Timing is important when it comes to pruning your raspberry plant. Follow our simple advice to maximise your raspberry crop.

 

A gardener’s advice

1. June-bearing raspberries produce a big crop all at once in early summer. These raspberries are like blackberries: they produce fruit on canes that grew the year before. If you want plenty of raspberries to freeze or make jam, choose traditional June-bearing varieties for most of your plot.

2. You can cut the canes down to the ground in the late autumn or winter and start picking berries from the new canes the following autumn. Cutting the canes back only halfway will coax an in-between summer crop. Include a few primocane plants to help stretch the raspberry harvest.

3. Tie 2 raspberry bushes around a stake about 1.5m tall. Gather the branches together gently with strips of soft cloth, being sure to leave space between the canes for air circulation.

4. To keep long raspberry canes from touching the ground or blowing around in the wind, build a support. Drive sturdy posts of 60 to 75cm into the ground, then stretch wire between them at knee and chest height. There’s usually no need to attach the canes to the wires.

5. In early summer, when beetles are out and about, jiggle them into a pan of soapy water. Greenfly can be controlled by a heavy spray from a garden hose or an application of insecticidal soap. Raspberries are also vulnerable to viral diseases which cause the berries to fall apart as you pick them. Remove affected plants and replace them with plants that are certified to be virus-free.

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