Raspberries, like other horticultural crops, require careful and constant care. Only with sufficient watering, fertilizing, loosening the soil and removing weeds can you expect good yields. Also, for the correct development of the bushes, it is necessary to carry out timely pruning. Below we will tell you what pruning of raspberries is, why you need to carry out such manipulations and get acquainted with different types of pruning.
Why is it needed
As a rule, raspberry embryos appear on the shoots of the second year of life. Although there are special remontant varieties that begin to produce crops in the first year. Both types of raspberries require renewal of the shoots. After the second year of growth, fruitful shoots begin to hurt, lose their strength and ability to set berries.
In addition, without proper pruning, up to 20 shoots may appear on the bush in the spring, which create unnecessary density in the planting. The abundance of extra stems leads to a decrease in berries and yield, since the plant spends energy on the development of sterile shoots. In such thickets, pests and plant diseases spread much easier. Often, such shoots from uncircumcised bushes grow sluggish, before wintering they do not gain strength and freeze slightly. It is absolutely clear that knowing how to prune raspberries is essential and useful information to form healthy and productive bushes.
Shoots are removed and shoots are shortened 3 times a year - in spring, autumn and summer. Moreover, each pruning carries certain goals. In the spring, this procedure is planned for March-April, depending on the climate. First of all, inspect all bushes and remove frozen and unhealthy stems. Now, from all that remains, choose the strongest shoots, and cut the rest at the very base. If raspberries have frozen tops, then they are cut off to 1 healthy kidney.
After that, you need to carefully monitor the regrowth of young stems. The number of shoots should not exceed 40 pieces per 1 running meter of planting. After the young shoots grow up to 30 centimeters, all excess will need to be removed. It is these young branches that will become the basis for the ovaries for the next year. In the summer, when the raspberry crop is harvested, immediately get rid of the fruiting shoots. They will no longer yield a crop, so they are cut out at the very base.
Removing the growth takes a special place in the proper care of raspberries. New shoots should not be allowed to appear further than at a distance of 20 centimeters from the center of the bush. Therefore, all shoots that have moved away to the side must be removed immediately. As soon as they come out of the ground. Pruning raspberries in the fall involves the removal of fruiting stems (in the event that you did not do it in the summer), diseased, broken and dried branches. All that remains must be carefully tilted and pinned to the ground so that the shoots are covered with snow and they do not freeze. With frost-resistant varieties, such a manipulation is not necessary.
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Annual raspberries are called remontant. They have their own characteristics for care and pruning. After harvesting, around September-October, it is necessary to completely cut off all the shoots without leaving any stumps. In the spring you will see a lot of new growth emerge from the rhizome. Moreover, many shoots will be clearly weaker than the rest.
You will need to get rid of them. If you do not thin out the young bush in the spring, then in the summer thickets will form in the raspberries, where pests and diseases will start to grow. It will also have a detrimental effect on the harvest. After the next collection of berries, everything is cut out again at the root. This constant renewal carries with it a lot of positive aspects. In general, it can be noted that caring for one-year-old raspberries is many times easier than for ordinary ones.
Correct double pruning of raspberries shows excellent results in different varieties. At the same time, gardeners need to understand that this method requires a special attitude to caring for the culture as a whole. You will have to think about this even at the stage of planting seedlings. You need to sparingly fertilize the furrows with mineral and organic fertilizers. Further, it is also important to monitor the appearance of weeds, pests, loosening of the soil. Only with a high level of care can you expect further results.
This pruning method was founded by the famous gardener A.G. Sobolev. He recommends doing the first pruning in the last days of May or early June. Until this time, young shoots reach sizes of 70-100 centimeters.
At the shoot, pinch off the very tip at a distance of 10-15 centimeters from the top. This manipulation stimulates the growth of lateral stems. By the end of summer, these new shoots can grow up to 50 centimeters. Remember that the first pruning of raspberries according to Sobolev should be carried out at a strictly agreed time, otherwise the side stems will not have time to get stronger before the onset of the autumn cold.
