Raspberry questions

curtis(5)January 19, 2014

I have a Heritage raspberry bush and have cared for it in the conventional way of cutting them off at the ground after they go dormant. This year I cut them off below the lowest berry area so that I can get a spring/early summer crop. this is where I have questions.

the canes are 3' or even a little more (after clipping), should they be shorter?

After the first round of berries I will cut them again and they will berry in the fall. how short that time? and what about shading the new growth, any thing to consider here?

After they berry in the fall these canes cannot go another year, right?

I think the thing about raspberries is they are as hard to grow as weeds (another members illustration) so most people don't try to learn the finer details about them. but I am in the mood for that now.

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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

3 feet sounds about right. They will grow more too, producing many lateral branches. Mine are more like 4 feet. They will not grow higher.
New canes that will fruit in the fall will come out of the ground. They could be shaded by the 3 footers you left. That is very possible. When the 3 footers finsh cut them at ground level.
As far as the time they finish and the fall crop begins depends on cultivar. I don't have Heritage. With Fall Gold it was 2-3 weeks, and I was into berries again, it was awesome! The primocanes were forming berries just as the floricanes finished. Primocanes were a little leggy due to blocked light. But by the end of summer, they thickened up.

Their is a chance Heritage will not produce a big summer crop, if not go back to just one harvest. Some fall bearing produce better summer crops than others. Fall Gold produces huge summer crops. Afterall 2/3 of the plant is left for the summer crop. Let us know how it goes. A great experiment for you to learn!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 12:16AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Hard to see but here is some canes pruned back for a summer crop. A lavender bush inbetween canes.
Photo taken 2013 12 19

This post was edited by Drew51 on Mon, Jan 20, 14 at 14:33

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 2:22PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

OK, here is the same plant earlier. Photo taken 2013 07 16
Just to the left of the lavender is the summer crop floricanes. Farther to the left is the primocanes. Also notice a primocane behind the floricanes, actually three are there.
Two are leaning right. The primocanes to the left were cut down and moved. I moved them just to the left of the lavender. i cut them to 12 inches after the fall crop.
hard to see but berries are on the floricanes, and flower heads on the primocanes.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 2:32PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Another photo taken on 2013 07 08. FYI the floricanes just to the left of the lavender are three canes. I have three more this year. i would have had 6, but I cut three back and moved them this fall. See the primocanes to the far left next to the drain pipe. They were mover to the right of the floricanes. They were getting in the way where they were.
I'll go take a photo to see better what it looks like now.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 2:50PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Here is the area today. Sorry hard to see from the red brick! The 3 canes in the middle were behind the floricanes. They produced a fall crop and were cut back to 4 feet. The short canes just to the right of them were moved there this fall. They were on the far left.
One cane is left on the far left with 2 weaker canes (those will be removed soon). That is actually a different cultivar, that one cane to the far left. It was being crowded out by Fall Gold. So i moved them to give that cultivar a chance.
I cut back the moved canes, as I'm sure I damaged the roots pretty bad. My guess is new canes are going to sprout all over this area, it's going to be a mess!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 3:06PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Here is my other raspberry patch Summer bearing to the right, and the first couple plants on the left. Fall bearing inbetween, many cut back for a summer crop. I'll probably do more thinning here. One blueberry plant is in each 4x4 beds in front of the patch. To the far left you can see some balckberry vines. All of these plants were planted last April. This is their first winter.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 3:12PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Here's what the bed looked like this summer 2013 08 16. The blueberries in the 4x4 beds are surrounded by strawberries. you can't see them in the winter pictures, as they are covered by pine straw (and snow).

This post was edited by Drew51 on Mon, Jan 20, 14 at 15:20

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 3:18PM
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Drew51, those are some beautiful raspberry plants, and raised beds! Is Fall Gold your favorite yellow raspberry?

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 9:04PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

