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Raspberry help needed with newly planted raspberry canes  RSS feed

 
Johnny Gisson
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Hi, I live in the Northeastern United States. I need some good advice about cutting raspberry canes that were planted late last summer. I planted two varieties, Heritage and the other was suppose to be Anne Gold but that one produced red berries last fall so don't know if it is another Heritage or maybe Cumberland since the nursery was selling that variety right next to the two plants I choose. I cut them about 2-3 weeks after planting in the fall to about 3 ft. but I think I was suppose to cut them much shorter close to the ground immediately after planting. Each plant has one 2-3ft cane with branches. Should I cut them back near the ground now or leave them as is?

There is new suckers coming up around the plants, about 5-10 suckers to each plant. Would cutting last years two longer bushy canes force more new growth of new sucker canes?
Also I have some suckers that got their tops cut off during the late spring frosts we had here this month. I have attached pictures of them also.
Should I cut those to the ground since they won't be growing in height anymore? They will just grow in to tiny bushes.

I also just notices on of the branches on one of the plants has a set of flower buds. I was hoping to get a lot more growth before they started with flowers.

I just read this from extension.org
"In early spring before new growth begins, cut the old canes as low to the ground as possible to encourage buds to break from below the soil surface. Remove and discard the canes. Obviously, this approach cannot be performed with summer-bearing red raspberry cultivars that bear fruit on second-year canes."

Since there has been new growth for weeks, is it too late to cut the old canes to the ground to encourage newer shoots from the ground?
I don't care about the first crop since it will be extremely small so cutting down last years canes is no big deal.
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Bill Erickson
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I would leave them be for the year. If anything, just add some composted manure around them to fertilize and keep them composted. This fall, I would cut this years fruit bearing canes off within and inch or so to the ground - that is the key, only the fruit bearing canes for the year get pruned off. The canes have to have born fruit. The key to good fruiting is proper feeding and watering.
 
steve bossie
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Location: Northern Maine (zone 3b-4a)
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i have heritage. both anne and heritage are everbearing primocane varieties. although you can get 2 crops from them, they produce 1 fall crop much better. also if you cut last years canes to the ground every winter you don't need to worry about winter kill and the chance of disease is a lot less. i mow my canes to the ground just before the snow flies. when the canes come out in the spring i prune down to 5 of the strongest canes per foot. this should work well for both your varieties. good luck!
 
Johnny Gisson
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Bill Erickson wrote:I would leave them be for the year. If anything, just add some composted manure around them to fertilize and keep them composted. This fall, I would cut this years fruit bearing canes off within and inch or so to the ground - that is the key, only the fruit bearing canes for the year get pruned off. The canes have to have born fruit. The key to good fruiting is proper feeding and watering.



Thanks I guess you don't think cutting them back would increase the other growth.

The plants receive plenty fertilization. Gave them kelp meal, rock phosphate and fish fertilizer when I planted them last year.
This spring they got: Plant Tone, Tomato Tone, Bone Meal and Fish fertilizer.
I know they look dry in pics but I water them everyday.

What would you say the best mulch is to use on raspberries?


 
steve bossie
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scott taras wrote:
Bill Erickson wrote: If anything, just add some composted manure around them to fertilize and keep them composted. This fall, I would cut this years fruit bearing canes off within and inch or so to the ground - that is the key, only the fruit bearing canes for the year get pruned off. The canes have to have born fruit. The key to good fruiting is proper feeding and watering.



Thanks I guess you don't think cutting them back would increase the other growth.

The plants receive plenty fertilization. Gave them kelp meal, rock phosphate and fish fertilizer when I planted them last year.
This spring they got: Plant Tone, Tomato Tone, Bone Meal and Fish fertilizer.
I know they look dry in pics but I water them everyday.

What would you say the best mulch is to use on raspberries?


it would but as you just planted last season id leave them to let the roots establish. i use fresh hardwood chips about 3in. deep over mine. anything other than cedar or juniper would work. new shoots push right thru it and you hardly ever need to water. just make sure not to mix it in the soil as it will rob nitrogen. come next season just apply your fertilizer to the top of the old chips then mulch with more chips. go nitrogen heavy and the old chips will turn to compost and further feed your plants. no need to till this way and the worms, fungi and beneficial bacteria will love you for it.! i inoculate some of my rows with elm oyster and king stropharia mushroom spawn. helps decompose the chips and gives you a second crop!
 
leila hamaya
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i think you re over thinking it, but hey we do that sometimes ... i disagree with that advice you read about cutting them back, but thats just my take on it, what i have seen.

raspberry are so super easy, they really dont need to be pruned.
but they also basically self prune, letting some canes die off, while shooting up abundant amounts of new canes every year, once the roots are well established. they will do this if you prune, but they will do it even if you dont prune too...

i only prune the dead canes, and sometimes, if something is in the way... or to trim them back to their area. its mostly for aesthetics.

it becomes obvious you want to remove the dead canes, that dont bounce back in the spring. but even if you dont they still grow great, without needing much in the way of water or fert.

we are though, trying to have them be very tall and to take over the fence...someone might have a reason for wanting them short. i cant imagine it, because you will get less fruit if you heavily prune living canes.
the taller main canes that i dont prune, will make many fruiting branches off it, thats where the fruit will be. so if you keep chopping those down, you will get less fruit.

