Prune canes now to get the maximum harvest

Les Foden.
Les Foden.

Autumn fruiting raspberries, such as Autumn Bliss and Fallgold, fruit on the current year’s canes, so canes should be pruned around now to get the maximum harvest later in the year around September time.

Cut all last year’s fruited canes down to ground level while the plant is dormant ensuring no stumps are left that could be a problem with disease.

Any summer fruiting raspberries that were bent over at the top in August can be tipped pruned in this way at about six inches above the top wire

Another choice is tipping back.

This means pruning back just the top part of the canes that bore fruit last year.

Do this to half the canes and cut the rest back to ground level.

The tipped back canes should develop fruiting spurs and give a crop of raspberries in June or July while the rest will grow as normal for the autumn harvest from late summer to the first frosts.

Any summer fruiting raspberries that were bent over at the top in August can be tipped pruned in this way at about six inches above the top wire.

Perennial vegetables such as asparagus, artichokes and rhubarb offer ornamental as well as culinary value and are easy to incorporate into herbaceous borders if the garden doesn’t contain a vegetable patch.

Remember perennial vegetables are a long term investment so it is important to prepare the ground well before planting.

Add plenty of well rotted organic matter such as garden compost and remove all traces of perennial weeds.

Unlike other vegetables that are grown annually from seed, perennial vegetables are usually cropped for a number of years.

When new you need vigorous, health plants that are propagated by cuttings or division.

They can be raised from seed but the results are slower and more variable.

Propagate rhubarb and asparagus by dividing the root stocks.

Asparagus is best carefully lifted and prised apart by hand or a sharp knife, whereas rhubarb can be split with a spade.

Globe artichokes grow tiny plantlets by the side of the parent plant.

In spring wait until the young shoots have started to root into the soil then select one with two or three leaves.

Use a sharp knife to separate it from the parent plant.

Chinese and Jerusalem artichokes can be propagated by dividing or simply replanting healthy tubers.