Raspberries are the most delicious berries that you should grow in your garden. These are perennial plants that produce tasty berries year after year with proper pruning. Raspberries thrive in fertile, well-drained, and slightly acidic soil with pH 6.5 to 6.7.
These plants don’t like chalky and waterlogged soils. For their better growth, you should add naturally slow-releasing fertilizer into the soil. You can also boost their yields by properly pruning the plants. In this article, we will talk about when to prune raspberries and how to prune raspberries. Let’s get started…
When to Prune Raspberries?
The raspberries’ roots and crown are perennial but the canes or stems are biennial. Purple, red, and black raspberries grow new stems from buds found at the base of previous years’ growth. Similarly, red raspberries also produce new canes from buds found on their roots. The maximum living period of individual canes is approximately 2 years.
Different varieties of fall-bearing raspberries produce two crops. The first we get in early fall or late summer. And then we get the second crop or summer crop.
You should prune all types of raspberries in March or early April. During summer, you can get rid of any suckers going away from the rows. It’s recommended to do not let the canes overcrowded. Different methods are used to prune each type of raspberry. Let’s discuss them all one by one…
How to Prune Raspberries?
It is essential to properly prune raspberries for producing higher yields. Further, pruning raspberries helps in controlling different kinds of diseases and facilitates harvesting. How to prune raspberries depends on the growth and fruiting characteristics of the plants.
Pruning of Red Raspberries
First and foremost, take a sharp pruner and remove all diseased, weak, and damaged canes at ground level. You should only leave the strongest canes. After trimming, the perfect space should be 5 inches between the canes.
The winter injures the tips of many canes. Therefore, you should prune all these injured tips of the plants. In case of winter dieback, you should remove the top ¼ of the canes. This cane-tip removal avoids canes from becoming top-heavy that prevents bending over under the weight of the crop.
Some types of raspberry plants such as red raspberries grow in a dense thicket. Therefore, you should confine the plants from becoming an unmanageable thicket to one or two-foot-wide hedgerow. You need to demolish the shoots growing far away that hedgerow using a spade or rototiller.
Pruning of Black and Purple Raspberries
Like red raspberries, you should remove all weak and small canes. You should leave only 4 or 5 of the largest and healthiest canes per plant. Trim all the lateral branches to 12 and 18 inches in length for black and purple raspberries respectively.
Pruning of Yellow Raspberries
The pruning method for yellow raspberries is the same as their red raspberry counterparts. You should also maintain these plants in 1 to 2 food wide hedgerow to avoid unmanageable thicket.
After pruning the plants, remove all pruned stuff from your garden. It’s preferable to destroy this material to avoid raspberry diseases like spur blight and anthracnose.