Raspberry sorrow

I am new to this forum and would love any advice. I planted a variety of ever bearing and summer bearing raspberries three years ago in zone 6A. I have beautiful green foliage every year and lots of initial berry set, but by harvest the tips are dried out and the berries never produce fruit. I have 12 feet of robust canes, but have not produced a single berry in three years. Attached is a photo of the kind of outcome I get. Any advice?

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i have the same problem with my big berry patch. i thought i need more fertilizer when i actually needed less. my canes do the same and have for 3 years now. waiting for it to correct itself eventually. or yours could be a disease issue. ill let some others that know more chime in. welcome to the forum!

I see a few flowers and even a couple raspberries (center left) so that is progress. :grin: I had one bush last year develop a powdery mildew from all of the rain late last summer and it killed all of the leaves, but those canes are slowly bouncing back. If I could do it over I would’ve just pruned them to the ground over the winter.

I’m not sure of the cause here, although the tips of the leaves being fried is an indicator of a specific issue (I think too much/too little water), but I think the solution is to cut out all of the dead and diseased canes and do some soil testing to see if you have the optimal ph and mineral composition.

I throw a balanced fertilizer down once or twice in the winter and that is all the fertilizer I give mine and they do great, so perhaps yours are getting too much of a good thing.

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Sounds like an specific nutrient deficiency. Is the soil in your area known for boron deficiency? This particular micro nutrient will certainly affect fruit set, lacking it will give you flowers that don’t produce fruit. Fortunately boron is one of those that can be easily adjusted via foliar application at early bloom time when it is most critical.

The soil in my valley is known for not having boron. In the fall I do 1/4 teaspoon of borax per gallon of water and spread it in a wide area under the trees and bushes. Too much boron can be toxic to plants so don’t go crazy with the stuff.

My first thought is root rot and my second is cane borers. Try to keep canes spaced 6 inches to one foot apart. Remove weak looking canes and canes that grow to close together. Pick one and remove the other. It looks crowded. Also raspberries hate to be too wet and even hate more to be too dry. Keep them moist. In my area in raised beds I have to water a lot.
If a type of root rot they are too wet.
If cane borers, infected canes need to be removed from garden and destroyed. Google raspberry cane borers on how to treat area. Look for swollen sections of cane.

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Follow @Drew51 advice. Also remove canes after they have produced fruit in the fall.


@Drew51 , great advice.

@CMack , what are your pruning methods for your canes?

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A year ago, after this picture was taken, I did a significant winter pruning. I have a mix of ever bearing and summer bearing, so I wasn’t exactly sure I was cutting the right canes. But I really investigated as to which ones had tried to fruit that fall. I thinned and kept the healthy looking canes and added trellising. I didn’t get around to prune this last winter. This spring I clearly see the canes that are dead and will remove them.

Would you suggest that I cut everything to the ground in the fall even though they are a mixture of types? I have read that is a good option to just forgo the small summer crop for larger fall crops.

I originally planted them in a trench/mound of compost and peat moss to overcome the general clay in Ohio soil. I’ve added an annual soil acidifier and have fertilized with an organic fertilizer. (Berry tone)

How does one tell if their berry patch is too wet? Isn’t wet just wet? There is no standing water and there is a slope, so I think they have sufficient drainage. What should I be looking for?

Thank you, everyone. This is the best advice I’ve received ANYWHERE!