Raspberries flourish in cooler climates and grow best in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 4-8, and some even produce in zone 9. But, proper pruning is an essential part of the care and maintenance of these hearty perennials. Once you’ve established your tamed black raspberry patch, they need to be pruned regularly and staked. If you want to forage them wild, you’ll need a bit of patience. Since it’s so time consuming, most people choose to grow these as fall bearing varieties that produce one, large crop. Cut back the side branches to 12 inches in length for black raspberries, and 18 inches for purple raspberries. Black raspberries grow a bit different than red raspberries, so the pruning method is slightly different. PRUNING BLACK AND PURPLE RASPBERRIES. Make noise as you approach the bushes, scaring away any critters who have their eyes on your harvest. Join our facebook group of over 13,000 like-minded individuals, where we learn about growing a garden, cooking a meal, and living life like our grandparents did. Knowing how raspberries grow and produce fruit may help you yield a more plentiful crop each year. Read on to learn how to prune those berry bushes to keep them in great shape. By 1867, over 40 different varieties were acknowledged, and the berry became a commercial crop. We recently began growing raspberries on our little homestead we have a cultivated patch of red raspberries and another of black raspberries. In late winter, or early spring, you can also manage the height of your canes and trim them back to a manageable height of around 4 feet tall. They are certainly a favourite for us. These side branches should be pruned to keep them around 10 inches long. Having raspberries in your garden allows you to revel in their delicious fruits all summer long. The leaves of the wild raspberry are serrated and pointed at the end, and have hair growing on top. To prune for one, large crop, in the early spring you’ll simply cut back your patches first year growth to within an inch of the ground. In the fall, you’ll remove the fruiting canes after you’ve harvested. Understand raspberries. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Left unpruned, the canes become overcrowded, shutting out sunlight to the lower berries and delivering a much smaller crop. Your email address will not be published. Just remember that pruning raspberries is vital for ensuring bountiful future harvests. Pruning Fall-Bearing Raspberries As for tip-pruning fall-bearing raspberries, I think each gardener must come to an understanding with the variety under their care. This method will produce a healthier, larger yield as well as saving you tons of time. In addition, when you prune raspberry plants, it helps increase fruit production. Today, the largest raspberry producing states in America are located in the Pacific Northwest and include California, Oregon and Washington, according to the Red Raspberry Organization. When pruning, be sure you prune at a 10 or 2 angle to allow them to easily and properly heal. ulleo / Pixabay. I also doubt that selective pruning will increase fruit size so that isn't necessary. Harvested from the slopes of Mount Ida in Northwest Turkey, then known as Troy, in the first century, wild raspberries were originally destined for medicinal use. Ideally, you want the berries to ripen while the weather is still warm, because warm sunshine makes raspberries taste better, but you don’t want them coming in so early that the fruit gets scalded by summer sun. 1. Your email address will not be published. The bushes should be pruned in the late winter or early spring after danger of frost has passed and before new growth begins. You can also try to tame your own wild black raspberry, and propagate it in your backyard. Raspberries of both summer and fall bearing varieties should be pruned in the winter. A career in television writing, as a magazine editor and celebrity interviewer, Jann adapts to her environment, having traveled the world, living overseas and packing and unpacking her treasures for a new location over 30 times. Note: in order to keep your raspberry patch manageable, after your plants are around 3 to 4 years old, it is best to leave only about 10 of the strongest canes and remove the rest. They may not produce huge yields on any one plant, but the plants grow in mass, meaning there’s plenty to go around. Remove the old growth to the ground, not leaving any stub, with your pruning shears. Just remember that pruning raspberries is vital for ensuring bountiful future harvests. Pruning raspberries is essential to their overall health and future production. However, there are different varieties. Thorns appear on the canes to protect the berry and are larger and tougher than that of the cultivated varieties. The first method is tedious. We’re growing our own food, cooking from scratch and taking steps toward self sufficient living on just an acre, and I think you can, too. Since raspberries grow only foliage the first season (year) and flowers and fruit the next (second year), removing dead canes can make it easier to obtain a maximum yield and berry size. There are essentially two types of raspberries. Dead canes can be removed in the fall to minimize overwintering disease. All it takes to enjoy the sweet fruit is a pluck and a pop into the mouth. Remove new shoots and suckers the minute they appear outside the patch boundaries. The growth of wild raspberry bushes is uncontrolled, as they generally aren’t pruned, but just grow where they may. Pruning at this time will help to ensure that the plants have had time, over the dormant winter months, to store plenty of carbohydrates in their root systems. And while it will produce two crops, the work involved results in very little yield. When pruning raspberries in the Spring, remove all of the small, weak canes, leaving about five of the largest, healthiest canes per clump or plant. Because all wild berries can carry viral diseases, locate the patch as far as you can from cultivated raspberries. Each raspberry cane is what is considered a biennial. When foraging for wild raspberries, bring pruning shears along to cut away the old, unproductive canes, which are brown, while the new canes are still green. Raspberries propagate by root shoots and spread easily with suckers. By then, the succulent fruit had become an edible plant as well as a base for paints. Cut the cane all the way down to the ground for summer-fruiting bushes, leaving room for the new canes to take their place, and look for suckers growing at the base. Wear garden gloves when pruning wild raspberry bushes, as their thorns are larger and tougher than those of cultivated raspberries. Determining which type you have will determine proper care and pruning. In the spring, tip prune new shoots when they are around 3 feet tall by trimming off 3 to 4 inches. However, I will walk you through how to do it. Wife, mama to three awesome farm girls, and passionate about helping others ditch the status quo to live more self sufficient lives, no matter where they live. Growing raspberries is a great way to get delicious fruit every year. You’ll have to do this to every cane in your patch… time consuming doesn’t even begin to cover it. Repeat the process after harvest. 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