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Pruning Raspberries

Well the knee is still keeping me indoors. The worst thing I can do is put pressure on it so no lifting and definitely no digging. In the words of the song, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”.

Val went out to harvest a few potatoes and carrots the other day. Unfortunately, due to communication error on my part, she dug up a couple of main crop plants rather than the first earlies. It seems we will have quite a few potatoes for the space but currently the main crops are about golf ball size. The first earlies are larger.

Carrots are doing well and we’ve had a couple of meals from the young thinnings so far. It’s so nice to actually eat your own fresh vegetables.

So in the absence of anything else to report, I thought I’d answer an email question. Hopefully this will help others as well


“This is the first time I have grown raspberries and I am  unsure what to do with them through the winter months. They have grown really tall. Have you any ideas?”

Raspberries need pruning, usually in November, but there are two types of raspberry that require different treatments. Those that fruit in the summer and the autumn fruiting varieties.

Autumn Fruiting Raspberries

The autumn varieties fruit from late August / early September until the first frosts. They’re not as productive as the summer types but you do get a late crop of fresh raspberries.  They bear the fruit on the tips of this year’s canes so, once they have fruited and frosts arrived, cut the canes down to ground level.

Tidy up, clearing the old canes and leaves, remove any weeds and then mulch with compost and that’s it until spring.

Summer Fruiting Raspberries

These fruit heavily over a short period in July and August on canes from the previous year so pruning is a little more complex. After they’ve fruited, cut down the canes that have fruited to ground level and tie in the young canes to the wire. Some people say as little as three shoots per plant and others as many as nine. I split the difference and aim for six healthy shoots, cutting the weaklings down to the ground.

Once again a mulch for the winter. In February, trim any tall canes back to the height of the top wire (about six feet).

With both types of raspberry, a couple of ounces per yard run of fish, blood and bone in the spring along with some extra potash in the form of wood ashes or sulphate of potash will ensure a good crop later on.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
9 comments on “Pruning Raspberries
  1. Jayne Batstone says:

    Hello. I have just taken ownership of half an allotment plot. I have been busy clearing the weeds and digging up the potatoes that were left by the previous owner – I’ve got some raspberries of both Autumn and Summer flowering varieties so i have read up on how to prune them. What else should I be doing and is there anything I can actually plant at this time of year?

  2. richard says:

    my neighbour has so many raspberry plants on his plot that they are now spreading under the concrete path that seperates us and are popping up at the edge of my plot. 5 or so , so far. I love free plants !

  3. Jennifer Hay says:

    not sure if this is duplicated. When is the best time to take cuttings from raspberries and how do you do it? We have had a bundance of autumn rasps in the allotment and this year and would like to plant some this type in my own garden.

    Just picked another couple of pounds and think I will make rasperry gin

  4. Steve C says:

    I got given some autumn raspberry canes 10-12 in all from another allotmenteer 3 weeks back, planted them last week after 2 weeks in a bucket of water.

    I did as I was told, lots of manure and planted them, in a week they are starting shoot, so they have taken.

    Every 6 years or so you need to start with fresh canes or those taken from cuttings.

    Last week I took 10 cuttings from someone on another plot of red currants, I have put them in a pot with soil to root over winter ready for planting out next spring.

    Had some missed calls on my phone this week turns out some the guy on the next plot had left a greenhouse on my plot and did I want it.

    Did I…….so I now have two sheds, one greenhouse and a poly-tunnel, which means I should be streets ahead next spring.

    Just need to get the other fruit bushes and fruit trees in the ground before winter sets in and the rest in spring.

    Still lots to do but it looks as though my 3rd year will be my best year yet, onwards and upwards.

  5. Cathy says:

    Autumn fruiting varieties not as productive as summer ones you say?!

    I’m quite glad I only have autumn fruiters then, as I’m slowy drowning in them!

    Not sure how old the beds are, as we inherited them when we moved into our house, but much make provision to refresh them in the next few years as we’ve lived here for 7 years – a timely reminder!

  6. Will Jackson says:

    The latest Gardening Which trials on Autumn fruiting raspberries found that if you forget to cut in Autumn it’s no bad thing! Leaving varieties like Autumn Bliss until next year will produce an early crop in June, after which they are pruned right down to produce a normal Autumn crop with, apparently, no detriment to the plants. I’m going to cut half of mine and leave the rest to try out this method next year. Anyone noticed how much Hawthorn Shield bugs love raspberries?

  7. Doug Thomas says:

    I planted new raspberries last year, one was Glen Moy and one autumn bliss.They have grown very well and are now wired to about 5 feet.The Autumn bliss did produce a few fruits on one or two plants up to last week. Should I be cutting
    these back or leave well alone.
    Thank .Doug

  8. M D Mitchell says:

    I moved my summer fruiting raspberries last year, and this year they have produce fruit but only three of the canes have produce new shoots for next year. the other dozen look healthy but no new shoots. what should i do cut the old canes out and hope new shoots will appear.

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