Pruning Organic Raspberries for Higher Yields & Healthier Plants

How to prune organic raspberries for higher yields and healthier plants

3 years ago we planted 100′ of organic raspberries, and it’s been one of the best decisions we’ve made.

Most of our energy is focused on growing annual vegetables, which makes me love perennials even more — you don’t have to start from scratch each year.

Plus, raspberries! Who doesn’t love raspberries?

Every spring we prune the old canes and make space for new growth.

Since 1 to 2-year-old canes are the most productive, pruning ensures the roots are putting their energy into those younger canes and increases your overall yield.

Pruning raspberries also opens up space and increases airflow, which helps decrease the risk of disease and makes picking easier come harvest time.

Watch below to see how easy it is, and then read below to find a few more steps to take to start your raspberries off strong.

When you’re done pruning, there are just a few more easy steps to ensure your organic raspberries have everything they need for a productive year.

Pull any perennial grasses or weeds that are creeping in.

Raspberry roots are shallow, so be careful when weeding so you don’t disturb them. When weeding close to the canes, I pull by hand. A scuffle hoe works well farther away from the roots, where the soil meets the grass.

You don’t have to worry about every little weed — you’ll be covering them up next.

Next, add compost.

Give the plants a boost of nutrients by top-dressing them with compost in the spring.

This ensures they have all they need to thrive and produce berries come summer.

Finish with ramial wood chips.

Ramial wood chips are made from pruned branches, around 2 1/2″ in diameter and smaller.

These wood chips help build healthy soil from the top down, increasing biological activity in the soil and leading to healthier plants.

Looking for raspberry canes to plant? Try these nurseries:

We love our local nursery, East Hill Tree Farm, where we bought our raspberry canes, pear, plum, apple, and cherry trees.

Nicko, the owner of East Hill Tree Farm, also offers landscape design services and has helped transform my parents’ two acres into an edible landscape and haven for birds and pollinators.

If you’re not in Central Vermont, try Fedco Trees or Starks Brothers Nursery.

Do you have a question you’d like to see answered? Leave a comment below or email me.

8 thoughts on “Pruning Organic Raspberries for Higher Yields & Healthier Plants”

  1. Lynne Woodard

    Love your raspberry video, Kate! I have new raspberries, and hope to keep them in good productive shape for a long time. Hello to the family!

  2. Great first video, Kate! Content was well-sequenced, lighting and sound very good, too. I liked that you showed the old cane up close after clipping it, as it helped me to see the difference between old and newer. Three cheers! I look forward to more…always!

    1. I hope your snow melts soon! It’s been such a long cold spring here, too. Here’s to warmer summer days 🙂

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