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Raspberry tangle! Should I do this... or is it a bad idea??

12 years ago

They're 'wild' raspberries. I've tried specific varieties, and I've never had any luck. :) These are the basic, small ones that turn black, and are HUGE in flavor.

Problem is I don't know how I'll harvest them all! The worst "bed" (tangled mess) of them is at least 8'x5'. It's a good 4'+ high and absolutely covered in blossoms and bumblebees. :D

Good news, I'll probably be harvesting several gallons of berries from all the beds!

Bad news, I don't know how I'll get to them all. This section is more like an impenetrable hedge!

I *think* these bud on second year canes... at least, I see what are pretty obviously new shoots around with no buds. But I don't ever see a lot of dieback. Now, I've a lightly pruned wall!

I'm debating just cutting my way into the hedge as we harvest - once the lion's share of the berries are ripened and plucked away, pruning a lot of the canes near or at the ground so we can get to the backsides and middle.

Is this a recipe for disaster? Should I cut them to the ground, or to a set height? Should I carve a 'path' into the middle or just thin them out evenly? I'm thinking if I don't do something, this is only going to be harder next year!

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