Poor Raspberry crop - Knowledgebase Question

olympia, Wa
Avatar for langloiskar
Question by langloiskar
July 24, 2010
I have been gone most of the spring/summer r/t a death in family..Is there anything I can do to encourage my raspberries, as there are few flowers or berries? Last year was a great crop around this time!! Thank you KarenL

Answer from NGA
July 24, 2010
There isn't much you can do to encourage berries at this point because your plants have already set flowers and fruit, but pruning your plants this fall will ensure you have a terrific crop next year. There are both fall and summer bearing raspberry types and they require different methods of pruning.

Summer bearing raspberries produce only one crop on two-year-old canes. Spent fruiting canes can be pruned out any time after harvest. Cut canes that have fruited to ground level immediately after the last harvest and thin new shoots or primocanes, retaining 10 to 12 of the healthiest primocanes. Secure these
canes to a trellis or other support system. Don?t top canes during the growing season. The next time you'll prune is in the spring after danger of frost has passed and before new growth begins. Remove any old canes and thin if you didn't complete the pruning at the end of the summer.

Fall bearing raspberries produce their fall crop on new canes and the summer crop on one-year-old canes. The easiest way to prune is to cut the plants back to ground level in late fall after harvest when plants are dormant. This eliminates the need for detailed pruning and reduces disease and insect problems, winter injury and rodent problems.

You?ll need to prune black and purple raspberries differently. In summer, top by 3 to 4 inches when canes reach 30 inches high to encourage lateral shoots. After harvest remove all dead floricanes (2-year old canes). When plants are dormant, remove all damaged canes and those that are less than ? inch diameter.

Follow these guidelines and you should have a bountiful crop of berries next year.

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