It's time to learn how to prune raspberries. Late winter and early spring is when you want to care for your raspberry and blueberry plants to get them ready for their harvest season come summer.
Learn how to prune blueberries for a larger harvest here.
How to Prune Raspberries
You need to determine which kind of raspberries you have. There are two kinds of raspberries, either ever bearing or summer bearing. Ever bearing raspberries produce fruit in the summer and fall, while summer bearing raspberries produce a large amount of berries in the summer. Summer bearing are preferred for those of us who like to preserve our fruits in jams, jellies, and syrups so you have enough to make your recipes.
This tutorial on how to prune your raspberries is for summer bearing raspberries.
I made a quick video to show you how to prune raspberries
You need to remove last year's canes as raspberries only produce on the second year cane. Canes that produced berries last year will not produce anymore and need to be cut away. Canes are the wooden branches or shoots that come up from the base of the plant.
Make sure you wear gloves and long sleeves as they do scratch… I've had the battle wounds to prove it.
Cut at the base of the plant. Remove any branches that produced last year and any broken or puny branches.
Discard of branches in your compost pile, wood chipper, burn pile, or whatever way you see fit.
More Resources for Growing Fruit:
- How to Prune a Blueberry Bush for a Larger Harvest
- How to Get Rid of Mummy Berry Disease on Blueberry Bushes
- How to Prune Apple Trees
- How to Grow Elderberries
- Planting Berry Bushes & Fruit Trees
- When and How to Plant Fruit Trees
- Planting Berry Bushes & Fruit Trees (How Many to Plant Per Person)
- How to Treat Fruit Trees Organically: When to Spray for Disease
- How to Care for Fruit Trees In Fall & Winter
- Gardening in March (Garden Tasks by Month)
Yum! I have thornless raspberries from my mothers garden. We tried growing white raspberries but they didn’t make it. You’ve inspired me to get outside despite the weather. 🙂
Melissa K. Norris
OH, my heart be still, thornless raspberries! I might have to invest in some new plants. 🙂
How do you get strawberries ready? We have a strawberry patch next to our raspberry patch. They came with the house and I am clueless on how to take care of them.
Melissa K. Norris
Barb, I think strawberries pretty much take care of themselves in the spring. In the fall you can cover them with a layer of straw to help against the cold. I’d weed around them now though, weeds pull up better before the get a good root system going the further into spring we get. I’m craving strawberry shortcake now!
We have blueberries and raspberries. We have netted the blueberries, but the birds had found a liking for the raspberries last year, one here or there. You’ve inspired me to get out there this week and tie together the new canes. Thanks for the picture; already done.
Melissa K. Norris
I’ll have to be on the watch for the birds in my raspberries then this year, Kris. 🙂 I love it once the canes are all tied up, it makes summer seem closer.
We’ve were given raspberry plants and blackberry as well. Can you please explain your raspberry patch routine? If I understand correctly you tie up the first year’s canes and the new canes produced this year just flop over? That way you know you’re cutting out old canes in late winter. Then you tie up the new canes that will produce this season?
Melissa K. Norris
You got it Johnna. The new canes we leave free. In the late winter/early spring we cut down last year’s canes and then tie up the new growth, which will have the berries on it. Blackberry’s can be very invasive, depending on what kind you have. We have two varieties that grow wild here and can be quite pesky. They’ll send out runners and grow quite fast. Make sure to keep them cut back after your harvest, it won’t hurt them a bit. 🙂
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Way cool! Some verey valid points! I appreciate you writing
this post and also the rest of the sitte is very good.
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I LOVE the addition of videos to your site! It helps so much to be able to see exactly what you are doing. I hope you will continue this new feature. I’ve learned so much since I found your podcast 2 months ago! I actually am keeping a book of notes from what I learn listening to you! Thanks for all you share with us! Blessings!
Thank you!! I’m getting ready to shoot some more videos today. 🙂 Is there anything you’d like to have us focus more on?
I grow everbearing Heritage raspberries, in quite a large quantity. I have always been told to do a winter cleanup and to not let fallen leaves and berries compost back into the soil. The reason I was given is if you don’t do the cleanup, any diseases or pests present will winter over and end up in your crop the following year. In fact, I was told emphatically to make sure my burn pile for this material be quite a little distance from the raspberry canes, and to not use raspberry material for ANY kind of compost, as some of the diseases are common to other plant types (an example would be black spot on both raspberries and roses).
I have followed this regime for 6 or 7 years now and have never been troubled with pests, or other of the lovely things raspberries can get. Just thought I’d pass this on.
How do you keep the grass from invading your raspberry beds? Thanks.
We just use a mulch of wood chips and sawdust, about 3 inches thick.
Hello Melissa. What is good to fertilize raspberries?
I like to use composted chicken manure
Enjoy the video very much, planting my first raspberries