How to prune raspberries

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asked Feb 27, 2013 by tracy blee
I have raspberries that I purchased from Home Depot a few years back. I have no idea what kind they are. I have read some of the pruning tips and have seen where people say to mow them at the end of the season and some say take out all the branches except for 5 or 6 strong ones. Mine have never given me fruit the berries just dry up, so I figure I need to give them more water this year and i am going to mulch them better.   Right now they just look like a ful bush with skinny branches.  I hope someone can help me. Thank you and have a great day.   Tracy
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1 Answer

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answered Feb 27, 2013 by Mariah Redwood
I am not sure about pruning when it's winter and there is no fruit on the vine. I was told to prune at the end of harvest when the fruit was finished but the caps on the raspberries was still on the vine. This was the identifier of the vine that produced and would not produce again next year. This is the one you cut down to the ground. The other canes, the long bigger ones are the ones that will produce next year. As this case is the end winter and we know not, the question is how do prune now, when everthing looks alike and has spread all over. In my case I have canes sticking up through the cracks in the cement driveway near the raspberry bed. What I am contemplating doing is whopping most of it back unless someone who knows more than I do responds. I can read it in a book but it looks different when you are looking at the bed, AND the bed all looks alike.
It would depend on whether they are autumn or summer fruiting - if they grow new shoots and fruit on these the same year, they are primocanes meaning they can be cut down to about 12 inches about now and they will shoot and produce fruit this year.  However, if they are summer fruiting and only produce fruit on branches that were formed last year then you only need to trim off the branches that bore fruit and keep the 'new branches' for fruiting this year - easiest way to do this is to mark the branches that bore fruit and then you know to only cut these ones about now.  Hope this is useful - I have just purchased my first lot of raspberries this year so its all new to me, but this is what I have found out so far - also keep watering them !!  Good Luck !
I agree!  We have experience with blackberry growing and i would think pruning would be the same for rasp. As you are picking raspberries, there should be a COLOR difference in the vines you will cut and keep. Marking them with yarn or string is a great idea. or as soon as crop is finished the vines just producing should be cut to close to the ground (10-12 in. sounds right).  Since this was not done the prior season, i would cut vines that are coming up between the crack and wait for the next crop and follow the advice given for this next season.  Second to a full crop of berries staring at you, a freshly trimmed, twined vine standing ready for the next season is so beautiful.
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