When pruning raspberries, it is important to know whether the bushes will produce fruit in summer or fall. You should keep this in mind when cutting back.
It doesn’t take a lot of skill or effort to cut raspberries properly. It is only important that you follow the tips for summer-bearing and autumn-bearing berry bushes. If you combine both plants in the garden and keep the cut dates, you can harvest from early summer to late autumn.
Tips for summer-bearing berry bushes
Summer raspberries such as the “Schönemann”, “Meeker” and “Rubaca” varieties have two important advantages: On the one hand, their fruit quality is slightly higher than that of autumn raspberries. On the other hand, they are Berry bushes particularly tolerant.
Cut summer-bearing raspberries
Cut the Raspberries from around July after you have harvested the last fruits. You should cut these fruit rods close to the ground and carefully remove them from the trellis. At this time it is easy to distinguish the dark, old from the green young shoots.
Tip: Leave at least five vital young rods of the current stock, shorten them to two meters if necessary and fix them properly to the scaffolding.
The Bavarian State Institute for Viticulture and Horticulture recommends leaving eight to twelve young shoots per meter – if there are more, fungal diseases can spread more easily.
Trim summer raspberries in March
It may be advisable to cut the raspberries again next March if the stubs of the shortened rods are still sticking out of the ground.
Tip: Also remove weak and diseased young shoots from the berry bushes in early spring. So the main shoots have more power and can grow faster.
Cut the autumn raspberries correctly
Autumn raspberries are easy to care for Bushes for the garden and little susceptible to maggots or raspberry beetles. Typical autumn varieties are “Autumn Bliss”, “Himbo-Top” and “Polka”. After you have harvested the fruit, you can cut the raspberries in November or late winter – at ground level.
Cut the “Twotimer” raspberries correctly
The “Twotimer” raspberry is a cross between autumn and summer fruits and has both annual and biennial shoots. This has the advantage that “Twotimer” varieties like “Sugana” wear twice a year. This means that raspberries can be harvested in early summer (early June) and late autumn (late October).
“Twotimer” raspberry: The ‘Sugana’ variety produces twice a year. (Source: McPhoto / imago images)
Danger: The two-year-old shoots should always be cut close to the ground. These are the fruits that bore fruit last summer and are therefore visually clearly distinguishable from the younger rods.
Just fight pests
According to experts from the magazine “My beautiful garden”, you should leave two of the cut rods in the bed for every running meter so that predatory mites and other useful insects can nest on it. As soon as new shoots grow again in spring, the animal helpers move over and keep pests such as spider mites away from the plants.
Pruning measures for a rich harvest
If you want to harvest the autumn varieties twice a year, you should cut the raspberries immediately after the early summer harvest. However, it generally makes more sense to grow both autumn and summer raspberries, as the double harvest weakens the individual berry bushes too much – this can reduce the harvest yield in the worst case.
Cutting raspberries: bypass or anvil scissors?
A basic distinction is made between anvil and bypass scissors.
Anvil models are suitable for rough cutting measures such as thick twigs, dead branches or hardwood. With these scissors, the power transmission is better and they do not tilt so easily when cutting. Anvil scissors, on the other hand, are less suitable for sensitive plant stems. You would be squeezed too hard when you cut.
Bypass shears: They work with two sharp blades and are suitable for shrubs with thin branches. (Source: Klaus W. Schmidt / imago images)
Bypass scissors have double-edged blades with which thin twigs and plant stems can be cut more cleanly. This type of scissors is ideal especially for pruning ornamental shrubs such as roses, but also berry shrubs.
When pruning your raspberry bush, it is best to wear gardening gloves or rose gloves. These protect against the fine spines on its rods.
Root barrier against overgrown raspberry bushes
The shallow roots of the raspberry bush grow in the ground, around a two meter radius. The runners also displace other plants in the garden. You can stop the strong growth in width with a root barrier or rhizome barrier.
The barriers, which are commercially available as roll goods, are made of particularly strong polyethylene film: it is around two millimeters thick. Before planting the raspberry bush, dig the barrier about 40 centimeters into the ground and allow the edges of the foil to protrude about five centimeters from the ground. So the root runners cannot climb over it.
Subsequent root barriers are also worthwhile if the raspberry plants are already spreading in the garden. Make sure, however, that you regularly remove any roots outside the barrier. This is the only way to keep the bushes in check.
Instructions for training on the wire trellis
Next Spalierobst it is also advisable to tie berry bushes such as raspberries to a scaffold and “educate” them. This is especially true for summer-bearing raspberries. Follow these steps:
Drive several wooden posts about two meters long into the ground at a distance of 1.50 meters and stretch wires horizontally at heights of 40, 80 and 160 centimeters. Place the young raspberry plants at a distance of around 50 centimeters directly on the wooden trellis and shorten the young plants to 30 centimeters in height.
When new shoots emerge about 30 centimeters from the ground at the end of May, twelve to 15 healthy, well-spaced rods are attached to the trellis wires and “trained” over the course of the summer. The remaining rods will be shortened to the ground level as early as the end of May. When the fruit canes tend to cling to the top wire in late autumn, cut them off.