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Pruning your raspberries may be the most important thing in growing garden berries

Raspberry pruning may well be THE most important part of growing garden berries. Aside from keeping your raspberry stand from becoming a raspberry bush, it gives new growth the room it needs for the next season and is an excellent preventative measure to control fungal and viral infections.

When to prune raspberries?

The best time to begin raspberry pruning is after the harvest is complete. Red raspberries are biennial plants that propagate from root suckers which grow into primocanes in the first year and floricanes the second. The floricanes are those that flower and bear fruit, after which they will wither and die if left in the raspberry stand. As they wither, floricanes become very susceptible to fungal infections and other raspberry and blackberry disease.

What to do first when you start pruning raspberries? The first thing you should do when beginning red raspberry pruning is to remove all floricanes and destroy them. This will eliminate the possibility that they will spread disease to the raspberry stand and at the same time give the remaining plants more room for growth.

Three basic tools suffice for most pruning jobs: shears, loppers, and a pruning saw. Keep them sharp for clean cuts; disinfect after pruning diseased material.

Raspberry root suckers. Secondly, thin the new growth that has come from the root suckers.

 Remove all plants that look weak or that show any irregularities. If you do find irregularities at any point in your raspberry pruning, inspect the adjacent area for signs of disease and remove all other plants that show symptoms.

At this point what should be left in your raspberry stand are healthy primocanes (which will be next season’s floricanes) and vigorous new growth (which will be next season’s primocanes). Next, thin the primocanes to four or five sturdy plants per foot of row.

There are important differences in pruning red and black raspberries. Pruning black raspberries differs from pruning red raspberries in that black raspberries don’t produce root suckers.

They produce primocanes from buds at the base of the floricanes. After the harvest, remove all floricanes at the soil line. Thin new growth as necessary and let it stay on the ground over the winter. Tip the primocanes at a height of twenty four to thirty inches. Tipping will make the cane branch out which will result in a better harvest

Annual And Seasonal Pruning
Pruning, Pinching and Clipping Shrubs
Pruning Blackberry Bushes
Pruning Apple Trees
Pruning Grapes
Pruning Raspberries

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