1 One big chore this spring is pruning all of the berry bushes. These are red raspberries. The upright posts are made of granite and they have heavy gauge copper wire laced through them to support the berry bushes.
2 Raspberries are unique because their roots and crowns are perennial, while their stems or canes are biennial. A raspberry bush can produce fruit for many years, but pruning is essential.
3 Raspberry plants spread by suckers and they'll spread out far and wide, if you let them. However, unpruned raspberry bushes won't yield more berries and because they're prone to disease, pruning inhibits the spread of disease throughout the patch.
4 Raspberries bear fruit on two-year old canes, the canes that sprouted last season. These are easily distinguished from older canes, which are gray in color and the ones that need to be removed.
5 Ryan pruned all the old, weak, diseased, and damaged canes at ground level.
6 He left the vigorous second year growth, snipping it to about 24-inches from the ground.
7 So nice and tidy!
8 This section of plants are golden raspberries.
9 Golden raspberries are pruned in the same manner as their red counterparts.
10 All of these trimmed branches are taken to the compost yard and added to the pile.
11 These canes, with their purple hue are black raspberries.
12 For the black raspberries, Ryan removed all of the small, weak canes, leaving about four or five of the largest, most vigorous canes per plant.
13 Again, it's quite easy to determine which are the old branches.
14 Black raspberries are more challenging to prune because their canes are quite long.
15 They're also tied to the wire supports with twine.
16 The twine needs to be snipped to remove old growth.
17 This is a job that requires patience and care - those thorns are sharp!
18 On a recent warmer day, Ryan finished up pruning the black raspberries. He then took up the slack from the wire supports.
19 He did this by pulling the wooden toggle that the wire is attached to and giving it a turn or two.
20 Notice Ryan's gloves - With their long leather gauntlets, these are made for pruning anything with thorns.
21 The next step was to reattach the long canes onto the wire supports.
22 Forcing the canes to grow horizontally, encourages new lateral growth, which produces fruit.
23 The canes were gathered with twine.
24 And tied onto the wire.
25 Picking black raspberries will be a breeze after this good pruning.
26 The gooseberry patch is on the north side of the greenhouse.
27 Northern exposure is preferable because gooseberries enjoy partial shade and a cool, moist growing area.
28 Chhewang, a very good pruner, removed any branches that were lying along the ground, as well as branches that were dead or broken.
29 The idea is to give the bushes a V-shape, allowing for good air circulation.
30 The gooseberries have been nicely thinned, leaving healthy upright growth.
31 My currant bushes are located on the opposite side of the greenhouse. There are red, white, and black varieties.
32 The currants have not been pruned in a few years and they desperately needed to be.
33 They're pruned in much the same way as gooseberries, thinning and leaving the healthiest of branches.
34 After a good pruning, the rows of currants now have wide aisles between them, which will make the harvest much easier.