StephD
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Raspberry Brambles not Producing Fruit

First off let me say I am SO GLAD a coworker turned me on to this site! This community is incredibly helpful!

My current vegetable garden has been inherited from the family who lived in our house before us. When I took it over it was incredibly overgrown with weeds and the only thing that was growing otherwise was a huge patch of raspberries. Not well taken care of, very overgrown, about 3 ft wide by 12 ft long.

After some googling and finding some How to videos by a guy on YouTube I started thinning out the dead canes. At the end of the season I cut the remaining canes back to ~2 ft above the ground.

This season the canes came in beautifully! Everything was super green and lush and I had high hopes for jam and scones. Even with all this growth, I can count on 1 hand the number of raspberries I have gotten from this patch. :cry:

As the season has worn on, I got buds and flowers, but rarely the blossoms actually became fruit. I did get quite a few partial berries but that's about it.

I've been somewhat diligent about watering as I know a dry spell can halt production. I also know that the soil I'm working with is sub-par. Overall I have been treating them with a less is more approach but it's obvious I need to do something to save them or I'm not getting any jam!!

I've been trying to upload pictures but it keeps telling me the file is too big. So try to imagine normal healthy looking raspberry canes mixed in with canes that have green leaves around the main veins and the rest of the leave fading to pale green/yellow.

Nutrient issue?? Please help!
Slowly learning things the hard way, but as long as I have dirt under my finger nails, I'm calling any failures a success!

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applestar
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Re: Raspberry Brambles not Producing Fruit

I am not very knowledgeable about raspberries as I am still learning about them myself.

But it's important to know what kind of raspberries you have -- I realize this is difficult with inherited plants because previous owners don't always leave detailed descriptions. (I rather imagine that if we ever move, I would leave a 3-ring binder with maps of the garden cataloging various beds of trees, shrubs, and perennials.... :> I can't bear the thought of the new owners unknowingly or unthinkingly digging up or chopping up MY plants.... :| :wink: )

Some -- Most? Typical? -- raspberries bear fruit on 2nd year (last year's) canes. This might be what you have. I think it's only the more recent cultivar's that fruit on this year's (primo) canes. Others are primarily fall bearers and with these you sacrifice prune the early summer bearing shoots for heavier crop in the fall.

Leaves on canes that bore fruits typically yellow and die, the canes browning and drying up. If the cane has entered this phase of life, even if floral trusses grow from side shoots on those canes, they seem to shrivel up and die. -- this is the tricky part that I'm still trying to figure out. So far I can't tell them apart and I just clip off the shriveled trusses and cut yellowed/browned canes nearly to the ground (I intend to clean these up by cutting down to the ground or pulling up as they die off).

You may have seen the trellising method that emphasize separating new canes from older canes.
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PaulF
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Re: Raspberry Brambles not Producing Fruit

Sometimes with overgrown brambles that have been cut back it takes another full season to produce fruit. It is like starting over with the 2nd year cane production. Like Applestar says, they may be fall bearing or spring bearing depending on the variety and how old the variety is.

You are doing all the right things so far as I know so have patience, you will get berries.
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Re: Raspberry Brambles not Producing Fruit

No matter what kind of raspberries they are you can simply cut out the canes that have already born after the summer crop. The remaining canes will bear next summer if they are standard and will bloom and bear until frost of they are picked off if they are day neutral types. After you cut out the old canes tie them up. Note, if the bees, don't pollinate them, you won't get berries, with the exception of a couple of the newer varieties that hummingbirds also like very much (at least out here). If any of the brambles are brown and dried out get them out of there, they are from past seasons. Mulch the row, for better water retention and add some composted manure around them in the fall every other year. Whatever you do do not cut the new canes down you are cutting off most of the fruiting wood. Some people say to do it, but they are taking about certain varieties (tall and day neutral) and at a height of about 4.5' so they branch out like black berries, however, that slows them down and they bear later. Your biggest problem is that you cut them down. Clean out the old canes this year and don't cut them down.

StephD
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Re: Raspberry Brambles not Producing Fruit

I've discovered I have fall bearing raspberries! I haven't gotten many fruits, but enough to keep me satisfied that I should keep them instead of ripping them all out. Fingers crossed that next year I get to make jam!
Slowly learning things the hard way, but as long as I have dirt under my finger nails, I'm calling any failures a success!

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applestar
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Re: Raspberry Brambles not Producing Fruit

Yay! :clap:

Even a handful could be dressed up as garnish for ice cream or a cake, tarts, etc. Also if you only get a small amount each day, you could (if you can resist) freeze them until you have enough for a recipe.
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jal_ut
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Re: Raspberry Brambles not Producing Fruit

Charliebear: " Note, if the bees, don't pollinate them, you won't get berries"

This would be my first thought too. The flowers need pollinators. Do you see bees working the flowers?
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

theforgottenone1013
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Re: Raspberry Brambles not Producing Fruit

StephD wrote:This season the canes came in beautifully! Everything was super green and lush and I had high hopes for jam and scones. Even with all this growth, I can count on 1 hand the number of raspberries I have gotten from this patch. :cry:

As the season has worn on, I got buds and flowers, but rarely the blossoms actually became fruit. I did get quite a few partial berries but that's about it.
If they're flowering they should be fruiting. You not getting any is a pollination issue and the partially formed berries are the result of incomplete pollination. It has nothing to do with what type of raspberry they are or how they were pruned.

Fall bearing raspberries will produce fruit in midsummer if you don't cut the one year old canes to the ground. However, cutting them down is recommended for a few reasons. One, it means you get a bigger crop in fall. Two, they are easier to manage. Three, it helps control raspberry cane borers which need two years to complete their life cycle.

-Rodney



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