mystang89
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Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:11 pm
Location: Kentucky

raspberry/blackberry care questions

My family and I have ventured into raspberry's and blackberry's. I have 1 Heritage raspberry plant which is everbearing. To my understanding it is supposed to bear fruit two times a year.
I also have 2 (or so) blackberry's which I don't know what type they are as they've just been given to my wife by someone she works with. I've looked up a bit of information about them but I have some questions now.

1.) How far can 1 Heritage Raspberry grow and actively produce good fruit? I saw this video of someone pruning raspberries https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOzo4s9Z9jE and it looked like a nice row but I don't know how many plants he had there or how far mine will stretch without wearing the plant thin.
2.) I read here https://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load ... 59525.html to prune everything down to the ground, even the primocanes. If I want fruit both times during that year should I leave the primocanes during the winter alone like the man in the first video did?

I know that I am asking a couple of seasons ahead of schedule but if I don't ask while it's on my mind then I will forget.

Thank you

JONA878
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Re: raspberry/blackberry care questions

Hi Mystang.

First the Rasps.
As you say there are two types of Raspberry. The one you have got ...Primocane ...and the more normal Florocane.
The Primocane crops on one year old wood and gives a steady cropping over a long period. The Florocane crops on two year old wood and crops all in one great 'flush.'
So..the pruning is slightly different on them.
The Floracane is cut down to ground level each fall ...that is all the old cane that has cropped....leaving the new cane that has grown that year to produce fruit the following summer.
On the Primocane it is common to leave some of the old cane so that it will give an early cropping until the new growth produces in the later summer.
This is up to the growers choice. Most commercial growers cut Primo's down completely each fall and just let the new cane crop the next year. The reason being that as there is no over wintering cane left , there is no need to put an expensive support system in place for over wintering cane.
Regarding planting distance. Each plant will over a few years produce a large clump of root...called a stool...so plant the rasps about 18inch to 2ft apart. the space will quickly be filled believe me. Rasps are very invasive and will spread around unless controlled.

The Blackberries need a greater distance between them as their rate of growth can be terrific. They also need good support and training else they quickly get out of control.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

mystang89
Full Member
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:11 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: raspberry/blackberry care questions

JONA878 wrote:Hi Mystang.

First the Rasps.
As you say there are two types of Raspberry. The one you have got ...Primocane ...and the more normal Florocane.
The Primocane crops on one year old wood and gives a steady cropping over a long period. The Florocane crops on two year old wood and crops all in one great 'flush.'
So..the pruning is slightly different on them.
The Floracane is cut down to ground level each fall ...that is all the old cane that has cropped....leaving the new cane that has grown that year to produce fruit the following summer.
On the Primocane it is common to leave some of the old cane so that it will give an early cropping until the new growth produces in the later summer.
This is up to the growers choice. Most commercial growers cut Primo's down completely each fall and just let the new cane crop the next year. The reason being that as there is no over wintering cane left , there is no need to put an expensive support system in place for over wintering cane.
Regarding planting distance. Each plant will over a few years produce a large clump of root...called a stool...so plant the rasps about 18inch to 2ft apart. the space will quickly be filled believe me. Rasps are very invasive and will spread around unless controlled.

The Blackberries need a greater distance between them as their rate of growth can be terrific. They also need good support and training else they quickly get out of control.
Thank you Jona. That clears up something that was a real stump for me. I thought Primocanes were the first year canes on the everbearing and the flurocanes were the second fruiting on the everbearing. However, I am still confused on something.

If we want 2 crops each year, when should we prune them? If we prune them in July and just prune out what is what has already fruited and what is growing outside of our "growing zone" will we still get a second fruiting in the fall? If we do prune this way do we have to prune again after the fall fruiting and if so how can we tell can we tell the ones that have already fruited twice and are ready to be removed? Thanks and sorry if I'm making you confused.

JONA878
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Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:14 am
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Re: raspberry/blackberry care questions

Yup...it is a tad confusing Mystang...

When your primocanes produce young canes these young shoots will flower and fruit on the same year as they grow.
They will give a steady crop that will continue from mid summer right through to the first frosts of fall.
Now...if you cut them all down at the fall then they will re-grow in the spring for a new summer crop.
However if you want to get some fruit off them earlier in the season then it can pay to leave say a quarter of the canes that have grown late in the season uncut and tie them to some form of support wires.
These canes will crop much earlier than the new growing ones and thus the plant gives you in effect two crops. Once they have done their stuff they can be cut out and the rest left to continue the season.
If you decide to use this method it pays to feed your plants well as you are putting them under a far higher strain than if all canes are cut down and the plant gets a full early spring rest.
Hope that helps a bit.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

mystang89
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Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:11 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: raspberry/blackberry care questions

Thanks so very much Jona. I really look forward to seeing these grow and see where they take me :D

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