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Johnny Gisson
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leila hamaya wrote:i think you re over thinking it, but hey we do that sometimes ... i disagree with that advice you read about cutting them back, but thats just my take on it, what i have seen.

raspberry are so super easy, they really dont need to be pruned.
but they also basically self prune, letting some canes die off, while shooting up abundant amounts of new canes every year, once the roots are well established. they will do this if you prune, but they will do it even if you dont prune too...

i only prune the dead canes, and sometimes, if something is in the way... or to trim them back to their area. its mostly for aesthetics.

it becomes obvious you want to remove the dead canes, that dont bounce back in the spring. but even if you dont they still grow great, without needing much in the way of water or fert.

we are though, trying to have them be very tall and to take over the fence...someone might have a reason for wanting them short. i cant imagine it, because you will get less fruit if you heavily prune living canes.
the taller main canes that i dont prune, will make many fruiting branches off it, thats where the fruit will be. so if you keep chopping those down, you will get less fruit.




Thank you!

That is very good to hear!
 
Johnny Gisson
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steve bossie wrote:
scott taras wrote:
Bill Erickson wrote: If anything, just add some composted manure around them to fertilize and keep them composted. This fall, I would cut this years fruit bearing canes off within and inch or so to the ground - that is the key, only the fruit bearing canes for the year get pruned off. The canes have to have born fruit. The key to good fruiting is proper feeding and watering.



Thanks I guess you don't think cutting them back would increase the other growth.

The plants receive plenty fertilization. Gave them kelp meal, rock phosphate and fish fertilizer when I planted them last year.
This spring they got: Plant Tone, Tomato Tone, Bone Meal and Fish fertilizer.
I know they look dry in pics but I water them everyday.

What would you say the best mulch is to use on raspberries?


it would but as you just planted last season id leave them to let the roots establish. i use fresh hardwood chips about 3in. deep over mine. anything other than cedar or juniper would work. new shoots push right thru it and you hardly ever need to water. just make sure not to mix it in the soil as it will rob nitrogen. come next season just apply your fertilizer to the top of the old chips then mulch with more chips. go nitrogen heavy and the old chips will turn to compost and further feed your plants. no need to till this way and the worms, fungi and beneficial bacteria will love you for it.! i inoculate some of my rows with elm oyster and king stropharia mushroom spawn. helps decompose the chips and gives you a second crop!


Thanks a bunch!
I just got a bunch of fresh cut wood chips too from pine trees!

I am understanding that raspberries love a low ph soil, is that true?

Would feeding them the bone meal be no good because it raises ph?

You wouldn't happen to grow blackberries too would you??
I am having more problems with new blackberry plants that are still in the containers.
 
Johnny Gisson
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Bill Erickson wrote:I would leave them be for the year. If anything, just add some composted manure around them to fertilize and keep them composted. This fall, I would cut this years fruit bearing canes off within and inch or so to the ground - that is the key, only the fruit bearing canes for the year get pruned off. The canes have to have born fruit. The key to good fruiting is proper feeding and watering.


Thank you Bill!
I am going to leave them.
I have noticed growing tomatoes and peppers that watering and fertilization is key.
So you would say cut them after fruiting in fall but that would eliminate the summer crop. Is that the idea to have a much bigger fall crop?

 
Dave Hunt
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Hi Scott,
I guess it depends on what your end goal is. I leave all my raspberries to fend for themselves. No pruning only a light fertilization and full watering when initially planting them. This works great because my end goal is to fill up the empty spaces on the edges of a tree line. The more suckers and canes that root the better for me.
If you are trying to keep a few plants in one general location you will need to prune at some point. If you have enough room let them spread, too many raspberries is a delicious 'problem' to have! Good luck!
 
Bill Erickson
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scott taras wrote:
Bill Erickson wrote:I would leave them be for the year. If anything, just add some composted manure around them to fertilize and keep them composted. This fall, I would cut this years fruit bearing canes off within and inch or so to the ground - that is the key, only the fruit bearing canes for the year get pruned off. The canes have to have born fruit. The key to good fruiting is proper feeding and watering.


