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How to prune summer-fruiting raspberries

Overview

Once your summer-fruiting raspberries have finished cropping, it's time to cut out the stems that bore fruit this year. This encourages new stems to grow from the base, which will carry fruit next summer. The suckering nature of raspberry plants means that if left unpruned they become very congested, produce small fruits, and outgrow their allocated space. Also, the fruited stems will gradually become weaker each year and eventually die.


How to do it

1

Once you have picked all the crop from summer-fruiting raspberries, loganberries and tayberries, you should prune out the old stems. Annual pruning keeps the plants vigorous and productive, so you get the best return from your plants for the space.


Work your way along the row, cutting out all the fruited stems right down at the base. It should be easy to spot these old stems, as they will be brown in colour and still carry the remains of the fruit stalks. Take care not to damage the bright green new stems.


Next, go back along the row and thin out any of the new stems that are overcrowded or weak, and remove any growing too far away from the row. Ideally the new stems should now be spaced about 20cm apart. Finally, tie them in to horizontal wire supports.




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Talkback: How to prune summer-fruiting raspberries
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Luke Bennett 13/09/2013 at 09:25

Hello, I have planted my first raspberry bush and it has grown very well. From a £2 8 inch twig to nearly 6 feet already in about 5 months! My question - no fruit this year so do I prune in this manner or leave until next year? Thanks, Luke.

waterbutts 13/09/2013 at 10:24

Hello Luke. If you are sure that yor raspberries are summer fruiting varieties then this is what to expect. For the first couple of years the plants will be rather weak and you may get verylittle fruit as they are still just growing and forming roots and stems and don't feel the need to flower.

In the first two years or so all you need to do is let them grow and just cut off the very weakest shoots down to the ground in order to encourage the strong ones. Do this in the early sunmer  You should be aiming to produce about 8 or 10 canes from each plant. At the end of each summer, cut the canes down to the ground.

In the third year you should see your first proper crop of rasps. Let them fruit and then, when they have finished, cut them down to ground level. The following year, new canes will shoot up and flower that year and produce fruit that year. Repeat the cutting down each autumn.

Incidentally, make sure now that the plants a exactly where you want them as their roots are just about impossible to eradicate once they are established and you will have raspberies everywhere ypu move them to!

David K 13/09/2013 at 12:20

If they are deffo summer fruiting….cut back fruited canes (those who have borne fruit during the current year) to ground level after harvesting; do not leave old stubs

Select the strongest young canes (those produced this year & are pale green in colour) around six to eight per plant, and tie them in 8-10cm (3-4in) apart along their wire supports. Remove any remaining young stems to ground level.

 Autumn fruiting are simpler, just cut down to ground level in February….this is because they fruit on the current year’s growth.