"Is Fall Gold your favorite yellow raspberry?"
Yes, but I don't have much experience with others yet. I have 5 others just put in last year.Two are summer bearing so i have not tasted them yet. Fall Gold though is very hardy, a good producer of both fall and summer crops. It's tart when just ripe, and sweet when left to hang a couple days longer. Anne is sweeter even when just ripe. Kiwi Gold has a nice flavor and is a lot more upright (it's really a Heritage sport). I have yet to taste Double Gold, Honey Queen, and Cascade Gold. Double Gold flowered too late, not one berry ripened in time before frost (this happens at times on new plants). I pruned the canes for a summer crop, so I shall soon taste it.
For Reds Encore was my favorite, Caroline, and Polka were close seconds. I'll taste more this year Rosanna, Prelude, and Taylor will bear fruit next year. Allen a black will also fruit. I'm putting in 2 more blacks. Jewell, and Niwot a new primocane fruiting black (first black ever bearing to be released). I probably will not taste them next year, even though Niwot is a primocane, it is noted for flowering late the first year, much like Double Gold did last year. Rosanna is a primocane that also flowered too late for me to taste last year. It was days away, just missed it.
Himbo Top was just average tasting, not great, but it was super prolific producing a lot of fruit, so I'm keeping it.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 11:33PM
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Cckw, I just ripped out all my heritage raspberry plants. Their fall crop is just too late in my zone 5 garden. They hated my heavy soil and did much better in raised beds, but not well enough to stay. I kept the Autumn Britten, which grows better and fruits earlier, even when cut to the ground every fall. Or eaten to the ground, by pesky rabbits.

The UW Research Gardens in Madison, WI has about 15 varieties of raspberries. I try to visit a few times during the summer to see what is fruiting and when, and to determine my favorite variety. They're all pretty good, but Encore, Prelude, and Taylor stand out in my memory. (Well, the best raspberry is an unnamed yellow. But since I don't know it's name, I can't buy it.)

I put in Double Gold last year, perhaps I'll get something out of it this summer. Fallgold was the only raspberry to not get moved to a raised bed, so I'm not sure it'll come back next year. Anne is a weak plant, even in a raised bed, and I doubt I've gotten even a handful of berries in 3 years.

I should get fruit off my Jewel this year, I've finally gotten it's area fenced against the rabbits.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 12:53AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Thanks for input fruitmaven. I think the Brit cultivars look good. Yeah Anne is weak, but I'm in 6a. So it's OK. Young plant, i will know more after a few years. Yeah CCKW could learn more from you than me. In the same zone!
I also have Encore, Prelude, and Taylor. Those are all Summer bearers, although Encore threw a fall crop anyway for me!
Some rate Fall Gold to zone 3, it should be fine.

An old yellow cultivar is now being offered at Berries Unlimited
Amber Yellow introduced in 1950.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 2:15AM
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Drew, your beds are quite open. Do you net your berries? What about squirrels, rabbits, voles and birds? Mrs. G

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 6:32PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

"Drew, your beds are quite open. Do you net your berries? What about squirrels, rabbits, voles and birds? Mrs. G"

Four words... "Jesse the wonder dog"

I lost 1 and 1/2 strawberries last year, no raspberries, no blueberries, no netting. Yeah i found a half eaten berry, Jesse caught the squirrel. They stay away now.
(look at all the tracks in the snow, he's on it!) A one year old Aussie. He can smell voles, they dare not hide in the yard.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 7:54PM
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I was going to add Anne, but now will not. I'll get something from Fruitmavens list.

Regarding netting: I don't net raspberry or strawberry and don't have issues. I do net my black berries from birds, but am tempted to take them out due to hassle and they are not good looking.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 11:48PM
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Jesse looks pretty cool. All of my neighbors have dogs, but they are all so well behaved they all stay within their own confines. Too bad. . . I have to net all of my berries and cage my strawberries or I wouldn't have one! Ugh. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 10:38AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a


Some of it is just luck, as it appears nobody grows much around here, and everything is so new they have yet to figure it out. So i suspect each year is going to be tougher. Plus I don't leave the dog outside all day He is my buddy and want him with me. He is so smart, beautiful and friendly.
I think I can with little work throw nets over the beds. using PVC to form a structure. Hard to see, but 3/4 inch electrical conduit poles surround the beds and support the trellis.
Remember we both were looking at those nets, so I know one day I too will have to net everything.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 11:11AM
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I bought the green nets and they are excellent. They do not snag or rip like the cheap black plastic netting. They are totally recyclable and just great. I can drape one right over any tree I have and not one bird can get in. Or squirrel for that matter. Where are your fruit trees? Mrs. G

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 11:53AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

"Where are your fruit trees? Mrs. G"

They are all over, front and back yard, and also at my cottage. All the ones in the city are new. Some at my cottage are 1 to 5 years old. I'm putting in some ornamental trees at the cottage next spring. Some variegated dogwoods. Besides those no more till i move. Then i get to start over (sigh). If you look at the photo of the dog, there are three right there.

This post was edited by Drew51 on Wed, Jan 22, 14 at 16:05

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 3:00PM
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