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Home grown berries – Raspberries
Mike & Katrine Juleff
Raspberry- Rubus idaeus
Raspberries are a rich source of vitamin C, manganese, B vitamins 1–3, folic acid, magnesium, copper, and iron
The raspberry plant produces new canes, which emerge from the ground in early spring. These new canes, referred to as primocanes, grow throughout spring and early summer and become dormant in winter. The varieties Willamette, Nootka and Chilcotin normally produce an small autumn crop on the tips of the primocanes before becoming dormant. Dormant canes are trained to or between wires during winter, and produce fruit during spring; at this stage they are termed floricanes.
Winter pruning involves the removal of:
- dead floricanes that have already fruited;
- small, thin or broken primocanes; and
- primocanes that have grown outside the area where they are wanted.(these can be taken out all year by mowing closely to the rows)
Winter pruning involves the laborious use of secateurs. Dead fruited and unwanted canes are cut off as close to ground level as possible and pulled out of the row. The new season canes are tucked back under the wires to be tied later. Winter pruning is usually left as late as possible prior to bud burst, to allow last season’s dead canes to dry and become brittle.
The final pruning activity each winter involves tipping-cutting off dormant canes at shoulder or head height. This brings all fruiting laterals to within easy reach of pickers and also removes thin tips of cane which produce smaller and more crumbly fruit. At this time we also tie each clump or stool as they are called, to the higher wire as this keeps them upright and enables a final tidy up.
Planting and Training
Our method is a combination of the hedgerow and the stool method.
Image: Louis Glowinski1997, Complete Book of Fruit Growing in Australia
Firstly it is best to install your trellis support system. Strong end posts need to be at least 70cms in the ground. Each post has a cross bar (40cms long) at 40cms and 120cms above ground to take the wires on either side of the plants.
The canes or clumps as purchased are planted in a trench along a bed which has been cultivated with good compost and soil added. Fill-in the trench and keep the plants upright between the lower wires. Mulch thickly but not too close to canes. The first season may result in some fruit but the second and third seasons should show good results if kept well watered, pruned and weed free. The stool method is covered by the tying up of clumps after pruning. Any new canes should be kept tucked under the wires to keep upright and tidy.