[nafex] red raspberries problem

Ginda Fisher ginda at concentric.net
Sun Jul 29 20:52:14 EDT 2001


Vic,

I'd really appreciate it if you asked the extension office for advise on
managing fall reds.  I'm pretty sure our local extension office closed
years ago.  (At least, I think I heard that, and I can't find it in the
phone book.)  It makes sense, as there's no agriculture around here in
the Boston suburbs.  Of course, your extension office is likely to
specialize in zone 3 issues, not my balmy zone 6.

The primocanes have already formed fruit buds, and I'm afraid I'll set
them back if I cut them.  On the other hand, this year the canes
seriously outgrew the netting I've been using for years and the netting
has caused a lot of mechanical damage.  It was about 5ft tall, and they
are pushing 8 this year.  This is their 4th summer, but I guess it's the
first they've been fully mature.  (The weather last year was lousy.)  I
have pulled back the netting as much as possible, but can't extract it
from the top without either cutting the canes (at about 5 ft) or cutting
the netting to shreds.

I did prune out the floricanes today, along with some of the smallest
primocanes and some of the canes that are creeping south from the rows
allotted space.

Thanks,
Ginda Fisher
Eastern Mass, zone 6

p.s.  Do the unproductive patches of your raspberries look healthy or
unhealthy?  If the soil's too rich, you'd expect rampant vegetative
growth with little fruit.  If the plants are suffering from a virus,
you'd expect general malaise, and probably some deformed leaves and
stuff.  If the plants are suffering from soil problems (rocks just under
the surface, limiting water and nutrients, for instance) you'd expect
short scruffy plants, of basically normal shape, that are more likely to
die back in a short drought.  Insects usually leave visible signs of
their presence.

"victoria l. caron" wrote:
> 
> Ginda! You never said they were Fall Red! I can find out more about them from the extension
> education office. Those produce much more than occasional light fall crops of other red
> raspberries.
> My canes are very vigorous and I find it easier to thin them in the spring when leaves are
> gone, although Hector's idea of doing it all at once sounds great. I prune out about twice
> what I keep.
> As far as why I top my canes off? That's what is recommended by the Fruit Specialist at UNH
> who does our local workshops.
> vic NH zone 3
> 
> Ginda Fisher wrote:
> 
> > Why do you cut them short?  I'm afraid it will reduce the fall crop,
> > which has been my main crop with these "everbearing fall red"
> > raspberries.  the patch is on top of a hill with good air drainage, and
> > last year I got raspberries trickling in through Thanksgiving.  (We'd
> > had a couple of frosts - I was astonished.)  If it won't reduce the fall
> > crop, I'll cut them back for easier management.
> >
> > It's easy enough to see which primocanes are stronger (some are as think
> > as my fingers, and many are skinny little things) but it's at least as
> > easy to wait until spring.  Which would be better for the plants?  Which
> > would yield a better crop?
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Ginda
> >
> > eastern Mass, zone 6
> >
> > "victoria l. caron" wrote:
> > >
> > > Ginda,
> > > Primocanes are pruned out in the spring when it's easier to see which ones are
> > > stronger. After they have finished bearing and the floricanes are out of the
> > > way, I top them off between four to five feet [eye level for me : )]. Some red
> > > raspberries, even in the wild, will produce on the terminals of the primocanes
> > > in the fall, but because the season is so short here, I prune them back anyway.
> > > You should have a long enough season in your part of Massachusetts, as I did in
> > > Nashua, NH years ago, to leave some for late fall picking if they will do this.
> > > It's more of a bonus than a crop though.
> > > vic NH zone 3.
> > >
> > > Ginda Fisher wrote:
> > >
> > > > 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.
> > > >
> > > > Ginda
> > > > 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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