Last year we had a bumper crop of raspberries and turned them into jam, muffins and desserts with a lot more frozen for use later in the year. This year, one group of raspberries performed really well with huge fruit but the other group were weedy by comparison. We decided to remove the under performing raspberries completely. Whilst this may sound a tad drastic these were the reasons behind the decision.
a) The yield didn’t justify the space that was taken up
When you have limited growing space every bit of land counts and if something is not performing well then you have to be ruthless!
b) The unknown age of the raspberry canes
Raspberries can crop successfully for many years. As we inherited these canes we don’t know how old they are or how well they have been pruned previously.
If we didn’t have a different group of raspberries elsewhere we may have attempted to nurture them back to health. Last year we pruned them according to the schedule for summer fruiting raspberries but they were still very overgrown this year. So after a year to prove themselves it was time for the chop.
After chopping down the canes to near-ground level the canes were put in the compost bin (waste not want not!)
Then the roots and suckers were dug out.
Once the ground was raked level, a healthy layer of well-rotted manure was added to revitalise the soil.
Another plant that has seen better days is the blackcurrant bush. We’ve been keeping an eye on this for a while too as their leaves have been curling into one another. Whilst the blackcurrants themselves have been a decent size, the risk of any disease spreading to other plants means we have decided to start again with the blackcurrant as well.
When taking over a garden, allotment or any plot of land remember to keep what you want to keep and move or replace unwanted or underperforming plants. You may want to watch and observe how the plant grows and develops before hacking everything back though!