do you mow your rasp canes down?

sheeshshe1(5a)July 7, 2010

I thought the proper way of taking care of rasp was to mow them down in the fall or spring, but now there seems to be some posts that people cut them down to 8" instead? what is the proper way of caring for the rasp plants? Mine are everbearing but I am going to do just a fall crop only.

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ericwi

You don't have to mow, or cut down, your raspberry patch in the fall. But, it will likely be an impenetrable jungle the following year. Cutting down the canes in the late fall, typically November or early December, helps keep plant disease reduced. I like to mulch with about 8 inches of shredded maple tree leaves, around the raspberry stubs. When I go to clean up the bed the following year, the leaves are always gone. This continues to amaze me, I can only guess that we have a good population of hungry worms, that surface at night, to eat the leaves. The canes that are cut down in the fall go on our compost pile, and most of our compost ends up in the garden, where we grow tomatoes, brussels sprouts, and swiss chard.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 3:21PM
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iowajer

I imagine it depends on who you ask. There's probably something somewhere that'll support either way.

Anyway, I'd bought some Caroline plants from Nourse Farms, included in the mailing box was a little booklet that says the following:

"Most everbears will produce the best crop if not allowed to fruit in early summer. To treat these plants as fallbearers, mow off all the canes after the canes have lost their leaves in very late fall, or wait until early spring in colder areas. Be sure to cut the canes as closely as possible to the soil surface, leaving as little stub as possible above the ground. The new, strong canes that grow again that summer will bear an abundant fall crop"

That's how I did my Heritage last year, and I think that's what I'll do with the Caroline when it's time this year.

BTW, I too have a few fully formed berries on some of my newly planted Caroline. Now if the 2 1/2" rain we just got about an hour or two ago didn't mess with the roots, I may be able to taste a Caroline this year!!!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 7:23PM
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sheeshshe1(5a)

but is it better to cut down to 8" or to mow completely down, is there any advantages over one method or the other?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 7:41PM
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lsoh

sheeshshel,
If you are thinking of 8" because of a message I posted 2 days ago, sorry. I am a complete newbie trying to figure this stuff out myself. The message was intended as a question. Please don't interpret that message as the appropriate method. Sorry if I mislead you.

others,
Do you use a standard lawn mower to mow down your canes? Isn't that hard on the blade?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 8:07PM
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sheeshshe1(5a)

yeah, thats the info I have too from Nourse... but I didn't know if that is what people general.ly did ya know?

so I'm in zone 5, so do I mow in the fall or the early spring for a fall crop?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 8:49PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I'm mowing mine to the ground late this fall after a hard freeze...the summer crop is really pathetic.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 9:04PM
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sheeshshe1(5a)

well, I did see that about the 8" but I also saw someone else mention 8" as well and then the canes that I got from nourse are about 8" so I thought perhaps I missed something and mowing is optional and perhaps 8" is preferred. ehhheheh. so I figured I'd get a consensus of what most people do here and then decide :)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 9:11PM
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Michael

I've grown Heritage for 7 years now and cut them down to the ground well after they are dead from freezing in the Fall. This cutting is done by hand with pruners to get good and close to the ground eliminating the stumps from which they like to throw out measly little fruiting canes earlier in the following year than the primocanes which are the desired main crop. After the cutting comes 8-12" of leaves which conveniently have fallen in time for mulching the berry beds.

Caroline was planted Spring of 09 and developed very well to the point I tried leaving about 10 plants cut down to about 8" tall and the rest cut to the ground as I really didn't know what to expect with either method. The plants responded this year with excellent growth in the form of primocanes but the floricanes are short and spindly leaving me to pick them on my knees and standing on my head, not my idea of fun. The primocanes are about 4' tall and now beginning to form flower buds. I think I'll enjoy harvesting the primocanes much more. This Fall, they will all be cut down to the ground.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 9:36PM
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sheeshshe1(5a)

thank you for your experience! After reading that I think that I will indeed cut them completely down in the fall :)

anyone know if you can tell a rasp bush type from looking at it to tell what kind it is? I have one that my mom gave me a seedling 5y ago and I've been trying to figure out what it is, if I post a picture could people tell or will it always be a mystery?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 8:25AM
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