How Do You Increase the Yield of Raspberries?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:24 pm

How Do You Increase the Yield of Raspberries?

Raspberries are real delicacies. So it’s no wonder that raspberry bushes are only too happy to plant in the garden. After that, people hope for a rich harvest. Pruning is particularly important for this, as it promotes the flowering and fruiting of the prickly bushes. Therefore, at least once a year you should prune your raspberry. When to do this and how to do it, you can read here.

What is the varieties?

To properly cut raspberries, it is important to know their variety group. Raspberries are divided into two main groups and a third, resulting from crossbreeding, group of varieties. The two main groups are summer and autumn raspberries. As the name implies, summer raspberries can be expected to bear fruit as early as summer, usually starting in June. With autumn raspberries, on the other hand, you have to wait until August or September. The variety groups differ not only in their flowering and ripening times, but also in the shoots on which they bear fruit. Unlike other shrubs, berry bushes form new shoots every year, which sprout from the ground. While summer raspberries always bloom and fruit on their previous year’s shoots, autumn raspberries do so on the shoots formed this year.

How Do You Increase the Yield of Raspberries?

Some recent crosses form the third group of varieties, the so-called two-timer raspberries. As crosses of summer and autumn varieties, they bear fruit twice a year – on their biennial shoots in summer and on the annuals in autumn. Important to know: Unfortunately, the two ripening phases do not double the crop size. The first known two-timer variety is ‘Sugana® TwoTimer®’, a cross between ‘Tulameen’ and ‘Autumn Bliss’.

Advantages of the different variety groups

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Summer raspberry

early harvest
often very high yield
short harvest period, which makes the yield suitable for canning berries

autumn raspberry

longer harvest period
uncomplicated pruning, therefore suitable for beginners
less susceptible to diseases and pests, as no old canes are left standing

Two-timer raspberry

very extended harvest time due to the two ripening phases
Now, in order not to remove the wrong canes when pruning and possibly deprive yourself of the harvest, it is necessary that you know the variety group of your raspberry. Also, the recommended pruning dates differ by group. To find out which variety is in your garden, you can observe where the fruiting canes are forming or have formed.

Pruning raspberry and optimize harvest

Pruning fruit trees and shrubs takes some courage at first, especially for the inexperienced. After all, you don’t want to do anything wrong, and pruning directly affects the harvest. But don’t worry: once you understand the principle, raspberry pruning will quickly become an annual routine. For starters, autumn raspberries are recommended, as they are easier to care for.

However, some principles are the same for all varieties. In general, always cut those shoots that have borne fruit this year. In addition, diseased and dead shoots should always be removed immediately. Deadwood costs the plant unnecessary strength, and cutting diseased shoots prevents the further spread of pathogens.

Pruning summer raspberry

Like all varieties, summer raspberries sprout new young shoots from the ground every year. The next year, these in turn grow fresh side shoots. Flowers form there, and then raspberries. Summer raspberries usually grow taller than autumn raspberries, because their shoots are left longer. Therefore, for sufficient stability, they are cultivated on a trellis. Twice a year you should cut a summer-bearing raspberry.

Therefore, the first pruning is done after the harvest in late summer, when you remove the worn canes near the ground. It is best to have an eye on the plants already during the harvest to memorize on which shoots the fruit hung. You can also recognize the old shoots by an already slight woodiness and their rather brownish color. It is crucial not to cut the new shoots that have grown over the summer.

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Tip: You can recognize this year’s shoots of summer raspberry by their fresh green color and the fact that they do not yet have any branching.

In the following spring, as soon as frost is no longer expected, you should cut the raspberry again. The shoots that you left standing last summer will now be thinned out somewhat. Because too many bearing shoots are actually rather counterproductive for the yield. Because no plant has unlimited strength and nutrients available, the raspberries then tend to become smaller and taste less intense. Therefore, select 10 to 13 vigorous shoots that are as nicely distributed as possible and point in different directions. All the rest you can cut off again to the ground.

Cut autumn raspberry

Autumn raspberries are very uncomplicated. Again, prune after harvest, in this case in the fall. For this, you do not need to be able to distinguish between annual and biennial canes, as simply cut off all shoots close to the ground. Don’t worry: your raspberry will sprout again next year with the help of buds that have already been established but have been dormant until now. These are also called dormant eyes.

If next summer you notice that many shoots are growing close together, you may also do some thinning. However, because raspberry’s annual canes are generally not very susceptible to fungal diseases, this is optional.

Pruning Two-Timer raspberries
Because Two-Timer raspberries bear fruit twice, it is recommended that you also prune both times after harvest. This helps keep track of the canes that bear differently. About three weeks after the summer harvest, cut back the worn canes close to the ground.

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Following the fall harvest, the harvested, annual canes are again cut at ground level. Over the summer, newly grown canes that had no fruit are left standing. These are the shoots that will fruit next summer. Like summer raspberries, two-timers are thinned to the 10 to 13 most vigorous canes in the spring.

Pruning like the pros

Raspberries belong to the rose family. In addition to the flower and leaf shape, this is also expressed in the plant’s numerous thorns. To protect your hands when pruning, it is recommended to wear special rose gloves.

Especially the two-year-old shoots of summer raspberry, which are already slightly woody, can develop an impressive diameter. Sturdy pruning shears or rose shears are optimal for this purpose. In addition, to prevent the spread of plant diseases in your garden, you should clean your shears regularly.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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