Help me with my raspberries!

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by MichaelZ, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. MichaelZ

    MichaelZ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    IMG_2525.JPG Here is a photo of my 12 ft by 12 ft raspberry jungle. They are about 7 ft high! From all of this I might pick a small cereal bowl of berries. I weeded and fertilized, which is probably the reason for the growth. Where to go from here for next year? Pruning? Thinning? Any help is appreciated!
    Thanks.
     
  2. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When did you fertilize? Did you trim them back in the spring? Did they produce flowers? Did you have enough bees around?

    Personally I prefer to have them in rows. In a 12 ft x 12 ft block you simply cannot get to the fruit in the middle. Set them in rows and mulch heavily. Never fertilize. Those things spread bad enough without the help.

    P. Allen Smith did a program on setting up bramble rows. I couldn't find it in a quick search but he showed how he sets up the rows. I just tie mine to a chain link fence. He says to lightly mulch but I spread a couple inches at least twice a year to keep grass out of the row.
     
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  3. mmoetc

    mmoetc Well-Known Member

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    Variety? Everbearing or summer bearing? The pruning regimen is different. I'd say they at least need a good thinning but figure out the variety and look up how best to prune them.
     
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  4. Clem

    Clem Realist

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    Since you didn't post any detail about variety, etc, I would assume them to be just plain old wild raspberries. It looks like an abundance of primocanes, not many floricanes. If it was me, I would do a little research, get a good understanding of the biennial shoots/perennial roots process, and get ready for the future.
     
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  5. cpnkrunch

    cpnkrunch Well-Known Member

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    Looks like a good crop next year, but unless you put in some access, a picking nightmare. Didn't have a good raspberry year around here, this year.
     
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  6. GTX63

    GTX63 Well-Known Member

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    We pruned, cut rows, put up livestock panels for support and trimmed trees to give full sun. The next year we had tiny raisin size berries not worth picking. The patch approximately 15 yds away however, left out of control and tangled in volunteer oaks, briars, poison ivy and japanese honeysuckle in partial shade gave us an abundance of thumb sized juicy berries.
    Go and figure....
     
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  7. MichaelZ

    MichaelZ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    These are cultivated summer berries from a nursery. My daughter wanted a few plants and before long I had this "forest". I fertilized earlier this summer with 10/10/10. I am wondering how I should thin? Just cut to ground level? Should I thin this fall? Which are the primocanes?

    What is the growth cycle? Year 1, year 2, year 3, etc? In which years to prune? Should some be removed? I have found websites on this but they assume you have some basic knowledge as they describe procedures.

    Thanks for all your replies! PS: got another cereal bowl full this morning.
     
  8. Clem

    Clem Realist

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    I'm really busy this time of day, but will write more later. Basically, primocanes appear in the spring, and grow, but don't produce fruit. Floricanes are last years primocanes, and they are the ones that flower(thus the flor-) and produce fruit.

    After this year's fruiting, cut the floricanes down. I usually leave a few inches, too close to the ground invites bugs and disease into the stalk.

    As to your primocanes: I tend to like straight rows, about 4 ft apart, and at least 2 ft apart in the row. Remember, next year they will be floricanes, and there will be brand new primocanes, which will need their fair share of nutrients and light, in order to work for you in 2019.

    In my experience, the roots will send up shoots everywhere. ALSO, raspberries here are prone to tip layer. Make your walking rows, and spacing however you like, just keep in mind it's an ongoing process.

    I let the initial primocane shoots get a little size to them before thinning. I only leave the healthiest, most aggressive one surviving. Later, I'll post a picture of whet happens to a space that is neglected, and you'll see that you have to make the spacing, and stick to it. You just wait, when you see what happened to an area I neglected this spring. Perfect example of what not to do with caneberries.

    BTW, there ARE varieties that produce as primocanes, but since yours didn't, they probably are regular floricane cycle. You should try to find out. If I had my life to do over, I'd have priocane fruiting caneberries, just mow them down every fall!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
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  9. MichaelZ

    MichaelZ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks Clem! As far as thinning, do I simply cut them down to ground level? Should I do that this fall? And then cut them down again next summer?

    Should I prune down this years primocanes this fall? And also cut down the fruit producers to a few inches as I understand.
    So as I understand, the berries have a two year cycle, one as a green primocane and the next year as a fruit producer, and that's it.

    BTW, All my berries are on floricanes.
     
  10. PlayingInDirt

    PlayingInDirt Well-Known Member

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    Get yourself a sunset garden book.

    This growth is all from this year? I'd cut it back more manageable, cut off the canes that fruited. You'll want something like 10 canes from each plant, maybe even less. I cut mine back to about 10 last fall and we had a ton of nice big fruit.
     
  11. mmoetc

    mmoetc Well-Known Member

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  12. Clem

    Clem Realist

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    Here's a patch I just never got around to. As you can see, I cannot get into it to pick blackberries, yet it's using space, nutrients, and sunlight. Because of my neglect, I am getting nothing in return.

    In order to even get to them, I should have cleared paths. How many I would have cut away, and how many I would have left, would be a sort of learn as you go experience. I generally like everything of this nature to have 8 sq ft, more or less. Most of my blackberries are along a fence, accessible from both sides, and 4 ft(more or less) apart. By the time they're full grown, they're taking up all the space, yet I have access.

    Here, raspberries came out of nowhere, and were pretty invasive. When they started growing in between my grape vines, I did a pretty thorough job of taking them all the way down to the ground. They're coming back, though. The booklet posted by mmoetc is well worth reading. I'm about halfway through it right now. DSCF4981.JPG
     
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  13. mmoetc

    mmoetc Well-Known Member

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    We're lucky here in Wisconsin to have a great extension service. They have a lot of publications which you can order as hard copies or download and read on line.
     
  14. MichaelZ

    MichaelZ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    IMG_2590.JPG Ok I got out to tame this jungle. Plants were now up to 9 ft tall! I made 3 rows of plants in 1 ft wide areas with 3 ft between rows by cutting everything to ground. Cut down all brown stalks, leaving only green ones for next year. I assume that I leave these till next spring and then prune down to lower heights.

    Should I dig up between the rows? How soon next spring should I prune? How high?
    Thanks!
     
  15. Marcia in MT

    Marcia in MT Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Unless you know they are fall-bearingvarieties, don't do any pruning of the canes you have left until after they have finished fruiting! And then you can cut them down as others have said. Fall-bearing varieties are a little different, in that they will bear some fruit on the top of the primocanes in their first fall, and this bit can be pruned off in the spring.

    If they are too tall for you, you can give them some kind of support so they don't bend over and tip-root. Also makes it easier to get at the berries if they're not buried in the brambles.

    I'd mulch well between rows to suppress weeds and new raspberry shoots.
     
  16. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I never fertilize mine. I mulch and weed around the base, sometimes I spread compost or coffee grounds around them in the early spring, but never fertilize.
     
  17. MichaelZ

    MichaelZ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    They were done with berries a while ago. I will cut them back in late winter or early spring. I will put in some posts and cord to hold them up too.

    They were simply overcrowded but well fed so I think this is why they grew so tall.
     
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