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Distinguishing Floricanes from Primocanes?

Posted by Suyo_Cuke_in_MA MA (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 17, 13 at 7:54

In spring 2012 (somewhat late in the season, however) we had a reputable but busy third party prepare and install beds of raspberries and blackberries next to our existing vegetable beds, but the varieties are not labelled, for the most part. The learning curve has been in fits and starts, as have some attempts at pruning (with pruning book in one hand, Felco's in the other, but not necessarily at the right time). Now I realize I may have prevented development of lateral canes by not pruning the primocanes earlier.

�our one row of upright thornless blackberries, which is clearly identified, has extremely tall, out of control canes-- that I take to be this summer's primocanes that I never topped off in the summer. Is it safe to cut them off at 48" or will I be damaging next year's yield if I do? And how do I clearly identify this year's spent floricanes by appearance? I think there were some extremely woody/loose ones that I removed in September, assuming these were the spent floricanes, but wasn't sure if all would have this distinct appearance.

�To prune our two or three *thorny* blackberry plants (which had absolutely huge berries, some of which did ripen before our first frost)�shall I just prune the canes that held those late berries, or is there another way of identifying the right canes.

�Raspberries. I found at least one labelled-Carolina? I tried to thin them out in October; some still had berries. Now that they are finished, is there a way to identify which canes should be pruned? We have one row that has a a stretch of of everbearing and a stretch of regular (to be honest, can't recall which is which). Is there a way to tell which is which, and how should I prune them now, if at all?

�Black raspberries. We were told our raspberry row included one or two plants, but I have never seen them fruiting if so (and I can tell the difference in the berry at least); is there a way to tell the difference on the basis of the cane or growth habit alone?

�One more question: it's november, but should I be mulching or adding organic fertilizer to the bramble fruit rows at this late date? There is a drip line to all the brambles, which we were told we could leave in the ground (it was also installed in our vegetable beds at the same time, and we did leave it in last year, with no problem).

thanks in advance,

An old but new member/lurker here on garden web-first post for years (I had to re-register because my current email was listed).

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Distinguishing Floricanes from Primocanes?

Here's how to grow those babies in Maine

Here is a link that might be useful: cane fruit

RE: Distinguishing Floricanes from Primocanes?

and here's info from Mass.

Here is a link that might be useful: cane berries

RE: Distinguishing Floricanes from Primocanes?

Apparently many of your 2012 canes did not flower and they are hard to tell apart from the 2013 growth. The 2013's should be thicker and longer and appear less weather-worn.

Otherwise the difference is obvious: The floricanes have remnants of bloom/berry clusters. Example: Your thorny variety that had the large berries.

If you cut the overly long canes to 48", you would lose much of next year's crop. Best to prune the 2013's to a size you can manage and do a better job of topping 2014 growth to induce laterals.

Black raspberries often have bluish canes and will be thorny as opposed to red raspberry green canes with some small prickles down low.

If all growth has ceased and a mild weather spell this time of year would be rare, then fertilizing is fine. Otherwise, wait until late winter. The idea is that it may take rain several weeks to wash the fertilizer down into the soil. If your growth resumes in April, fertilize several weeks before that.

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