Raspberries are very easy to grow. Give them the best care through the year for the best harvests. Pruning raspberries is one of the tasks on the list, so here are some top tips on how to do it right.
Firstly, raspberries need a place that gets full sun for at least half the day. In a spot with free-draining soil that’s kept weed free, and support, they will grow their best. Posts either end of the row with wires in-between are the easiest way of supporting the canes.
There are three main types;
- Those that fruit early in the season, for example ‘Glen Moy’;
- those that fruit mid season like ‘Glen Ample’ and
- the autumn fruiting ones, such as ‘Autumn Bliss’ and ‘All Gold’.
All three types need to be pruned once a year to help the plants produce lots of fruit. The good news is that pruning is easy.
Early and mid fruiting varieties
Look carefully at the plant stems at this time of the year (September) and you’ll see that some stems are green, and others are shades of brown.
Generally speaking, the older the stem, the darker brown it will be.
Look for the brown stems and cut them right down to ground level. These are the stems that produced fruit earlier in the summer.
Choose the strongest looking, new green stems and tie them individually on to the wires of the support system.
Cut away the remaining stems, again down to ground level.
Have a look at the plants again during mid-winter and cut off the tops of the tied in stems, leaving about 15cm above the top wire.
Late autumn fruiting varieties
Next up are late autumn fruiting varieties, and these are truly easy to prune.
Leave these untouched until the early New Year. Then, simply cut ALL the stems down to ground level. That’s all there is to it.
The only other thing you might want to do with autumn fruiting varieties is tie the new stems to the wire system as they start to grow. Although it’s not really necessary.
If you follow these simple steps for pruning raspberries and keep the plants weed free, watered and fed, then you should be rewarded with large crops of delicious fruit the following year.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
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