In the Garden: Berry Preps

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EUGENE, Ore. — It’s summertime, and now’s the time you’re enjoying your raspberries, your blackberries, but it’s also time to start thinking about next year’s crop.

You need to get your gloves and your pruners out because raspberries and blackberries actually grow by suckers. So if you don’t prune them, they’re just going to take over a space.

If you let them your plants get too big and overgrown, they will compete for sunlight, water, nutrients, and then you might end up with raspberries all over your yard, which is probably not what you want.

So in the summertime you want to prune dead, diseased leaves. And then in the fall, after you’ve harvested your berries, you want to keep your plants and the suckers contained to about a foot and half area. In this area you want to have five to seven really nice canes, and that will really make your berry production a lot better next year.

Any suckers that come up outside that area should be pruned. You don’t have to dig them up, just cut them at the base.

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