Pruning and Training
Everbearing raspberries tend to be more erect thanstandard raspberries and rarely need to be trainedto a trellis. As berries are produced in the fall onterminal ends of canes produced in the summer of the same year, all canes can be pruned 2–4" fromthe soil level any time during the winter. No selec-tive pruning is necessary.Standard raspberries may require some support.Stretching a wire on both sides of the hedge about3 ft. above the ground will confine canes to thehedge. Place wood or metal posts with supportingcrossbars for the wires strategically in the hedge tokeep the wires taut. Canes may be attached to thewires with twine.Canes of standard raspberries can be cut off atground level after they have fruited in the summeror during the following winter. During the earlyspring, weaker and smaller canes can also be re-moved, leaving stronger fruiting canes 6" apart inthe hedgerow. Winter-damaged canes can also beremoved. Do not top red raspberries during thesummer. Hedges of both standard and everbearingtypes of raspberries should be no wider than2–3 ft. as wider hedges result in smaller berriesand are harder to pick.Top black and purple raspberries during thesummer to encourage the development of lateralbranches and to increase cane strength. Canesshould be topped when they reach a height of 24–36" by removing 3–4" of growth.All dead, damaged, or weak black raspberrycanes should be removed at ground level during thedormant season. Lateral branches should also beheaded back at this time (4–8").
Raspberries can be picked every 2–3 days when fruitare well colored and can be pulled off the receptacleor plug quite easily. Collect fruit in a shallow tray toprevent damage. To extend the shelf life of the ber-ries, pick when dry and refrigerate immediately.
Raspberries are susceptible to numerous virus dis-eases. Once they are infected, plants can’t be cured.Viruses are commonly spread by aphids, nematodesor infected pollen. To prevent the spread of viruses,destroy all infected plants.Verticillium wilt is a soil-borne fungus that canbe a problem in some areas of New Mexico.When a plant is infected, its leaves turn yellow andeventually die. Canes often turn blue as the diseaseproceeds up the canes, while vascular tissues gener-ally exhibit red discolorations.The most effective way to control viruses andVerticillium wilt is to plant certified virus- and Ver-ticillium wilt-free planting stock. Soils should alsobe free of Verticillium wilt. Raspberries shouldnot be planted in soils that have been planted topotatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, strawberries,or other cane berries that have been previously in-fected with wilt.Test the soil for nematodes before planting. Theroot lesion, rootknot, and dagger nematodes willcause weak cane growth and small leaves, and willreduce fruit size. Foliage may also turn yellow anddrop in hot weather.
Few insect pests have been noted on raspberries inNew Mexico, but stinkbugs have been noted insome areas of the state. Gardeners should keep awatch on their raspberries for insect damage. Re-port new insect infestations to your local countyExtension agent for identification and suggestedcontrol techniques.
Everbearing raspberry varieties have proved to be themost successful raspberries grown in New Mexico.Because the canes can be damaged by frost in thespring, standard red and black raspberry varietieshave only a limited place in the home garden.
Everbearing Red Raspberries
—Canes very vigorous, hardy, erect,sturdy; sucker prolifically; medium-sized berry withconic shape, firm flesh, good flavor, and excellentquality; rated number one everbearing red rasp-berry in nation.