Autumn pruning of raspberries is an important step in obtaining a good harvest
Raspberry is an aggressive shrub, quickly occupies the entire area allotted to it and is constantly trying to expand its possessions. If you do not prune bushes and remove excess shoots, the raspberry tree quickly turns into impassable thickets. Fortunately, pruning raspberries is not difficult, and it should be done at a very convenient time: after harvesting and a little in the fall.
Purpose of pruning raspberries in the fall
It would seem, why bother to come to a raspberry-tree with a pruner? In the forest, no one does this, and there is enough fragrant, healthy berries for both forest dwellers and people who come with buckets and baskets. However, it is worth remembering what area of forest thickets must be robbed and how much time to spend to collect a bucket of raspberries. Yes, it grows itself, but it grows small and there is not much of it per square meter. And at the summer cottage we want to get large berries and more, but we allocate the garden well if it is a quarter of a hundred square meters, and usually even less. Therefore, you have to take care of raspberries: water, fertilize, loosen, prepare for winter and cut out everything unnecessary in time.
The berries in the forest will grow delicious, but without care they will be small, there will be few of them
On an ordinary perennial raspberry, each shoot lives for two seasons: appearing in the spring, it grows intensively, remaining flexible and green until autumn, preparing for the fact that next year it should give a harvest of berries and then dry up and die. If you do not touch it, it can stand in a dried state for another year, or even more, cluttering the plantation. Eventually, it will fall and turn into a mulching material. It seems to be good, but the fact is that most often during this time various bad spider bugs manage to settle in the shoot - raspberry pests and our competitors for the harvest. And even different sores. So it turns out that the main reason for the need to trim raspberries is clear to us. Fruiting shoots must be removed on time.
The second reason lies in the ability of the raspberry bush to give numerous new shoots: more than the root system can feed. No, the extra ones, the shoots, of course, will not die by their own death, but they will give very little berries, and they will require a lot of nutrients. Thus, the second reason to take the pruner in hand is the excessive thickening of the raspberry bushes, the need for their elementary thinning. So that really strong shoots striving to give a high yield, there was enough food, water and sun for this, so that the bushes could be ventilated, so that any unnecessary viruses and bacteria do not accumulate in the raspberry bush. And how do we ourselves wade through the thorny thickets with a bucket, picking berries? Therefore, it turns out that by pruning, we take care of not only the health of raspberries, but also our own.
This raspberry patch will have something to work on
Many varieties of raspberries, when given plenty of food and drink, grow into very tall bushes. Why do we need to pick berries from the ladder? After all, a raspberry tree two meters tall and above is simply inconvenient. In addition, very long shoots do not have enough strength to produce crops on all their branches, along the entire stem height. Yes, and these branches will not be enough if the stem strives upward. So the third reason is clear: shortening too long shoots and forming a bush in order to form side branches and get berries from them. By correct pruning, we do not destroy the future harvest, but, on the contrary, make it richer.
Many people carry out autumn pruning only in October, in order to still have time to catch warm days. But it turns out that the main work in a regular (not remontant) raspberry plant can be done much earlier! Fruit-bearing shoots should be cut immediately after the last berries are picked; obviously superfluous, weak shoots should be removed all summer, as they appear (after all, it quickly becomes clear whether he wants to grow big and strong or will only suffer!). The tops of powerful shoots can be pruned as soon as they become higher than the head, and this also does not happen in the fall. Therefore, autumn pruning is a rather arbitrary name, only the final touches of this action can be left for the fall. These strokes should be applied about three weeks before the arrival of the first frost.
Technique for autumn pruning of raspberries
Correct pruning of raspberries in autumn dramatically reduces the complexity of caring for raspberries in the spring and summer of next year and significantly increases the quality and quantity of berries harvested. If in the winter the bushes are gone containing no more than ten, and preferably 5-6 strong annual shoots no more than two meters in height, the raspberry will only be grateful to us for this. If you can walk freely between the bushes in order to pour humus, work a little with a hoe, embedding it in the ground and loosening it, and when berries appear, you can comfortably sit around the bush, then we did not work with a pruner in vain. In the spring, it will only be necessary to eliminate the consequences of a harsh winter by cutting off the frozen tops, and postpone the cutting tools until a new unnecessary growth appears.
If we did everything right in the fall, in the spring only healthy branches will appear in the raspberry tree and in the right place
So, let's imagine that in the summer you didn't cut anything in the raspberry-tree, and then September came (and maybe already October), and instead of a cultivated plantation you see a forest of variegated thorny stems. What to do?
- Find a good pruner. Most likely, you must have it somewhere. For raspberries, no expensive options are required, with cunning mechanisms, its stems are easily cut. The main thing is that the sector is serviceable and sharp. And, of course, clean. If suddenly it lies in the shed all in the earth and rust - wash, clean, sharpen. If it squeaks, lubricate it where needed.
The simplest but handy pruner is suitable for the raspberry tree.
