I recently received an inquiry regarding pruning, supporting and caring for raspberry plants in Idaho (I assume); they were needing a second opinion. This time of year we are so busy it usually takes me a day or two to answer emails, get caught up on phone calls and blog inquiries and so it was regarding this inquiry.
My answer was a little lengthy regarding the care and support of raspberries, I tend to cover, cover, cover the bases when answering; inevitably I am sure somewhere down the line I’ll miss something… anywise, back to growing raspberry plants in Idaho.
I forgot to ask this person if they were growing their raspberry plants in Idaho or not, so my answer was sorta based on the assumption that they were near by.
I hope this helps some of you also regarding the care and support of growing raspberry plants in Idaho (USDA Zone 4) or colder climates, 🙂
Oh ya, the images are an add on. I figured a little visual would be nice.
Growing Raspberry Plants in Idaho
“I’m looking for a second opinion on my Raspberry plants. Established 4 yrs now the plants need support so I weaved them between 3 wires but this year I didn’t weave the new growth becuz the producing canes were in the wire now I have all my dead canes weaved in the wire and my new canes hanging out of the wire close to the ground and they are getting snapped off when u try to get around them. Can I without introducing disease cut out the old and trim the tops of next years producing canes thus then weave them into the wire?
Last spring I trim everything back to 3 to 4 canes per group. Next spring maybe I should trim back to 2 canes per group so I can weave the new canes in.”
Thanks for contacting us, glad we could help on your blackberry decision! My answer is assuming that you are growing Summer-bearing raspberries and not Fall-bearing ( a crop in summer and fall / everbearing). I’ll apologize in advance for turning my answer into a short essay, :-).
Yes, you can cut out the old canes/brambles and burn them, then weave the new growth canes into your wires. It’s probably a good idea to get the new brambles/canes into the wires soon, they tend to get stronger/stiffer as the season progresses causing them to be less pliable.
You may consider using a simple hill system if you find that weaving the canes is causing damage. Hill and hedgerow using single post or double post (with wires) will prevent damage, weaving the canes can cause weakness from rubbing on the wire making them more susceptible to disease and insects.
Typically the way disease is introduced is by leaving the old brambles (canes) lying around (they should be burned), new plants that are infected, not cleaning tools in between uses, damaged canes, etc.
We grow our raspberry rows as free standing. We cut out the old brambles in the fall, dig up the newly emerging brambles (primocanes) in the spring and mow in between the rows all growing season to keep the rows at about 18″ – 24″ in growth width and about 4′ – 5′ apart. We’ve found that by growing the raspberries (fruiting brambles) in hedgerows (densely populated) we have better control over the weeds and conserve water; most of the time there are no weeds in the rows. Primocanes (current year growth) and transplants (either primo or flori canes) receive wood chips, mulch, etc. a few inches deep to conserve water and act as a weed barrier.
I hope I’ve answered your question, let me know if there is anything else.
Ramona’s Garden | Canta Ranas Farm
You can download a PDF file produced by the University of Idaho here: RaspBlackInIdaho-BUL0812