Beginner gardener help with Raspberries

craigv1July 25, 2012


My wife and I purchased a home and with this home came a beautiful urban garden. There is a box about 15-20' long with Raspberries and they have produced a very satisfying yield so far. Apparently the Raspberries have been there for about four years.

My question is: along with the fruit bearing stalks a large amount of non fruit bearing stalks have been poking out of the plant and looked to be overtaking the plants. A neighbor came by and told me that they are sapping nutrients and that I should clear them out.

I cleared them yesterday and now I fear, after thinking more about it, maybe I killed next years yield?

Could someone advise me on if I have made a mistake and if so how to rectify it?

These new stalks were almost higher than the fruit bearing stalks. There are still a few left that I missed and the other ones I pruned down to about 3"

Thank you

(I am assuming they are summer everbearing raspberries.)

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Yes, you made a mistake. Your biggest mistake was listening to the neighbor who obviously knows nothing about raspberries. Your second biggest mistake was cutting out next year's crop. Those "non fruit bearing stalks" are the first year canes, known technically as "primocanes". They overwinter and bloom and bear fruit the second year, when they are called "floricanes". IF you have a fall-bearing type, the primocanes bloom and fruit in the fall of their first year, as well as the spring/summer of their second year. Then they die.

Well, you probably didn't entirely ruin next year's crop, because the plants will regrow yet this year a bit, and you will probably have some short canes with a few berries. There isn't any real way to "rectify" it other than make sure those emerging new shoots are kept well watered so they put on the maximum amount of growth to be as large as possible for next year. You could apply a VERY light dose of fertilizer now to help them grow, but nothing after this, because if they are too soft and green going into the fall/winter, they will just winter kill.

You DO need to cut out the canes that had berries this year as soon as they are done bearing. They die after fruiting, and the sooner you remove them, the more light and air the emerging new shoots from the roots will get.

Chalk it up to experience -- look at it this way, you know a LOT more about raspberries now than you did a few days ago.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 10:16PM
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If you know where that neighbor lives, look at their garden before relying on any more advice from them. My guess would be they have a large lawn and a few trees/shrubs.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 11:22PM
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