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I have had some raspberry plants in an area near my house (6' x 12') for over ten years and only in the spring do I try to gently loosen the soil with a gardening fork. I have not added anything other than some fruit oriented fertilizer or Miracle Grow in that time. Half of the section usually produces berries the size of the tip of your little finger and some grow as big as the tip of your thumb. The others are small and crumbly,which is okey of jam but not for visuals or overall production. I read that crumbliness is due to ovary infertility. How do I overcome that? Should I also be doing some thinning? Early this last spring I cut the canes to about three feet high but many of them are now close to eight feet long. What is the best way to deal with excess growth?

Answer(s)

A

I don't know what variety of raspberries you have, but generally, you'll
need to do some thinning and pruning back for better fruit production.
The pruning timing depends on if it is a June-bearing or ever bearing
raspberry.
Fertilizer addition has to be timed properly, otherwise the plant will
push energy into vegetative (leaf) growth and less into fruit production.
The excess growth you refer to I believe is due to over fertilization.
Because these raspberries have been in for awhile, the soil conditions may not
be ideal for good fruit production.  High organic matter, good drainage,
and weed free.  Sometimes raised beds are preferred to have the good
drainage and high organic matter suitable for raspberries.

Here is a link to a fact sheet on  Red Raspberry production that may
help you with produce better berries.
http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/HG_2004-16.pdf

I'm also sending you a link to an article on raspberries
http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,600119331,00.html

Posted on 5 Sep 2007

Maggie Shao
Horticulture Agent, Salt Lake County

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