It is extra special when an iwetmyplants.net follower shares their garden with us.
Louise from central Vancouver Island has just moved into a new home that has some unruly raspberry plants and she writes:
"My yard contains this small raspberry patch. It needs attention but I don’t know what needs to be done to clean it up so that we get raspberries this summer. Advice would be greatly appreciated."
Great question Louise. Raspberries are nice and easy to grow but they do require some maintenance. Ideally, you would want to figure out if your raspberry bushes are Everbearing or Summer Fruiting. We are going to make two assumptions here based on what is most common.
Assumption one, more than likely they will be Summer Fruiting, which means you get a lot of raspberries all at once in the summer. These are most common and beloved by owners as they allow for large harvests. These types make great raspberry jams.
Assumption two, is that they are red raspberries. Other varieties may require some modifications to their maintenance steps.
So with our assumptions made, let's look at how to take care of Summer Fruiting raspberries with a look at Louise's raspberry plant.
First, you want to look for the stems that are dead and cut them back to the ground. Stems are usually grey and often with peeling or split bark.These guys have had the biscuit. Summer Fruiting raspberries stems have a lifespan of about 2 years and then they die off. You can leave the healthy stems for fruit in the season. You can rest assured, new green stems will be popping up to take over for the ones you are cutting out. You can leave those ones for fruit for the next 2 years.
The best time to prune is in the late winter. Even though those stems may be done in the summer, they are supposed to provide the plant roots with nutrients that help them over the winter. When you do finally cut them, cut them to the ground.
Louise's raspberries are not too overgrown which is great. For some raspberry patches you may need to cut back some healthy green stems to space out your raspberry canes. When there is too much crowding, it enables disease or sun deprivation. Both will impact a good berry harvest.
Well that's the scoop on Summer Fruiting raspberry maintenance. Huge thanks to Louise for sharing with us.
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