Fruit Cage cleanup advice

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Colin2016
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Fruit Cage cleanup advice

Postby Colin2016 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:23 pm

I have this fruit cage with raspberry plants but do not know if they are summer or autumn type.

As you can see they have been left to grow tall so that they are protruding through the top of the netting.

Is there a way of telling if they are summer or autumn type?

Failing that should I cut them all down to 6 inches?

Thanks

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PLUMPUDDING
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Re: Fruit Cage cleanup advice

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:47 pm

I think they are summer fruiting ones from your photos. The ones that have dead flowers/fruit want cutting out completely. Then the new canes for next year are the fresh ones with new buds and no spent fruits etc. I would cut the weedy ones of these out too so you just have four or five strong new shoots to tie in to fruit next year. You can reduce their height a bit so they fit the cage by cutting the tops off or bending them over and tying them in.

If you're still not sure I quite often cut half of the autumn canes right down and cut the rest in half. So you get an early crop from the ones you've shortened and new canes from the ones you've cut right back which fruit later.
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Pa Snip
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Re: Fruit Cage cleanup advice

Postby Pa Snip » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:58 pm

I can't profess to be a expert on the subject but the way I would go about it is to try and establish if any of the canes are new wood , look for evidence of wood that has not fruited. Old wood is usually dark in colour and fresh wood much lighter
If you find any new wood I would leave those alone except for perhaps cutting the tall tips back slightly, not too far back though, and tying in.

If you can find no evidence of fresh unfruited wood and the vast majority have evidence of fruiting then Jan /Feb is the time to cut them back to ground level.

Looks like some could do with cutting back to ground level and thinning out anyway
Last edited by Pa Snip on Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fruit Cage cleanup advice

Postby Colin2016 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:45 am

Thank you both for your very helpful reply.
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Pa Snip
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Re: Fruit Cage cleanup advice

Postby Pa Snip » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:01 am

For future reference, if you are not already aware, summer fruiting canes which have fruited should be cut back as soon as they finish fruiting.
New wood should be left uncut for next years fruiting.

Autumn fruiting, which are usually shorter canes than summer fruiting ones should be cut back to ground level Jan /Feb time.

I agree with PP yours look like summer fruiting so they should have been pruned back ages ago. However all is not lost if you identify, and leave, the new wood which should fruit in 2018
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Re: Fruit Cage cleanup advice

Postby Geoff » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:58 am

All the advice seems good to me. A secondary advantage besides support of tying them in is it makes the old growth even more obvious at pruning time. If I remember correctly you have just taken over this plot so they may have been neglected, when you have sorted them you could give them a feed of FBB (and possibly a little extra potash) and a mulch if you have anything suitable.
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Re: Fruit Cage cleanup advice

Postby Pa Snip » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:28 am

Good advice with the BFB Geoff
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Davison
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Re: Fruit Cage cleanup advice

Postby Davison » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:40 am

Thanks for the advice!
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Colin2016
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Re: Fruit Cage cleanup advice

Postby Colin2016 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:30 pm

Yes Geoff this has been neglected but I have cleared it up inside just need to replace tying in wire/posts. There is signs of rabbit bore holes from inside & outside which I need to fill in as well.

Your thoughts on adding manure around the base now and the FBB & potash spring time.

Thanks
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Re: Fruit Cage cleanup advice

Postby Geoff » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:48 am

You don't have that much rain in Norfolk that the food will leach away and I always think it seems more sensible to put fertiliser under mulch. One less job for the Spring if you get it done in the quiet of Winter.
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Colin2016
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Re: Fruit Cage cleanup advice

Postby Colin2016 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:53 am

Thanks Geoff although your "don't have that much rain in Norfolk" does not apply at the moment. Be good to get all this done at the same time.
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