TLL
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Location: Victoria

Raspberry care

We just moved into a house in September with raspberry bushes. We were enjoying the berries well into the fall, :) but I've never had raspberry bushes before, so I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do to encourage great berries again next year. Cut them back to the ground? Leave the canes up? Help!! :?

grandpasrose
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Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

First of all there are two main types of raspberries, summer bearing and fall bearing. If you are unsure right now, which ones you have, treat them as summer bearing until they finish next year, and at least if they turn out to be fall bearing you won't have had a year without any berries.

Fall bearing bushes are the easiest to prune, as you do not need to decide what to keep and what to not. After the berries have all been harvested, cut or mow the whole row down to ground level. They will grow back up, and bear again in the fall.

Summer bearing raspberries take two years to complete their cycle, and therefore, if you were to cut all of yours to the ground now, without knowing if they were summer or fall, you could end up without any berries for a year.
The young, green canes poke out of the ground, and grow over the summer to quite a height (these are called floricanes). In the fall, some people let these branches continue growing as high as they want, and others top them at a more manageabe height (as I do) so that it is easier picking. Topping them also encourages bilateral branches from the sides of the canes, giving you a higher yield of berries.
In the spring, your canes that grew nice and tall over the past summer, but did not bear any berries should be left in the garden. They will now bloom this year, and bear lots of berries for you.

Then in the fall, you will see that you now have two types of canes. (if you just moved in and the raspberries haven't been taken care of, you probably have this stage now). Some are the nice new green canes that have not had berries this year, and some may already be dying or dead, but even if they are not yet, their stem will be brown or a greyish color. These old canes need to be cut out right to the ground. They are finished and will not bear fruit again. You should just be left with green canes (floricanes) again.

Your raspberries will continue this ongoing cycle, year after year.

Most people also use different ways of staking their raspberries as they can get unwieldy if just left. Some put a heavy, tall stake at each end of the row, run a line to both, and then tie each individual cane to this line. This is called a T trellis.

Others place several tall,heavy stakes along both sides of the row (the number would depend on the length of the row) about every six feet. Then a line is run all the way around these stakes, making a sort of cage. The line can be run at several heights, if your canes are different heights. This is call a hedgerow trellis.

Other people just let them grow their own way and let them do their own thing.

Raspberries will tolerate alot of hot dry weather, but while blooming, and especially while bearing fruit, require alot of water. The less water you give them at this point, the smaller your berries will be. Also, if you get hot glaring sun all day, try to somehow provide them with a little shade during the harshest time of the day to prevent scalded berries.

Raspberries, like all plants have their own special soil needs. They prefer deep, sandy/loam soil, although they will grow in almost any soil. The PH level for them is between 6 and 7, and they like a high level of organic matter.

Hope all of this helps, and that you have a wonderful crop to enjoy!
Feel free to return and ask any more questions you need to. :wink:

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

opabinia51
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Wow! I'd add something but, just looking at the length of Val's post; I'll just say that I think that you are in great hands!!!

I sure am glad that we have Val and Grey as moderators! Wow! You guys are awsome.

grandpasrose
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Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

Thanks Opa, except I think you should add yourself to the list! 8)

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

TLL
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:45 pm
Location: Victoria

Thanks so much Val and Opa too! Now that I've had a closer look at the canes, I see that some of them are actually partly green, and look to have soft wispy-type buds at the top, whereas the very brown canes are looking very spent! The floricanes aren't really that tall yet, so perhaps I'll wait this year to see just how tall they do grow, and determine if I want to lop next fall. I must say that the green canes were hard to spot, as they do seem to be a bit brownish as well (from all the rain?)

I'm so glad I've found this website - you'll see me here again with more questions I'm sure, about raspberries, and others!!

Thanks again so much!
T

The Helpful Gardener
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This is why I can go away with a clear conscience; I leave everyone in very good hands... :D

Good job, team...

Scott

grandpasrose
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Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

No problem TLL! That's why we're here! We look forward to hearing from you soon! :wink:

Scott - thanks for the nod :wink:

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

opabinia51
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Hi TLL, not that I did much. But, I'm happy to help.

I will give you this tip:

:idea: Pile up some good compost around your berries. I usually just pile up compostables like mulched up leaves, manure and so on. Your raspberries will get that extra "kick" that they need in the spring. I have a book at home that gives a one year plan on caring for Raspberries, when I think to I'll bring it and put the pertinent information here for you. :idea:

Happy Growing :!:

TLL
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Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:45 pm
Location: Victoria

Thanks so much everyone! I look forward to enjoying a hopefully abundant crop thanks to you all! :)

TLL

grandpasrose
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Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

Not a problem TLL! Enjoy those raspberries, and keep in touch anytime! :wink:

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

opabinia51
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Hi TLL, I've dug out my "Year Round Organic Gardening Book" for you and here is what it says for Raspberries. Keep in mind that this book was written for the West Coast of Canada and I guess Washington/Oregon.

In the third week of April:

Check your can fruits for adequate support. Supports and wires need to be well secured at the start of the season to support the canes new growth.

Raspberries, loganberries and blackberries should have had al the old canes removed from the base by now. Thes are easiest to detect by getting on your knees and viewing them at ground level. Old canes that need removing are brown and woody rather than green and supple. Strengthencanes by tip pruning them to remove any spindly growth.

TIP Remove weeds from under fuit bushes and trees to suppress compettion for nutreints, then mulch with compost

Fourth Week of June

Pull out reaspberry suckersappearing beyond the supported rows

Fourth Week of July

Following the summer crop of raspberries, remove any brown canes that have fruited, cutting them down to the ground. For everbearing varieties, leave newer canes to producethe fruit in fall.

(this is what I have)

TLL
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:45 pm
Location: Victoria

Thanks so much Opa! I live in Victoria too, so its very pertinent for me and my raspberries! :wink:

TLL

opabinia51
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Location: Victoria, BC

Oh, in that case; you may wish to buy the book. It is called A Year at the Garden Path by Caroline Heriot.

You can buy it at the Horticultural Center of the Pacific, I think it's at Marigolds but, I'm not sure. I even saw it in the West Coast Seeds Catalogue and of course, you can buy it from Caroline herself at her website for the Garden Path.

It's a great book, has lots more than just information on Raspberries.

Another great book for gardeners is Gaia's Garden by John (I think it's John) Hemenway. There is a copy in the Viperg office at the University of Victoria. The Viperg office is in the Student Union Building.

nklaughl
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Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:17 pm

raspberries

Thank you for all the good information. I moved into a house that has raspberries bushes in the backyard too (I live in midWisconsin). They have not been staked and seem to not be placed in any pattern. I'd like to tidy them up. There is a fence only a few feet away and I'd like to plant some along the fence and then have another row or two coming out from the fence. Any suggestions? The fence is about 5 feet tall and is solid wood.

opabinia51
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
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I would say to start your initial planting along the fence of about 1-2 feet apart for the canes. Add a handful of kelp meal the the holes before planting the canes. You should be able to transplant the existing canes that are in your yard.

This fall, cover the soil in that area with leaves, then some manure (or if you have a local coffee house, get buckets of coffee grounds), then some more leaves and finally some manure. (you can through some lawn clippings in there as well). Be sure to prune back all the woody tissues of the plants and only transplant the the new canes.

Also leave about an inch of space around the canes where the compost doesn't touch them. Just a precaution, i've never really had much trouble.

Also, you can roughly follow the guide above, just alter the times according to your climate.

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