Monday, November 1, 2010

Pruning Raspberries

Good garden center friend Hammon Buck owns and operates a fine garden center in Rockport ME called Plants Unlimited. Hammon quite often sends out some quality gardening advice to his customer list and I wanted to share this with you as a good reminder:

 "November is a good time to remove spent canes from raspberries. Use sharp pruning shears to remove this year's fruiting canes, which will have done their job and will not live any longer. Cut them off all the way down to ground level. Removing these canes will help prevent diseases such as cane blight or spur blight from overwintering in the plants. Remove weak or broken canes, and thin remaining canes to about five or six per row foot. (Always leave the strongest ones even if the numbers per row foot aren't perfect.) Thinning reduces competition and results in larger berries next year.

Red raspberries will grow naturally in a hedgerow system as the picture illustrates . The suckers, originating from the root system, will fill in the entire length of the row. Suckers growing outside the 12-inch hedgerow may be removed at any time. Fall or early spring is the best time to prune in Maine. Raspberries can be dormant pruned any time canes are fully dormant. In the dormant season, remove canes outside the 12-inch width of the row, thin canes to 6 to 8 inches between canes, and top remaining canes to 48 to 60 inches in height, removing about one-fourth of the cane. Be sure to retain those canes with the largest diameter."

For another good take on cultivating raspberries check out Growing Raspberries at our Skillin's Garden Log!

No comments: