The Q&A Archives: Why, after three summers, will my Heritage Raspberries not produce fruit; even after flowering.

Question: Three summers ago I planted Heritage Raspberries along a fence facing east. The plants get sun all morning and into the afternoon. The first summer we did not even get flowers. The second summer we got plenty of flowers but no fruit. The flowers all dried up. The third summer we waited patiently while the plants grew to more than six feet but again, very few flowers and no fruit. We cut them down mid-July and they are growing quite quickly but no fruit and no flowers. We fertilize with organic fertilizer and water via a soaker hose located under the mulch. Help! I'm tire of paying $4 for 6 oz at the grocery store.

Answer: I suspect the poor fruiting has to do with your pruning routine and possibly due to a lack of sun. This is a so-called everbearing or twice bearing variety but in reality home gardeners in colder regions such as yours do better with them by concentrating on the late season crop only. To do that, and simplify pruning, just cut it to the ground each year in late winter or early spring. You can cut it off or mow it off whichever is easier. (A mid July cutting would be too late in your short growing season.) Generally speaking, too, raspberries grow better in full sun all day long. I hope they are getting at least six hours of good direct sun. Also you may want to review your general care, here is a good information sheet you may find helpful with that.

I hope this helps!

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