Raspberry bed too dense, will this be a problem?

As you know, raspberries grow from the roots. More roots equals more shoots popping up from the ground. My bed of raspberries is quite dense here in year 2. Is there anything that needs to be done? Or is that just how raspberries are?

depending on cultivar, they may need serious thinning. if you dont thin enough they will get disease issues with little fruit .i leave the biggest strongest canes and prune out the rest. 6 canes per foot is good. autumn britten is one that doesnt throw alot of suckers so its easier to control.


Some varieties want to take over the world… so yes you need to thin them.

First off you need to keep the row about 2 feet wide (some people do 1-1.5ft) and any suckers that go beyond that need to be thinned.

3-5 of the strongest largest canes per linear foot is optimal.

Looking down on the row you want to imagine good sunlight penetration and airflow. Less disease and healthier plants.

Canes with the best sunlight and airflow that have the least competition gives you the best production and berry size.

Bad thing about Rasps is that that alot of varieties sucker profusely.

Good thing about Rasps is that they sucker profusely (and you can add alot more rows for free…or sell or give away alot of plants)… so plus and minuses depending on you.


Check out this bed of reds… b4 and after pruning. I think he recommends something like 3 or 4 canes per ft along the bed.

He removes a BUNCH… small spindly canes… leaves the best.


Useful video. When they say to leave 3 or 4 canes per foot, I think total of 3 or 4, but when you look at the spacing of the canes on the finished pruning job it looks like he has 3-4 canes per foot, per side. Anyone have any insight?

I think with a V trellis… where the top wires are 3 ft or so apart you can definately get plenty of sun to more canes… and may well get by with a more densely populated bed.

Above is one I setup last year… not so dense now but with all the root shoots that will come up this spring and summer… will be more dense by fall… and next spring. I may have to thin some then

Note small bed… V trellis made with U post and galv wire… simple, cheap, works great.

With the fruiting canes tied to the wires on either side of that V… and divided up nicely… the new primocanes that are already coming up… they will have plenty of room to come up in the middle.

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Guys, I didn’t even know raspberry thinning was a “thing”. I’m glad I asked this question, or else I would have had a bush in the bed.

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The raspberries grown at NWREC experimental station near here are grown in very dense rows; the rows are nearly opaque they are so dense.

Here is what my bed looks like.


Wait. I’m confused. I cut everything down to the soil line during dormancy. I thought that’s what we were supposed to do. And now I have a bunch of growth coming from from below the soil.


My goal was to get fruit from only primocanes. So do I still need to prune?

I guess I should have mentioned from the start that I’m talking about everbearing raspberry for a fall crop.

I liked the simplicity of pruning everything down to the soil line. Bonus question: am I limiting myself by not trying to get a summer crop out of my raspberries? Or is it worth the wait for that fall harvest?

@chingchungly … most of my raspberries are everbearing varieties.

They send up primocanes in the spring/summer that fruit on the cane tips (top 1/3 or so) in the fall…Sept to Nov… Those canes overwinter and produce a really nice crop late May to end of June on the floricanes.

So I am double cropping everbearing type raspberries there. Works great here in TN.

My fall crop is slow and steady for 3 months+.

My spring/summer crop I’s very abundant… they start ripening around May 25… and finish end of June and make a big crop of berries…

I get raspberries for over 4 months total by double cropping everbearing raspberries.

I have Herritage Fall Gold and Ohio Treasure Black. I also have a mystery black raspberry that was a shipment mixup… that only bears early summer.

I bought 6 raspberry plants 3 years ago… and thru propigation now have something like 40.

From last June… Heratige reds and some mystery blacks.


How many canes does a first year bare root create?
How wide did the cane sprouting area naturally become from 1 bare root in the first year?
Did you manually dig up and propagate roots to create more spread, if so what season?
You you need to net/fence to avoid birds/squirrels/deer?


depends on varieties. the 1st year isnt too bad as its still establishing its roots. its after that they really take off. 1 bare root can create a 10ft. long bed in 2 years, depending on cultivar. the heritages hes growing are very productive of new canes. if you want to start a new bed dig some starts before they leaf out in early spring or anytime in winter in warmer zones. yes net them. deer like raspberry leaves. birds like fruit.

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Thanks Steve, I think I spaced out okay based on your response.

I’m thinking of loosing the soil around where i want the raspberry grow towards. I didn’t plant in pre-dug trench but this would have similar effect.

Few years back I bought 2 blackberries plants on a whim at big box store and planted them outside w/o protection. The deer ate all top growth and the blackberries never bothered to push any new growth out and subsequently withered and died. I hope to avoid that experience this time. Deer are terrible where I am.

@sockworth … that’s a post from last spring when I was propagating by root shoots.

Not hard at all…

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raspberries spread even more aggressively than blackberries. once you got them, they are hard to get rid off.

They almost have to be that way… every bug and disease and creature wants to have their turn with them. From pruning to thinning and keeping them in bounds and keeping an eye out for pests and disease…they are alot of work. Some varieties less so than others. Im starting to become a fan of Purples.

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even they throw a good amount of suckers. at least royalty does. id say 1 plant sends out a dozen per spring. a very productive plant though.

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