Raspberry pruning – growing a good crop for next year

Autumn, Soft fruit

April 11, 2011

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Another job to be doing at this time of the year is preparing your raspberries for the next year’s crop.  Summer fruiting raspberries bear fruit on the previous year’s growth, so to keep the bed clear and concentrate all their energy into the fruting canes, it is necessary to clear out all of the old canes at the end of the growing season.

This is also a good time to give the bed a good dose of fertiliser and a layer of mulch.  Raspberries are shallow rooted crops and need fertile soil to produce well and the area needs to be kept free of weeds.  It also helps to keep the moisture in to encourage plump fruit.



Last year's canes are brown in colour. This year's are pale green.

So start by working out which are the current season’s canes.  These are the ones you want to keep.  They will usually be pale green, as in the picture above.  Some varities have brown bases, but they will be green higher up the canes.  Older canes are brown all the way up.  Once you have worked out which is which, cut the old canes off at ground level.



After pruning out last year's canes.

Now that the old raspberry canes are gone, give the new canes a good dose of blood and bone, chicken manure, and (if the blood and bone doesn’t have it in it) potash. Potash is important for good fruit growth.  Finally finish with a good layer (5cm) of horse manure, cow manure or compost.

The canes after a good dose of blood and bone, and rooster poo, then a 5cm layer of horse manure over the top.











Your raspberries should now be well set for next year’s crop. I’ll talk more about how to go about tying the canes into a framework so they are well supported in another post.


4 Responses to “Raspberry pruning – growing a good crop for next year”

  1. Jenine says:

    Hi Matt
    Ive got a raspberry plant just given to me which is in a small pot and I need to transfer it also the canes are green, I don’t think it is a year old . Do I need to trim those canes before transplanting and I am going to plant it in a 1/2 wine barrel is that ok?

  2. Matt says:

    Hi Jenine,

    I would leave all the canes on it when you plant and prune it at the end of the next growing season. This would mean you’d prune in Autumn 2012. It doesn’t hurt to keep the old canes on as they will produce leaves and add to the vigour og the plant which is a good thing to start with. Once the plant is established though they become a liability as they don’t produce fruit.

    Planting in a winebarrel should be fine as long as you fertilise regularly and keep the water up to them.

    Hope that helps!


  3. Jenine says:

    Thanks heaps Matt, I would of cut the canes off and most probably killed the plant ,now I have confidence transplanting it, so bring on the raspberries I say!!.. well next season that is

  4. Matt says:

    Cool. Hope you get a bumper crop!

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