. Instead it bloomed and bore fruit once in summer and again in the fall! I let it grow all willy nilly until it became difficult to get at the fruit. It doesn't look like much now but when it is in full bloom it is quite large and unruly. I am attempting to grow it in a straight line along the cynder blocks (I would have had a proper raised garden bed if the B man had not gone to Israel that year. Now he gets to look at this all summer. That'll teach him).

The first thing I did was attach them to bamboo sticks so the plants won't flop over. This will make it easier to get at the fruit without making my hands bleed. I fear it may also make it easier for the birds to pick at the fruit.

The next thing I did was to cut just below last year's blooms (these dried out raspberries were not yet ripe when frost hit). I cut them where you see the green ties.

Here they are very tidy looking with their new hair cut. New shoots will be thinned out as necessary. The other method of pruning an everbearing raspberry plant is to cut the entire thing down to the ground in the early Spring. This will only produce one crop in the fall but it may produce more berries than the way I have done it here.

1 comment:

  1. I love raspberries! The best thing you can do for them is to keep the air flow through the plants so that disease doesn't take hold in the leaves. If you're wanting to encourage them to grow along the cinder blocks, remove some of the suckers in the spring and plant them further along the blocks. I've discovered that the best thing for them is to tie them up along a wire support to keep them from blowing over. You don't have to build anything fancy, just give them breathing room. I'm going on 10 years with my canes and they haven't shown signs of slowing down.