In the fall, the bushes are thinned out. Sobolev himself removed the growth, left 4 shoots on the bush and made it so that the free space between the bushes was about 2 meters. Do not forget about the rest of the care measures. A second phase of double pruning is planned for next spring. When the bushes are covered with green foliage, you need to remove the tops of 5-10 centimeters of all surviving shoots. If you carry out such pruning correctly, then dormant buds will begin to wake up on the bushes, new fruitful shoots will begin to grow, and there will be many times more ovaries.
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You will learn how to properly care for your garden plot and, in particular, how to properly maintain raspberry bushes.
If you do not trim the raspberries, the consequences can be extremely negative:
- active development of greenery - leaves and shoots, which will "pull" all the nutrients, preventing the formation and ripening of fruits
- thickening of the branches, due to which the plant will not receive enough sunlight and fresh air
- young shoots without pruning old branches will experience an acute shortage of nutrients, which reduces their frost resistance and in winter they may die
- the more thickets, the higher the risks of fungus and mold development on the branches, the occurrence of a number of diseases, which can lead to the death of the bush.
To grow an actively fruiting raspberry bush, it must be pruned regularly.
Additional Information! In addition to increasing yields, pruning rejuvenates the plant, increases its immunity, and makes it strong against diseases and pests.
Why is the procedure needed
Pruning raspberry bushes in the fall is done for the following reasons:
- The fruits of the culture are formed on stems not older than 2 years. From this it follows that the old branches are completely useless and must be cut to the ground. If you neglect this, then the raspberry will turn into impassable thickets and will produce very few berries.
- Autumn pruning is also needed for more convenient berry picking next year and for other work on caring for the raspberry tree. After pruning, there is more space, rows of plants are visible and intervals between plants are maintained.
- Pruning raspberries in the fall will get rid of pathogenic fungal spores and pests hibernating under the bark of raspberries. This is the key to the powerful development of raspberries next spring and the formation of a bountiful harvest.
Repaired raspberry varieties spend a lot of nutrition on the formation of berries, and this period lasts several months. To ensure the next year's harvest, it is necessary to rid the bushes of excess overgrowth before the onset of winter. Thanks to this autumn procedure, the roots will not waste precious nutrition on the growth and development of unnecessary shoots. Food will accumulate for future harvest.
Step-by-step instructions for pruning raspberries
Make sure you have the necessary tools before you start pruning.
You will need sharp and handy garden shears to work. To avoid the penetration of dangerous pathogenic fungi, the cuts on the bushes must be made even. In addition, it contributes to the rapid healing of wounds. Garden pruners are essential for pruning last year's young and old raspberry shoots.
Some instruments become dull after prolonged use. If the blade cannot be replaced, it is recommended to purchase new secateurs as old - can do more harm than good.
When buying garden shears, make sure that the blades are correctly aligned with each other, there should not be too large gaps between them. The material from which they are made also matters - most often steel tools are used. Scissors with non-slip handles are perfect for work.
Most of the procedures for caring for raspberries are carried out in early spring, before the onset of the growing season. Before the onset of winter, appropriate plant care measures must also be taken. One of the important aspects of growing a crop is autumn pruning. You need to know how to prune raspberries in the fall in order to form a bush and protect it from various diseases.
On biennial varieties, old, damaged and diseased stems are cut. Most often, a fungus forms on old shoots, which contributes to the development of dangerous diseases. It should be remembered that cut plants are also at risk of developing pathogenic microorganisms that also infect neighboring young branches.
Therefore, you should regularly monitor their condition and, in case of infection, immediately eliminate them. Two-year-old stems that have matured must be cut off. Young ones are also removed, since they contribute to the thickening of the bushes.
Trimming raspberry bushes for the winter helps to strengthen the main stems, which has a positive effect on yield. Weak root shoots are also pruned (they mainly appear in the summer, in the first year after planting the raspberries). In subsequent years, young stems are regularly cut to prevent thickening.
The best time to prune two year old raspberries is November. It is recommended to cut the shoots at a height of 15-20 cm, as cutting too low will cause an increase in the number of root shoots and a large thickening. For young bushes, you can make low cuts, right at the very root. Diseased plants should also be cut. If the entire bush is completely infected, then it is recommended to dig it up and burn it.
Pruning raspberries in a row
As a rule, annuals, which have strong shoots, are planted without any support. Biennial varieties are most often grown in rows. This provides ideal access to plants, facilitates maintenance, creates good lighting conditions and increases yields.