Thank you Bill!
I am going to leave them.
I have noticed growing tomatoes and peppers that watering and fertilization is key.
So you would say cut them after fruiting in fall but that would eliminate the summer crop. Is that the idea to have a much bigger fall crop?

Dave Hunt wrote:Hi Scott,
I guess it depends on what your end goal is. I leave all my raspberries to fend for themselves. No pruning only a light fertilization and full watering when initially planting them. This works great because my end goal is to fill up the empty spaces on the edges of a tree line. The more suckers and canes that root the better for me.
If you are trying to keep a few plants in one general location you will need to prune at some point. If you have enough room let them spread, too many raspberries is a delicious 'problem' to have! Good luck!


I misstated when I said "Prune" in my statement. When I talk about pruning the canes that have had fruit, in my experience, that means the canes that don't come back in the spring. As Leila said, they are usually dead in the spring. It just gets them out of the way and prevents a disease/mold vector. Some folks like to prune in the spring to make sure that things are truly dead, and I have done this as well - I don't want to kill off anything living unless it has wandered out of the space I want it in. And instead of cutting off those I usually transplant them to where I want more of them growing. Like Dave said, "too many raspberries is a delicious 'problem' to have.
My current problem is that I have let things go slack in my patch and it has wandered over to the old pig pen. Time to start transplanting and getting things back in shape.
 
Johnny Gisson
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leila hamaya wrote:i think you re over thinking it, but hey we do that sometimes ... i disagree with that advice you read about cutting them back, but thats just my take on it, what i have seen.

raspberry are so super easy, they really dont need to be pruned.
but they also basically self prune, letting some canes die off, while shooting up abundant amounts of new canes every year, once the roots are well established. they will do this if you prune, but they will do it even if you dont prune too...

i only prune the dead canes, and sometimes, if something is in the way... or to trim them back to their area. its mostly for aesthetics.

it becomes obvious you want to remove the dead canes, that dont bounce back in the spring. but even if you dont they still grow great, without needing much in the way of water or fert.

we are though, trying to have them be very tall and to take over the fence...someone might have a reason for wanting them short. i cant imagine it, because you will get less fruit if you heavily prune living canes.
the taller main canes that i dont prune, will make many fruiting branches off it, thats where the fruit will be. so if you keep chopping those down, you will get less fruit.




by the way, your trellis of berries look like a heaven!
 
Johnny Gisson
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Bill Erickson wrote:
scott taras wrote:
Bill Erickson wrote:I would leave them be for the year. If anything, just add some composted manure around them to fertilize and keep them composted. This fall, I would cut this years fruit bearing canes off within and inch or so to the ground - that is the key, only the fruit bearing canes for the year get pruned off. The canes have to have born fruit. The key to good fruiting is proper feeding and watering.


Thank you Bill!
I am going to leave them.
I have noticed growing tomatoes and peppers that watering and fertilization is key.
So you would say cut them after fruiting in fall but that would eliminate the summer crop. Is that the idea to have a much bigger fall crop?

Dave Hunt wrote:Hi Scott,
I guess it depends on what your end goal is. I leave all my raspberries to fend for themselves. No pruning only a light fertilization and full watering when initially planting them. This works great because my end goal is to fill up the empty spaces on the edges of a tree line. The more suckers and canes that root the better for me.
If you are trying to keep a few plants in one general location you will need to prune at some point. If you have enough room let them spread, too many raspberries is a delicious 'problem' to have! Good luck!


I misstated when I said "Prune" in my statement. When I talk about pruning the canes that have had fruit, in my experience, that means the canes that don't come back in the spring. As Leila said, they are usually dead in the spring. It just gets them out of the way and prevents a disease/mold vector. Some folks like to prune in the spring to make sure that things are truly dead, and I have done this as well - I don't want to kill off anything living unless it has wandered out of the space I want it in. And instead of cutting off those I usually transplant them to where I want more of them growing. Like Dave said, "too many raspberries is a delicious 'problem' to have.
My current problem is that I have let things go slack in my patch and it has wandered over to the old pig pen. Time to start transplanting and getting things back in shape.


I wish i could grow them like you along the tree line, I do plan on letting them grow into a row. I was going to trellis but I have read with Heritage you don't have to because the canes are very erect and sturdy. I hope that is correct. I was thinking of letting them grow into a row of branchy bushes like the pictures above of Leila's. I am looking for maximum berry production so I don't plan on pruning them at all either. I was just wondering about cutting the canes to force new growth.

I am starting a new topic because I just got Anne Gold yesterday. Looks like a 2 year old cane that is sprouting new leaves on it and some new shoots coming up all around it in the container, and only paid 4.99 for that at the nursery!
I am happy I finally got Anne Gold. Do you know anything about that variety?
I have read allot but alway would rather hear from the pros like yourself.


 
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