Pruning/cutting raspberries - Knowledgebase Question

Bay City, Mi
Question by tomdclements
October 27, 2011
Some gardeners I've talked to spoke about pruning heritage raspberries. Some said they do nothing at all, somecut them back to about three buds and some down to ground level (using a lawn mower). What's the best way and/or what's the advantage/disadvantages of each way?


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Answer from NGA
October 27, 2011

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Everbearing red raspberries such as Heritage can be pruned to produce fruit once a year or twice a year, depending upon how they're pruned. The methods you describe can be used successfully, you just need to decide which is best for you. Everbearing raspberries bear a crop on the tips of first-year canes in the fall, followed by a typical summer crop on the lower portion of the canes the second year. If you want both a spring and a fall crop of berries, cut the canes down to three buds after the the first harvest, then completely remove the canes after the second harvest. If this seems too labor-intensive, you can simply mow the plants down at the end of the season and plan on your raspberries developing only a late-summer or fall crop. Most gardeners I've talked to simply mow or cut their Heritage canes down to the ground in early spring (March or April) for the sake of simplicity. "Heritage" raspberry pruned this way will produce only one crop per year. I hope this clarifies things for you.

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