Many gardeners use this growing method in their garden. The row spacing should be no more than 0.5-1 m, the distance between the stems is 6-10 cm. Such cultivation helps to improve the health of plants, provides them with a sufficient amount of sunlight and air. Gardeners use different forms of rows: narrow, wide, single, double, etc. With this method, raspberries are easier to grow.
Shoots are tied to 2 wires that are attached to poles. The distance between them should be 25 cm. The more fruiting processes are tied to the wire at the top of the structure, and the lower ones are attached at the bottom.
In the fall, the shoots that have grown in the current year are shortened by 8-10 cm. Re-pruning is carried out in early spring - the tops are pruned by 15-20 cm. This procedure will accelerate the growth of the bush and protect the raspberries from destruction due to the severity of the fruit.
Another important aspect of caring for raspberries is the systematic removal of excess stems that grow beyond the designated line. Annual strong shoots that grow in close proximity, nestle on the rest and become attached. Gardeners attach all healthy stems to wires so that the wind does not break them.
In the spring
The first crop is pruned in the spring, after planting (regardless of varieties). The stems are shortened at a height of about 30-40 cm. This procedure promotes the active development of shoots and reduces the risk of developing fungal diseases, which are most often exposed to young plants. Another advantage of this treatment is that it accelerates the emergence of new healthy shoots and strengthens the roots. In the first year after planting, the stems of the shrub produce many new branches. In the second year after harvest, they are removed.
Pruning of an adult bush is performed 2 times a year: in spring, at the beginning of the growing season, and in autumn, after picking berries. In the spring, after the end of frost, gardeners carry out such sanitization: dry, diseased and damaged stems are removed (cold winter can contribute to their freezing). Older and weaker ones are also removed.
It is recommended to burn all cut branches so that diseases do not spread and do not infect other parts of the plants. Removing spring shoots on biennial varieties has the additional advantage of delaying the development of young branches so that their growth will not coincide with the ripening phase of the fruit.
This will ensure that new stems will not compete with old ones, resulting in higher yields. Raspberries are pruned in the spring (no later than the first half of May) if the procedure is performed later, then the branches formed in summer will begin to grow poorly and may bring a poor harvest next year.
Two-year varieties begin to form many lateral branches in the second year after planting. In May, when they reach a height of 5-10 cm, they are pruned to the very base. This procedure prevents thickening of the bushes and facilitates maintenance. A few new shoots should be left in because they will bear fruit the next season. 1 adult bush should have 5-8 strong shoots. The tops of healthy plants are slightly pinched.
Many gardeners want to postpone the two-year-old raspberry harvest date. To do this, in the spring, cut off the fruiting shoots. Such processing will delay the ripening of the crop by 14 days. Fruiting on annual varieties can also be slowed down - by reducing their growth by 10-15 cm.
In annual species, lateral stems compete with fruiting ones, so they should be removed. When growing highly dense annual raspberries, especially in areas with high rainfall, it is recommended to cut off all weak shoots in the spring. Only a few strong ones are left. This procedure has a beneficial effect on the health of raspberries.
Pruning different varieties of raspberries
Summer and autumn raspberries differ in the type of fruiting. Crops are grown in the same way, but pruning methods may vary. For example, the traditional two-year-old raspberry yields on last year's stems (its fruits ripen in June-July). Whereas other varieties can bear fruit on the shoots planted this year. However, berries on such species are formed later (from August to October). Before processing the bush, you should study the step-by-step instructions in order to know whether it is necessary to trim the bushes, to what height and when it is best to carry out the procedure.
Pruning methods depend on which variety needs the procedure:
- Autumn. When pruning, all shoots are removed to the ground in order to stimulate the growth of new stems (the procedure is performed in the fall). In early spring, new shoots are re-pruned. In highly branched varieties, excess shoots should be cut off regularly. This procedure improves the development and appearance of young bushes.Raspberries often suffer from fungal diseases, as a result of which some parts of the plants die off. Therefore, infected branches should be removed and burned immediately to avoid exposing the rest of the bush to the fungus.
