If you’ve ever owned or seen a neglected raspberry bush, you might note that they still produce berries. They may look messy and unkept and even dangerous with the thorns and all, but they will still grow and flower and make berries. So, other than for neatness’ sake, why trellis raspberries?
Here are our top 4 reasons:
1. Trellising raspberries keeps the berries off the ground. When berries touch the soil, you have an increased chance of spoilage and contamination. Berries near the ground are more accessible to insects– and less accessible to you. Trellised berries are far easier to pick. For you, that means less squatting and more eating.
2. Trellising raspberries makes pruning easier by far. Raspberries grow on second-year canes. Meanwhile first-year canes, that is next year’s berry producers, grow up among the second-year branches. After berry-picking season, Jim does a superfine job of taking out the “old” canes to give the new ones room to grow. Having the canes held up, but not attached to, trellis-supported plastic-coated wiring makes that job a bit easier.
3. Trellising raspberries helps us keep a reasonable number of plants. When raspberry canes touch the ground over a long period of time, a new bush can take root from that spot. This is all fine and good, if you have no limit on the space you can devote to growing raspberries or if you want to add additional plants. But at some point, you might reach your raspberry plant limit. Trellising raspberry bushes makes it much easier to take inventory of how many plants you have.
4. Trellising raspberry canes makes it much easier to monitor plant health. What’s worse than one of your raspberry plants dying of rust or blight? All of your raspberry plants dying of rust or blight. Trellised raspberry plants are much easier to monitor. Unfortunately, we have had the experience of plants getting rust; fortunately, we acted quickly and mercilessly, pulling up and disposing of the plants (NOT COMPOSTING!), and we prevented the spread of disease among our berries.