Beginners Guide to Pruning Raspberries
Pruning Raspberries properly can be the difference between producing a bumper, successful Raspberry crop and failure.
December is the time to prune autumn fruiting Raspberries, but how do you do this? When and how should other raspberry varieties be pruned?
The method used to prune autumn raspberry varieties is different to that of early and mid season types. If you are confused about when your raspberries should be pruned, I will try and clarify the timing and methods used for the pruning of all raspberries varieties.
Autumn Raspberry Varieties
Unless your garden has not yet experienced any frosts this year, autumn fruiting raspberry varieties have just about finished fruiting and it is time to prune them. Autumn fruiting varieties such as Heritage and Autumn Bliss (pictured) need to be cut right down to ground level when fruiting is over. This applies to all of the canes, all of the canes should have produced fruit, there is no need to try and work out the age of the different canes.
Many gardeners think that all raspberry plants produce fruit on canes that were produced in the previous year. That is not the case, autumn varieties produce fruit on the canes produced two seasons before in the same calendar year.
Such brutality with the pruning instigates the production of new shoots next spring, these will bare fruit next autumn.
If you used this technique to prune your summer fruiting raspberries you would not get any fruit next year. That is because these varieties such as Glen Lyon, Southland, Leo and Malling Jewel produce fruit on canes that developed in the previous calendar year. Still with me?
To save any confusion, prune all raspberry canes to ground level as soon as they have finished fruiting and you won’t go wrong. Never prune out a shoot that has not yet produced fruit unless it is weak or diseased.