- Summer. The culture is renewed by the germination of new shoots. The old two-year-old stems dry up after the end of fruiting. Therefore, after picking the fruits, they must be cut off. Any dried, damaged, broken and diseased stems must also be removed.
The next step in care is thinning the bush (young annual stems are removed). About 4-6 of the strongest shoots are left on the bush. When growing raspberries in a row, there should be 10-12 pieces per 1 sq. m. Plants that are too tall should also be shortened. In order to prevent thickening, all root processes appearing in the aisles are cut off, because they contribute to a decrease in the quality and quantity of berries.
You should know how to properly prune raspberries with multiple fruiting. The twice-bearing crop bears the harvest first in the summer (on two-year-old shoots) and the second time in the fall (on annuals). The branches that bear fruit for the first time are pinched. The procedure is performed in the fall or spring. After the second fruiting, the stems are shortened to give new growth to the shoots.
After pruning, it is recommended to add nutrients to the soil, distributing the required amount under the bushes. Fertilizers are applied in May and June. The most popular varieties with multiple fruiting: red raspberries "Polyana", "Polka", "Polesie", yellow - "Morning Dew".
The Laska variety requires proper care. It is recommended to shorten the shoots to ground level immediately after planting. This procedure will not only facilitate the adaptation of the plant to a new place, but also protect the bush from the development of fungal diseases. In the future, it is required to trim the plants 2 times a year: in the first half of May and at the end of summer (after harvest). Spring pruning helps to strengthen the root system and stimulates the development of new stems.
It is also necessary to cut off the lateral processes, because they compete with fruiting branches. After harvesting, two-year-old shoots are removed. Only strong annuals are left so that the berries will form next year. This variety produces large quantities of new stems, so the stems need to be thinned out to avoid excessive thickening.
When choosing a remontant variety for planting on your site, it is important to check in advance whether it is zoned in this area.
Raspberries are planted in late September - early October. The plant loves the sun and light soils. If necessary, the land is improved with organic matter: peat, humus, rotted manure.
Top dressing with a full range of mineral fertilizers is carried out twice a season: in spring and in mid-summer. This is a guarantee of a good harvest.
The virtues of culture include:
- It produces a harvest in the first year after planting, which, in particular, allows you to quickly assess the taste of the variety.
- Due to the fact that the entire ground part is removed in autumn, and the remaining root system is easier to cover from the cold, remontant varieties easily tolerate even severe frosts.
- Complete pruning and removal of the entire ground part of the plant makes effective disease and pest control.
- The one-year growing cycle greatly simplifies the care of the crop, this is especially important for novice gardeners.
Among the possible disadvantages, we note:
- The taste of berries ripened in autumn with a lack of sun and heat is usually worse than that of ordinary raspberries.
- There is always a risk that the variety will not meet the growing season allotted to it, and at least part of the harvest will be lost.
Crop care after pruning
Above, we looked at how to properly prune raspberries in the fall. After completing the procedure, the bushes need little care, the essence of which is as follows:
- After the pruning procedure, it is necessary to do water-charging irrigation, which will allow the bushes to winter safely.
- To protect the remaining stems of raspberries, especially remontant varieties, from winter freezing, it must be covered for the winter.
- To avoid moisture evaporation, cover the soil around the raspberry bushes with a mulch layer. Thanks to this agricultural technique, raspberry roots will be protected from freezing, which is most important in winters with little snow. Mulching is performed by:
- dried grass
- fallen leaves
- tree bark
- An equally important matter, after the autumn pruning of the shrub, is the feeding of raspberries. The applied fertilizers will help the bushes to be nourished with useful nutrients for the formation of the future berry harvest. For feeding, as usual, use:
- bird droppings
- mineral fertilizers
- a combination of organic matter and mineral oils.
Never apply fertilizers containing nitrogen before winter. This element will provoke the rapid growth of shoots to the detriment of the future harvest.
Many gardeners are engaged in the cultivation of raspberries, which are widespread in our country. She belongs to not very demanding cultures.
If watering, loosening, weed control, protection from dangerous pests and diseases are carried out on time, then you can rightfully count on a bountiful harvest of tasty and healthy berries. Also, our recommendations for pruning raspberries in the fall for beginners in pictures will help you get a decent result.