Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:40 am
Location: Orillia, Ontario, Canada

How do I identify what kind of raspberries I have

This is our first spring in our new house, and we have started the exhausting task of trying to identify everything in our garden.

There is a 20 x 10 foot raspberry patch out back.

Last August there were a few berries still on the vines, and I have a hunch that was the second set of berries for the summer, but I can't be sure. The patch was 5+ feet tall, and competing with wild garlic, and 8 foot tall thistles (yikes).

How do I identify what kind of raspberry plant I have? Will pictures of a snow-trampled raspberry patch be useful for identification? If so, I'll take some and post them. Now that the snow is gone, I'd like to get in there and set things right. It's probably been years since anything has been done back there.

But what do I do? Do I mow it down or just trim certain stalks? I hear that leaf mulch is good, what about backyard compost?

Green Thumb
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:48 pm
Location: VA

I found this on an extension service site:

Pruning black raspberries and purple raspberries

Raspberries produce fruit on 2-year-old canes, which die after the crop has matured. The pruning of black and purple raspberries consists of:

* Tipping the new canes when they reach a height of 18 to 20 inches, thus forming a branched cane that is capable of producing more fruit than an unbranched cane. Branched canes are also more able to support the crop off the ground than unbranched canes.
* As the buds break in the spring, the branches on the canes should be shortened to 8 to 12 inches (longer if the plant is supported by stakes or a wire trellis).
* After the crop is harvested, the old fruiting canes should be removed at the soil line. (The removal of the old canes as soon as the crop is harvested is a good disease control practice since it removes an important source of infection.)

Pruning red raspberries

Red raspberries should be allowed to produce long, unbranched canes rather than branched canes like the black and purple varieties. The new canes are, therefore, unpruned during their first season's growth. At the start of the second season, they are topped to a height that will permit them to support themselves and keep the fruit off the ground. If the plants are supported by stakes or a wire trellis, they can be pruned to permit more fruiting wood.

The old canes die after the crop is matured and they should be removed as early as possible in order to remove sources of disease.

I'd rather be gardening!

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