Pruning Raspberry plants

Autumn is well and truly here, and it’s time to clear the decks for the winter days that sit on the horizon.

At the beginning of the year I planted two rows of raspberry plants, one row for spring/summer harvesting (Malling Promise) and another for summer/autumn harvesting (Autumn Bliss).

For the first year of growing raspberries, I set my expectations low with regards to the amount of returns I’ll get from these raspberry plants.

While those expectations were met with regards to the Malling Promise, the Autumn Bliss did produce some great batches toward the end of the summer, heading into the Autumn – so the time has come to do some housekeeping and show these plant some TLC.

This is definitely a first for me, so I’m learning as I go…

Malling Promise (Summer fruiting)

I’ve read that these are meant to be pruned in the autumn and the canes that need to be pruned are the canes that have bore fruit in the past.

Autumn Bliss (Autumn fruiting)

I’m actually a little premature with my pruning. These bushes should be pruned toward the end of the winter, during the last few weeks of February.

This means that I’ll need to keep a check on new growth and take a view as to whether I prune these again next year. I felt the need to prune these at this time as the plants were rife with dead heads, suckers and unstable canes.

I’ve read that raspberries are quite resilient overall, so the premature pruning shouldn’t have too much effect in the long run (fingers crossed).

The pruning

The actual pruning was fairly straight forward, but there are some things that I learnt as I was going along:

  1. Cuts were made, leaving about 22cm-30cm from the ground.
  2. I cut where where was a new shoot available.
  3. Cuts were done at angle, this is so that rainwater and moisture doesn’t settle (I saw this in an episode of Gardener’s World once).
  4. I kept an eye out for and cut off the deadheads and deadwood that I came across.

One new habit I’ve adopted recently, is to try and cut debris into smaller pieces for the compost bin, especially the thicker branches.

This helps to promote aeration, heat and organisms in the heap. It takes a little bit longer to do that, but I’m hoping it’ll be worth it in the long run.

Are you growing raspberries for the first time? I’d love to know what varieties you’re growing and what your experiences are in the comments below. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.