It is worthwhile spending a little time to understand the differences between summer and autumn varieties, and how to get the plants established. The canes are named after when they produce their delicious raspberries.
When I first researched raspberries – before I started to grow them – I was immensely confused by descriptions given for pruning raspberries. I hope I do not confuse you now. The basics are as follows:
- All raspberry canes should be cut to about 6 inches / 15 centimetres off the ground after they have fruited
And that basically is as complicated as it needs to get! And nature makes life easy, as fruited raspberry canes look half dead, making them very easy to tell them apart from the young whippy green fresh canes.
Nevertheless, what seems to cause all the confusion, is this one important difference between summer and autumn fruiting raspberries, as follows:
- For summer fruiting raspberries – plants that fruit between June through to early August – only prune the raspberry canes that have fruited. You will want to keep the young whippy green fresh canes for next year’s fruit. In other words, in winter, you will have kept the fresh growth of the previous summer (as these will not have born fruit).
- For autumn fruiting raspberries – plants that fruit from mid August onwards – prune all canes back to the ground before the start of the next growing season (February / March). So, in winter, you will not have kept any canes. All canes will be cut back to 15 cm above ground level (as all canes will have fruited the previous year).
It is easy to distinguish fruited canes with their dark brown and dried out skin, from the fresh green canes that will produce delicious raspberries.
If space is limited, you may want to consider a dwarf raspberry variety that can be grown in pots on a patio.