Usually I take care of cutting out old raspberry canes in the fall. This year, for whatever reason, it didn’t get done. It was a nice warm day today, so I got out the pruners and tidied up the rows. I cut out all the two-year old canes and tied last years canes to the trellis.
Raspberries come in “summer-bearing” and “fall-bearing” varieties. I’ve got some of both. The summer-bearing varieties come on stronger and give ample quantities for jam and freezing as well as eating. The fall-bearing varieties have two crops. The early crop grows much like summer-bearing varieties on the second year canes. Then in the fall you get a crop from new canes along the tips of the main stem. You won’t get as large a crop in the fall, but they can keep producing all the way till Thanksgiving when there are no other berries around. It’s more of a challenge to keep fall-bearing plants pruned nicely than summer-bearing types. It’s best to cut out the two-year old canes in the summer, right after they finish bearing, so that you can tie up the new shoots and keep the fall berries off the ground.
I’ve had the raspberries in the same spot near the fence for almost 15 years now. That’s getting to be too long. They are just not as productive as they were, and the trellis posts are rotting away – partly because it is too wet. Raspberries like well-drained soil to avoid root rot problems. Last year I started another row on the other side of the yard from shoots that came up in the middle of the paths. They should start to produce this year and be at full production next year. I’ll probably retire the old patch this fall.