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Wayne Mezitt shows Dave how to prune raspberry and blackberry bushes to produce the biggest and juiciest berries possible.
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David: Hi, I am David Epstein welcome to Growing Wisdom, and spring early spring is a great time and we are here with Wayne Mezitt today to prune things like Raspberries and Blackberries and we are standing in front of a Raspberry and Blackberry patching.
Wayne, let us talk a little bit about how we want to keep this patches productive. So, let us start with the Raspberries.
Wayne: The Raspberries have a tendency to suck a rod a lot. So, what you want to do is to get the strongest stems for this year’s crop. And, they fruit on the second year wood, so you do not want to take everything back to the ground. But, we would like to remove most of the canes and all of the suckers so that it stays compact, because it is going to continue to run.
David: And just for people that may be planting for the first time, what does a sucker mean?
Wayne: It is an underground growth that comes from the base of the plant, and the roots tend to sprout up a new stem.
David: And, should we cut them, or should we yank them out?
Wayne: With the red Raspberries or with raspberries in general, it is better to pull them out, because they are going to continue to grow. And, if you just cut them off you are just making the plant stronger.
David: And what about blackberries, what do we do with those?
Wayne: They tend to clump a little bit more, so they also throw suckers but not as much. So, you want to reduce the number of canes again to about three canes for a plant, and cut back the side branches so that the strength goes to the fewer buds. You will get bigger berries; there is plenty of berries on them anyhow.
David: Now, what is this called, this is a lateral cane here we are looking at the blackberry?
Wayne: Yes. That is when it comes off the main stem and that is where the fruit forms it is on the laterals.
David: And how far back should I be cutting these laterals?
Wayne: Cut them back so that there is three or four buds left.
David: Now, I can see here you pruned last year. So, there is where you actually cut this right back last year. So you do not have to rip out the blackberries the same way you should do the raspberries.
Wayne: Well, we do that too but you do not have to as much they are still little suckers. So, I like to rip them out so that they do not get growing to the next plant.
David: And what about feeding these guys? Is early spring a good time to give them a shot of fertilizer?
Wayne: It is a good time just a general organic fertilizers going not too high nitrogen. Enough to something phosphorus and it allows the roots to grow nicely.
David: All right Wayne thanks a lot. Hopefully, we will have some raspberries in order for some cereal with raspberries here.
David: And, we hope this has been helpful to you if you are growing raspberries. They are pretty easy to grow, you just need a nice path of sunshine, and it will be sure to have lots of fruit through out the summer.
Come back every week for all of our tips here at growingwisdom.com. [Music Playing]