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Get your gloves, secauteurs and observation skills ready to figure out how to prune raspberries the right way.
Raspberries are a delicious fruit, and you might think that they’re hard to grow. Actually, you need very little expertise or space to grow raspberries, and they don’t need a lot of care or attention. Before you know it, you’ll be trotting down the garden to harvest soft summer fruits that will certainly impress anyone who’s stopping by. To get the best from your raspberries you will need to know how to prune them. But, fear not, this is also very easy to do. Main image: Bram Vanroy (some rights reserved)
What kind of raspberry bush do you have?
Establish what kind of raspberry variety you have to prune in the autumn or spring. Raspberries come in two main fruiting varieties; those that fruit in the summer, and those that fruit in the autumn. Each needs to be pruned differently, so it’s important to know which type you have.
Pruning autumn-fruiting raspberries
If you prefer autumn-fruiting varieties, then you’ve made your pruning life a little easier. These raspberries fruit on the canes they’ve grown in the same year, and pruning doesn’t need to be done until February. At this time, simply cut back all stems to ground level, thinning out clusters of canes in the summer if they’re too crowded.
Take each fruited cane in your hand. Use sharp secateurs to remove the stem completely. Continue this for all canes that have fruited. Cut the pruned stems into smaller sections before composting.
Pruning summer-fruiting raspberries
Raspberries that give you succulent fruit in the summer produce their harvest on canes that were grown the previous year. This means that they must be pruned immediately after fruiting, with all fruited canes being cut right back to ground level.
Between six and eight young new canes should be tied into supports, with all remaining shoots completely removed.