- Examine carefully the thickets and understand where to start. If it is difficult to get through them, you will have to work in layers, performing all the trimming work at once. If the situation is not so sad, and you can still squeeze between the bushes, it is better to start by removing last year's, that is, fruiting stems. They are easy to recognize even for a beginner: they are not green, but brown. Not elastic, but almost dry, woody. Cut out last year's shoots as close to the ground as possible, trying not to leave hemp (pests can live in them!). Most likely, cutting out old shoots, you will also come across young ones, but clearly unusable (crooked, weak, etc.). If handy - under the knife them right away. Yes, and of course, put on gloves first. Better yet - a canvas mitten on the left hand, and on the right, with a secateurs, you can not wear anything.
Fruiting shoots are easy to distinguish from young, green ones.
- If you have successfully dealt with last year's shoots, let's proceed to the next stage. Probably, while we were walking through the thickets, the bushes separated from each other by 70–80 centimeters. If the situation is more complicated, and the forest remains, you will have to decide what we will now consider as bushes. In each bush, no more than a dozen of the strongest young shoots should be left, but 5-6 are enough. So, where there is the largest cluster of such stems, we will make a bush. We remove everything between the bushes right up to the soil. Of course, the growth that grows between the bushes can be transplanted to another place - this is one of the types of planting material in the raspberry tree. Having chosen the best specimens, you can carefully dig them out along with the roots and lay a new bed.
Leaving a lot of such growth between the bushes is not worth it, but transplanting it to a new place will be just right
- Now the bushes are detached. We look even more closely. Stems with signs of diseases or pests should not remain in the winter. For a completely inexperienced gardener, there are two main guidelines in finding such stems and urgently sending them to the fire. These are swellings on the stem (a kind of spherical growths, there are at any height, but more often - closer to the ground). And this is the so-called paniculate: the stem branches into many small branches, going in the form of a broom. These shoots are not just sick, they indicate that the raspberries will most likely need to be treated. But that's a different story. Along with diseased shoots, we will cut out and clearly broken ones.
There is no place for such stems in the raspberry tree: dangerous pests have settled in this swelling
- Having cut out sick and broken shoots, we again count how many healthy ones are left in the bush. Remember that it is advisable to leave 5-6 pieces, up to a maximum of ten. And if there are already fewer of them? Well, what to do, we launched a berry field. We will be corrected next year. In the meantime, we are looking to see if all of the healthy ones should be left. If good shoots intertwine with each other and rub, you need to remove those that are worse. If the shoot from the pot is two inches, or rather, only 40 centimeters in height, and 3 millimeters in diameter, he has nothing to do in the garden. There will be no sense from him. Cut out.
- And almost the last: pruning long branches. How long depends, of course, on the variety and climatic characteristics. Someone even 1.5 meters will seem a lot, but someone taller. In general, it is impossible to give a clear answer, but 2 meters is definitely too much. In addition, the tops of the longest shoots, most likely, will still freeze in winter, and in the spring, one way or another, they will have to be cut out: they very rarely have time to fully mature before winter, and if they do, they give weak buds with poor fruiting. Therefore, we will mow as measure and beauty will prompt, but at least shorten it by 15–20 cm. By the way, it was also better to do this in August, and new branches would already appear on the stem.
Often at the end of summer, young tops even bloom. This means that they will not survive the winter, and they must be cut off as soon as possible.
- It remains to decide what to do with what you cut out. If there is complete confidence that there are no diseases and pests in your raspberry garden, you can cut it into pieces with pruning shears (10–20 cm, as your hand takes it) and scatter it under the bushes. There will be wonderful mulch and shelter of roots from frost (even a bear makes a den in an old forest raspberry tree!). But more often than not, there is no certainty in the full health of the plants, and you have to send the carved into the fire. Here it is necessary to be careful. Raspberry stems and leaves burn beautifully and heat gives a lot.
- If you live in regions with a harsh climate, then closer to the ground, the remaining stems in each bush must be collected in a bunch, lightly tied and bent as low as possible, just not broken. Snow is the best shelter from frost. Well, in the northernmost regions for the winter they should also be covered with non-woven material (lutrasil, spunbond).
The most common mistake when pruning raspberries is leaving stumps. As for the rest, it is difficult to make a mistake - we do it so that it is convenient and beautiful
If the care of raspberries is carried out systematically, then you are already an experienced gardener, and you do not need our advice. Most likely, you appear in a raspberry-tree with a pruner at least once a month and keep it in perfect order, leaving about the same number of shoots on healthy bushes as there were last year.
If the rules for pruning ordinary raspberries are quite simple, you cannot say the same about remontant varieties: it is capable of producing berries not only on two-year-old shoots, but also on annual ones. Therefore, using a general approach, you can accidentally cut out new shoots, since you can see that they already had berries, and leave yourself without a substantial part of the harvest. Repaired raspberries are pruned later, even in November, because they please the owner with a harvest, albeit small, until the very frosts. But often pruning of remontant varieties is completely transferred to the spring to see the results of overwintering.
