[nafex] red raspberries problem

Ginda Fisher ginda at concentric.net
Mon Jul 23 22:12:08 EDT 2001

What time of year do you thin the primocanes?  My red raspberries have
taken off this year, and where I used to have a sloppy row of stems
about 5 ft high, I now have an impenetrable hedge about 8 ft high.  It's
nearly time to prune out the floricanes, and I'm wondering if I should
thin the primocanes while I'm at it.

eastern Mass, zone 6

"victoria l. caron" wrote:
> Several years ago I rooted two cuttings of red raspberry from a local
> wild strain that acquaintances had dug up in a clear cut. The berries
> are large (penny to nickel size) and mostly round though it is not
> unusual for some at the top of the cane to be longer and somewhat
> pointed. Flavor is more tart than some of the named cultivars making
> them great for jelly and pies.
> The spring after the cuttings were rooted I dug up all the new shoots
> (35) and planted them 15" apart in the row. I keep them pruned to 5-7
> primocanes per foot and try to keep the spent canes cut out.
> I am trying to figure out why some stretches of row are productive,
> while others are barren. I think I have taken all the obvious into
> consideration.
> My theories include:
> -I know the soil was too rich at first and this could still be true in
> some spots which could be one reason for the lack of productivity. In
> the wild, raspberries and blackberries seem to do best in well drained
> soils with awesome size where there is an accumulation of bark mulch on
> the fringes of logging yards.
> -Then there is always virus which shows up in wild varieties, but can a
> virus cause a total lack of production?
> -I have cane borer and either that or a virus just turns the whole cane
> dead in no time. This can be seen throughout the row. I haven't worried
> too much about it since I have to prune out so much new growth to keep
> within the guidelines for red raspberries anyway.
> -Another clue maybe is that the more productive areas in fruit are also
> the ones that are sending out many more new canes to the side than other
> parts of the row.
> Does anyone want to toss this problem around? I'm just trying to decide
> if I should dig up the plants I'm wasting my time on.
> vic NH zone 3
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