Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Raspberries - get the best from next years crop.

Raspberries – cultivation tips after fruiting.
Summers glorious days are waneing and the delicious Raspberries you have been enjoying all summer are largely finished. Now is the time to turn your attentions to some essential tasks to ensure next Sumemrs crop is just as good as that you have just enjoyed.
With Raspberry canes the essential task is the removal of the old canes that have fruited. As each variety finishes fruiting the sooner you act the better, although this can be done at any time until midwinter, early action lets the air in to harden next summers fruiting canes and allows them to benefit from all available moisture and nutrients.
Select all of the old canes that produced the fruit and cut them down to ground level, clean and flush with the soil; try not to leave those jagged stumps two or three I nches high but cut as close to the ground as possible. Now turn your attention to the new canes that have come through. Remove any week or spindly canes so energy can be diverted to the stronger canes which will be more productive. Leave no more than 7 or 8 new canes per plant and tie these in to the supporting wires using soft string or twist ties.
The above notes apply to Summer fruiting varieties. Autumn varieties are dealt with in a similar way, but not until next February.
If you are growing a vigorous variety that may be too tall for you to manage, and is possibly already determinedly pushing it’s way through the top of the fruit cage , just bend the canes over and tied them to the top wire loosely. They can be shortened a little if necessary, but not until early spring when frosts have largely passed.
Any weeds that are present are best removed by hand, raspberries root very close to the soil surface and resent hoeing or forking.
You can at this time apply a top dressing of nitrogen rich fertilizer if the canes seem to be smaller or lacking in vigour.

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