Experienced gardeners cut two-year-old stems of remontant raspberries under the root in the fall, but leave most of the shoots of this year, undercutting them heavily. The remaining stumps 25-30 cm in height give new branches in spring and have time to give two harvests. Although this, of course, depends on the climate of the region. Beginners are usually advised to cut off all the stems to zero in the fall, without understanding: in the spring they will have time to grow new ones and give a crop. Or maybe two, weather permitting.
Video: pruning raspberries in the fall
Raspberry pruning is one of the most important steps in growing this healthy berry. Timely pruning guarantees not only a significant increase in yield, but also ease of plantation maintenance. By doing it after harvest, we help the plant gain strength for fruiting next year.
Graduated from the Chemistry Department of Moscow State University in 1981. Candidate of Chemical Sciences, Associate Professor.
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What types of raspberries need to be cut
Do not trim raspberries in the first year after planting. Young shoots without this procedure will give a good harvest next year. However, with the further cultivation of bushes, it is necessary to understand that pruning is required for all varieties of raspberries. Pruning raspberries in the fall will allow you to get more berries next year than with the spring procedure. Raspberries are remontant, annual and standard.
Pruning of standard berry varieties should be carried out in such a way as to remove two-year-old trunks completely under the root. In this case, annual trunks must be left intact until next year. Only their tops need pruning, which must be removed in summer. If you abandon the pruning procedure, then after 3-4 years the raspberry tree will begin to disappear. The raspberry tree will become too thick, in addition, all the varietal characteristics of the culture will gradually degenerate.
And carrying out anti-aging pruning allows you to increase the yield of the variety, and also guarantees a long fruiting period of the bushes. This effect is achieved:
- getting enough light on the surface of the bushes
- reducing the number of pests and insects on the raspberry planting
- stimulating growth and increasing the immunity of bushes
- facilitating the process of preparing bushes for frost.
If you do not cut raspberries regularly, you can get dense thickets, into which light and air cannot penetrate well. This leads to constant dampness in the raspberry, which is the main cause of the development of fungal infections and the appearance of insects. And when removing sick, weak and dry shoots from last year, you can increase the fruiting period of the bushes, and increase the yield.
If the raspberry grows for a long time in one area, it is recommended to dig up the roots in the center of the shrub, and the remaining roots will sprout. This will lead to the fact that the center of the bush is gradually filled with young shoots, which will further lead to an increase in yield.
Separately, mention should be made of the features of pruning remontant raspberries. The fact is that in the middle latitudes, the second raspberry crop may not have time to ripen and freeze due to early frosts. Therefore, in this case, remontant raspberries are best grown as an annual plant. This means that after the second crop is obtained, the entire above-ground part of the bush should be pruned. Therefore, next year, the fruiting of the culture will occur only on young annual shoots. The nutrients and strength of the bush are not expended on two-year-old stems, so the crop ripens faster. Thanks to such pruning, a second crop can be obtained earlier, which makes it possible to harvest it even in the middle lane, where frosts come early.
Autumn time is considered the best time to remove the fruit-bearing shoots from the raspberry bushes. Over the summer, the young branches received the necessary nutrition, the two-year-old shoots fulfilled their purpose - they gave a harvest.
Immediately after picking the berries, it is advisable to start rejuvenating pruning of the bushes. Old branches are removed, preventing sores and infections from appearing on them.
In the middle lane and to the north, the raspberry tree is cut out, starting from August 20.Young shoots of the season will receive more nutrition, have time to woody before the cold weather, and gain strength. It is on these branches that the main harvest of berries will appear for the next season.
When choosing the timing, attention is paid to the peculiarities of crop varieties, the specifics of the growing season of raspberry varieties are taken into account. Repaired varieties are pruned later, common raspberries after harvest.
Approximate terms by region
|Moscow suburbs||From August 20 to September 10-15|
|South of Russia||Until mid-October|
|Ukraine||Late September to early October|
It is not worth delaying the event, otherwise the attack of pests cannot be avoided.
Common mistakes gardeners make when pruning raspberries
For novice gardeners, mistakes are typical, the commission of which does not allow picking a lot of berries. Those with no experience in gardening should avoid making mistakes and stick to a predetermined plan. According to gardeners, the problem for beginners is the so-called "psychological barrier", which does not allow removing young shoots. This is a big mistake that threatens to weaken the bush.
If the shoots do not have time to stiffen before frost, they will inevitably freeze in winter. In the spring, nothing will grow out of such shoots. They will hurt, wither, and can also become a hotbed of infections.
A typical mistake is poor thinning of the middle of the bush. The autumn cut of the outer side branches does not give more light to the middle. Every gardener should know that successful thinning involves working in the middle. Thickening leads to crumbling of fruits, loss of taste and a decrease in overall yield indicators.
Often newbies stick to the wrong pruning scheme. They opt for partial shortening of branches, cutting off shoots by 3-5 cm. This type of pruning will not bring any result.
The harvest will depend on the occasion, but will not be stable and annual. In order not to confuse yourself, you should first remove the outer branches, moving from one side of the bush to the other side. After that, it is recommended to start internal processing. Each bush is treated in this way.