Sunday, July 17, 2016

Raspberry Tutorial

Many years ago when we first moved to our current home on acreage, a real estate client who became a good friend, gave me some raspberry starts.  They are a really great variety although I don't know which one - that's the way with shared plants.  These are thornless and produce tons of berries.
After they have finished producing berries sometime in mid-July, they look like this:

If you've never grown raspberries, it can be daunting to look at the jungle like growth and to know what to do to prepare them to produce again the next year.
If you look at the bottom of the plants, it's easy to detect the old canes - they are grey-brown.  Next year's canes are light green.  If you prepare them as soon as they quit producing berries, it is very easy to do.  If you wait until spring, the canes will all be the same color and it will be harder to do.  If you don't take out the old canes, your plants will still produce, but the berries will get smaller every year, and eventually they will quit producing berries.
So first step:  Use a good pair of clippers and cut the old canes as close to the ground as you can - then remove the old canes.
When you are done removing old canes, it should look like this:
I usually leave the new canes at their full height - just because we have a deer population that loves the tender new canes and they can't reach the top.  Eventually I will weave the new canes onto the wire:
Or you can tie them to the wire if they are too short to wrap onto the wire, but I don't recommend this as you have to untie all those old canes when you remove them after the crop is in.
If you do tie them to the wire, use a simple knot.
There will be multiple new plants starting all around the raspberry row.  I share these with anyone who wants to start a raspberry patch.  If I don't know anyone who wants them, I dig them and put them at the road with a FREE sign, and an unknown stranger usually picks them up.  I love sharing plants!

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