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mis-shapen raspberries

My raspberry canes are 5 years old, but both last year and this year the raspberries have been mal-formed - they only have about 5 "segments" to them and are noy worth picking. They have been fed each year with specialist soft fruit feed. What am I doing wrong?

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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,453

    I think this could be a pollination problem - I've done a bit of googling which confirms that this can lead to misshapen and mal-formed fruit  http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=2739 

    I hope that's helpful image

    I would add that my autumn fruiting Polka raspberries crop heavily with no problems - I think this is helped because they flower later in the season so there are more pollinators about.  Not much help to you now I know, but I thought I'd just pass it on. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Thank you for that, Dove. As it happens, my raspberries are Polka as well, although they do seem to fruit quite early (we live in the south-west). Do you have any ideas about the possible lack of pollination? Is there anything I can do?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,453

    It's early for Polka to be fruiting image  How are you growing them?  When did you cut them back and by how much?

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,337

    I think the reason Dove asks is that If you leave unfruited canes when you cut back primocanes like Polka, the uncut canes will fruit very early the next year and the new canes which emerge in Spring will fruit at the normal time in Autumn.  It's probably not the best way to treat them though as, overall, the crop will be lower.  It's a good method if you only have room for one type of raspberry though.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,453

    I find that the fruit on the older canes is also considerably smaller Bob.  

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,337

    Yes, I find that on my Autumn Bliss if I treat them that way.  I wouldn't to it to my Polka as I love the big fruits they produce - yum! image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,453

    They are fantastic aren't they Bob?  And they freeze better than any other raspberries I've ever frozen image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • I'm a bit confused now; I've read several guides with differing advice, so what is the optimum pruning strategy for this autumn and next spring, do you think?

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,337

    Simples - for Autumn fruiting raspberries, cut all canes down to the ground in February.  If you live in a windy area, cut them back to about a foot tall after fruiting (which prevents the wind rocking the canes and damaging the roots) then all the way back in February.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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