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Rasberry Blackberry Plant Help Required

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by MRMAC02, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. MRMAC02

    MRMAC02 Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi! I'm after some advice please regarding growing raspberry and blackberry plants. I purchased a few this year which I'm growing them in pots approximately 40cm deep/30cm wide and they are doing very well, in fact too well.
    They are all currently over 6 foot tall but I want to stop them getting any higher and if possible grow out rather than up. I have got branches coming out but none are longer than 20cm.
    Could anyone advise please on how the achieve this. If I cut them off at the top would this help in stopping them growing any larger?

    Many thanks
     
  2. Marley Farley

    Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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    Hi @MRMAC02 welcome to gardeners corner. Well it depends on the type of raspberry you have, but they are canes so do not send out side branches as such, but you could certainly top them off..

    Unless your blackberry is a patio bush type it will run.. you could chop that off and it will send out other runners I would say..

    I am sure others will have more ideas..
     
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    • JWK

      JWK Gardener

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      Don't chop off the tops you will lose fruit. What variety are they? Autumn bearing raspberries should be sending up new canes which will bear fruit, early season varieties bear fruit on the previous year's canes.
       
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      • MRMAC02

        MRMAC02 Apprentice Gardener

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        Hi Marley Farley and JWK and thanks for replying :smile:

        Ok so no chopping the tops off, I'll leave them be!!

        The types I have are 'Autumn Bliss' for the raspberries and 'Black Satin' for the blackberries.

        At present my raspberries only have one cane, the blueberry has two, the main one and one that has never grown since I planted it. All the plants were no higher than about 30cm when I bought them.

        How high would you expect the main cane to grow?

        Many thanks
         
        Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
      • JWK

        JWK Gardener

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        Your Autumn Bliss raspberry will probably not produce any new canes in it's first year. It is building up its root system ready for next year. Cut it down to about 6" in February and new canes will emerge during the spring.
         
      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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        Personally I've never heard of growing these on pots, I suspect you will find a few problems.
        I'd suggest letting the blackberry grow, it will fruit on that stem next year, just let a new stem form next year, to replace the old one which has fruited.
        Raspberries tend to sucker from the base, so I think by next year both will be looking for larger containers to avoid being cramped and feeding will be paramount.
        Hope I dont sound too negative, I hope it works for you.:smile:
         
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        • Mike Allen

          Mike Allen Gardener

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          In the past I have, although not being a fruit specialist. Respecting Raspberry and Backberry plants. Raspberries are cane plants, as our friend says, no side shoots. To encourage fresh new basal growth, often a cane will be cut almost right down at the end of the season. The plant has to revive and survive, so up spring new shoots from the root base. The canes I dealt with were established over several tears. All were grown attached to horizontal wires and slightly leaning backwards like cordons. Following the pruning principle, I would cut out any old wood, old defined here as being IMO over two years. This would immediately cause root growth and new suckers as some call them. In a good year many would grow very tall and leggy. These I would bend over the top wire, and tie. They could have been cut off but that would have caused the basal growth. This method continued to assist the cane to fruit. In time the growing tip would reach ground zero. It could now be pegged down and in a blink of an eye the tip had rooted and could be severed. This method gave me the chance to fill the alternate planting spaces at no extra cost. Honestly I never found that tip cutting etc had any influence on the crop.

          Similar experience with Blackberrys. In this residential garden were also Thornless Blackberrys. Boy how the would race away. Different from the Raspberries, the stems of the Blackberry could be cut and would sprout new shoots. I applied the same basics here, and always keeping the leading tip from touching the ground, in fact I often had a hard fight preventing rhe plants from straying from the wires.

          Growing in containers. Why not? Actually most plants require very little soil content. Fair do's containers need more attention. Forgive me but. I remember times whem the suggestion of growiny spuds in pots or bags would have been laughed at by professional horticulturist, now look at the situation. Hope this helps.
           
        • MRMAC02

          MRMAC02 Apprentice Gardener

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          Many thanks to all for the advice. To be honest I put them in pots as I thought I just planted them, they grew and I got fruit off them like my blueberry bush I bought last year. Further reasoning behind this was no-one tends the wild ones and they just grow and produce fruit so it wouldn't hopefully be that hard!!

          I'll follow the advice given above and see how they go.

          Many thanks again for the help.
           
        • Aldo

          Aldo Gardener

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          After several years of treating blackberries in my garden like a "weed with benefits", to be contained but not eradicated entirely, this year I decided to train them on posts, removing dead wood and bindweed and actually fertilizing with molasses and mulching them, even spraying them with aspirin solution.
          I have to say that the difference is quite noticeable. The plants have always been productive, but this year they make consistently huge berries and they seem less prone to diseases. Also, they have attracted bees and other pollinators more than usual while putting up a nice display.
          I think that training them, removing dead canes and keeping them lightly pruned helps in many ways, by leaving so much more of the plant well aereated and exposed to pollinators and sunlight.
          Conversely, some other bushes which I treated like last year, simply fencing them around to keep them out of the way without having to cut them, are doing just like last year. They are productive but the berries are smaller and more likely to be marred by pests.

          I am not an expert in any way, but, based on my limited experience, while it is true that blackberries take very good care of themselves and are resilient, I think helping them out a bit is well worth the effort.
          Raspberries too have done much better this year, with a bit of extra care.
           
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          • MRMAC02

            MRMAC02 Apprentice Gardener

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            I've had a look at my raspberry plants and the branches that are coming off the main cane have another small branch/set of leaves coming out at the join. Do these need removing like I do on my tomato plants?

            Many thanks
             
          • Aldo

            Aldo Gardener

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            To prevent the plant from branching out and encouraging it growing taller?
            I do not do that, unless the growth is in my way of keeping thing tidy, but it might also depend on the type of raspberry.
            I hope somebody else can give you a good answer to this.
            Posting a picture might help others figuring out what type of plant it is and what the shoots you are considering removing look like.
             

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