Your raspberry harvest may depend on proper raspberry pruning
If you have not used pruning scissors in your garden yet, you should definitely do so now. You should not postpone spring raspberry pruning, otherwise you will deprive your plants of rather large portion strength.
This does not apply only to raspberries but also to blackberries and to the very popular blackberry-raspberry hybrid. They need proper care too.
Remontant raspberry pruning
How can you tell that you have remontant raspberries? Easily. These plants can grow high shoots in one year and still provide tasty fruits at the top. However, in the following year, the plant bears fruit around its lower part. Therefore, we only only cut the upper branches which already provided us with fruit.
If you forgot to take this step in the fall, do it now before your plants start getting stronger by sprouting out new leaves. Pruning also stimulates branching which makes the plant stronger and the fruit richer. The same rules apply to remontant blackberry and blackberry varieties.
How to cut classic varieties
If you do not have a remontant variety at home, and you only harvest fruit on two-year-old or older shoots, then your work is little bit easier. Only clip out dry and damaged shoots and that includes two-year-old shoots that have already provided fruit. These will dry out anyway any usually still have remnants of aggregate fruit from the last year. Sometimes they break off near the ground without much effort.
You should only have strong and healthy shoots. Shorten them by one quarter – preferably to a uniform length. An ideal height ranges from 1.5 – 1.7 m. If the cut parts are healthy you may compost them but burn those which show signs of mould or fungal disease. No mercy. And what about climbing blackberry bushes? Well, shorten those to a uniform length of about two meters and tie them to supporting stakes.
Do not forget to fertilize all plants, after spring pruning. It pays off to use a special fertilizer, for example Cererit, etc..
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