Pruning Soft Fruit

Pruning your fruit bushes helps to keep them productive, but when and how do you prune different fruits?

 

Blackberries

  • New canes grow one season and fruit the next
  • Cut out canes which have fruited at ground level and replace on wires with new ones
  • If there are not enough new canes to replace the old ones, retain the best old canes, shortening sideshoots to one leaf

Blackcurrants

  • Blackcurrant bushes need constant new growth to ensure a good crop. Old branches will not produce as much fruit, nor will it be as high quality.
  • Planting new bushes deeply will encourage new branches to grow each year
  • Each year remove about one third of the oldest branches (very dark/black stems) by cutting down to the ground, or a strong young shoot
  • Can be pruned when you pick the fruit, or during winter

Gooseberries

  • Gooseberry bushes become tangled and unhealthy without regular pruning, the centre needs to be open, with a few spaced out main branches
  • Prune out dead branches and those crossing the centre during winter, thinning out overcrowded areas

Grape Vines

  • If you want your grape vine to focus on fruit you will need to keep its growth under control, focusing on one main stem with will produce fruiting sideshoots annually
  • Mid-winter - prune back sideshoots to one or two buds, and cut back developing main stems by half
  • Summer - Shorten non-flowering shoots to just a few leaves

Raspberries

  • Summer-fruiting raspberries - prune as blackberries (above)
  • Autumn-fruiting raspberries - cut to the ground in late winter, new canes will grow from the base and produce fruit the same year

Strawberries

  • Young runner shoots should be cut off to conserve energy for growing fruit, unless you wish to propagate new plants

 

 

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