Pruning & Trellising
Dead or damaged canes should be pruned out to enhance light and air penetration.
With fall-bearing raspberries, Prune of all spent tops of the first year canes (primo-canes). Also prune of all the spent second year canes (flori-canes) to encourage new primo-cane growth.
With summer-bearing and yellow raspberries, thin out dormant canes and cut them back to be about 1.9m tall. Remove any dead or diseased canes. Remove all spent floricanes after the summer harvest.
The primo-canes on black and purple raspberries can be “tipped” by removing the top section (about 5-10cm), which will promote new lateral growth.
Do not tip or cut back trailing blackberries. Only prune the spent floricanes.
The appropriate means of pruning and trellising bramble plants largely depends by the species and varieties grown. More detailed information about this is available on request provided by Berries For Africa, but here are some of the basic guidelines to follow:
- Disposal of spent floricanes is important for disease and insect pest control. Trellising can be an expensive initial investment, but it greatly helps with air circulation, sunlight penetration, training of the plant growth and easier access to fruit during harvest.
- Many commercial growers cut off the first year (primo-canes) a couple of centimetres above ground. This can provide a slightly bigger crop in the next fall as this process allows carbohydrates to move to the rhizomes and roots which makes the plants more vigorous.
A trellis system must be used with trailing blackberry varieties. A trellis or wire system can also be used to keep canes and fruit from touching the ground. This practise reduces wind breakage, assists with harvesting, nutrient management and cultivation. Some erect blackberry varieties can be grown without any support, but semi-erect varieties would benefit from support.