Red raspberries like Heritage and Killarney, and yellow Anne produce new canes (primocanes) from crownbuds and from buds along the roots (suckers). These root suckers come up and can form a thick bramble patch if not managed. Allow up to 15” wide row, but pull out suckers growing outside the row. Prune red and yellow raspberries twice a year – in early spring to remove weak canes, and then right after harvest to remove canes that already fruited.
Black raspberries like Jewel are less aggressive, producing primocanes only from the crown of the original planting. Plants do not need support if pruned properly. Prune three times a year. Add to the pruning done in early spring and after harvest – a summer topping to encourage side shoots off the canes. Pinch back 3-4 inches off shoots up to 2 feet tall. Black raspberries tend to be more susceptible to diseases; plant these away from the red and yellow varieties.
Regular pruning helps reduce cane diseases and improves fruiting. Space plants to allow for good air circulation and exposure to sunlight. Water about 1 inch a week from flowering to near end of harvest, with enough water to wet the soil to 6-8 inches deep.
Raspberries ripen on the plant at different times through the season. Berries ripen quickly and are highly perishable. Pick frequently and discard berries that have rotted on the canes to prevent diseases. Hold the berry carefully between your thumb and forefinger and pull. Berries are ripe when they are easily pulled from the core without getting squashed. At their ripest and sweetest, berries are plump and turn the deepest color, depending on the color of the variety. Keep berries in a shallow container, around 3 berries deep. Quickly cool berries in a refrigerator after picking. Properly stored, berries can keep for 3-7 days. Extra berries can be used for preserves or frozen until ready to use.
We also suggest these gardening products and ideas.