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How to prune raspberry bushes

 Photo of correct pruning of raspberry bushes

Raspberries are an amazing shrub that produces delicious, healthy fruits with unique healing properties. After planting a raspberry tree, the plant requires careful care: it is necessary to loosen the soil, ensure timely watering, treat the bushes against diseases and pests (to prevent raspberries from getting sick, it is best to buy seedlings in nurseries or specialized farms), and fertilize the crop.

Raspberry bushes begin to bear fruit the next year after planting, and two-year-old shoots die off after harvesting the fruits. And during this period, gardeners are faced with the question - how to prune raspberry bushes? Without pruning, up to twenty shoots may appear on the bushes in the spring, creating excess density in the bush. An excessive number of extra branches will inevitably lead to a decrease in the quantity and quality of the harvest. This happens because raspberries expend energy on the development of fruitless stems.

In addition to the fact that without proper and timely pruning, the bush produces fewer berries; in unkempt bushes, pests can appear and various diseases can spread, which will then be very difficult to get rid of.

In general, this growth of unpruned shrubs grows sluggishly; before the winter period, the branches do not have time to accumulate enough strength and freeze slightly. From all of the above, it follows that knowing how to prune raspberry bushes is necessary and extremely important information for every gardener who has a raspberry plant on his property.

However, before we begin to understand the rules for pruning and shaping raspberry bushes, let's talk about what tool is needed for this.

So, what tool do you need to trim raspberries?

Selecting the appropriate tool is one of the most important points when carrying out any agricultural work in the garden. It should be taken seriously, since poor quality pruning tools can result in unnecessary waste of time and effort, and in the end you will end up with low-quality shrubs.

What we need:
You need a good pruning shears. Experts do not recommend buying cheap Chinese or domestic models, which are available in every gardening store. They are all made from low-quality steel, which dulls right before your eyes. Moreover, such equipment can be extremely inconvenient in practical use:

  • a tight mechanism that quickly tires your hand;
  • risk of injury to the hand or fingers;
  • a blunt cutting part will certainly cause the appearance of calluses and so on.
Conclusion - you need to take a good pruner that will cut sharply and easily. This way you can cut branches of any diameter at any height. Old-time gardeners recommend purchasing pruning shears made in the USSR (in those days they were made of excellent, durable steel, which held an edge for decades). But given the fact that these days it is very difficult to find such a tool, experts recommend forking out and purchasing a high-quality model from English, German or Dutch manufacturers. Secateurs from the world famous German company Solingen are highly praised.

Important! From a blunt blade, the wood of the bush acquires a “chewed” structure, which causes the risk of infection of raspberries with various diseases and leads to the development of putrefactive processes during the wintering period.

Gloves. Stock up on durable gloves made of thick fabric. This will help keep your hands from scratches and wounds while working in the raspberry field. Wire. It is needed to tie the lashes to the ground. The wire should bend easily, but have sufficient strength. It must be pulled at approximately 20 centimeters from the ground between pre-dug pegs. Thick nylon threads are also used for garters.

When to prune raspberries

Once you have acquired the necessary tool for pruning raspberries, you can move on. And here a logical question arises - when to prune raspberries? Many novice gardeners mistakenly believe that raspberry pruning activities are carried out only in the fall. Thinning of this crop must also be done in spring and summer. Pruning in different seasons has its own purposes and has certain specifics. Also, the work system depends on the raspberry varieties (early, late, remontant, etc.).

At the end of summer, fruit-bearing branches are removed. Pruning is done at the root, without leaving stumps in which putrefactive processes and all kinds of fungal and viral diseases can begin to develop.

Immediately remove weakened and damaged shoots. In order for the raspberry bush to develop actively and correctly, it is necessary to leave five to six branches on it. With this pruning, each stem will have enough warmth, light and space.

In the spring, as soon as the snow melts, experts recommend pruning the tops of last year's shoots (the branches on which the harvest is planned to be harvested this year) to the first bud. This ensures the supply of nutrients directly to the kidneys, and the growth of shoots slows down. The shrub will save energy for a large harvest.

Pruning is also used to regulate the ripening period of berries. During the summer months, bushes are pruned at different heights. To extend the berry picking period, the following scheme is used:

We divide the raspberry tree into three parts. We cut the tops of the bushes from the first part by 15 centimeters. Shrubs from the second part are cut to 50% of the height of the shoots. We cut off the branches from the third part of the raspberry tree. You need to leave a maximum of 20 centimeters in height.

Shrubs pruned using this method will produce a harvest gradually: the bushes of the first segment will bear fruit first, then the second segment, and at the end of summer it will be possible to harvest from the bushes of the third part.

Pre-winter pruning of raspberries

Preparing raspberries for wintering is one of the most important tasks in caring for the crop. This plant can survive severe frosts, but for this you need to provide it with the necessary conditions. The branches are tied, bent to the ground and pinned. This must be done when the stems have not yet lost their flexibility. The optimal time is the end of September. After a permanent snow cover has been established, the raspberry bushes must be covered with snow.

However, before laying the bushes for the winter, it is necessary to perform pre-winter pruning of the raspberries.

The point of pruning in the fall is to remove two-year-old growth that has completed its fruiting cycle. Only one-year-old branches are left, since they will begin to grow and develop intensively in the spring and bear fruit.

Brief instructions for pruning raspberries:

We cut off two-year-old fruit-bearing branches at the root. We remove weakened annuals at the root, as well as damaged branches with visible signs of disease. We thin out overgrown bushes. The optimal number of branches is 8 - 10 per square meter. We leave the strongest shoots. To avoid the growth of weeds, we dig in the remaining shoots. At the end of the work, spray the raspberries with a solution of iron sulfate. This drug is very effective against pests, and also helps to increase the yield and quality of berries.

If you follow these instructions for pruning raspberries, you can get an incredibly rich harvest of tasty, high-quality and healthy berries!