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Why Are My Raspberries So Small?

Why Are My Raspberries So Small?

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Raspberries are some of the most common fruits in the world. They are generally grown from a number of plant species of the rose family, and they are also perennial. Most raspberries have woody stems too.

The production of raspberries around the globe hit more than 900,000 tons in 2019, with Russia producing almost 20%. However, if you are not in the mood to buy your fruits at a store, it might be a wise idea to grow raspberries yourself.

If you have a spacious garden, you can easily plant a raspberry patch. Once you have planted the raspberries in a patch, you should know that it’s going to take a little while before it spreads properly.

Most people have a problem with their raspberries not being as big as they would like. In the beginning, you might let the size slide because it’s your first try.

However, it can be a bit frustrating when you do everything right and realize that your raspberries are still small. If you are taking care of the water supply and making sure that all the needs of the plant are met, it can be hard when you notice that your raspberries are still the same size.

Many people try different kinds of things to produce more flavorful and bigger berries. With the passage of time, you will realize that making slight changes to the way you grow your raspberries can make a huge difference.

More importantly, you will realize that there are certain things that don’t have any impact on the growth at all. If you have been frustrated in the past with raspberries that are generally small and aren’t growing any bigger, it might be a wise idea to take some steps and make a few changes to your growing patterns.

But, before we get started, it’s important that you understand the things that have virtually no impact on the size of the raspberries. This is important because too many people make these adjustments in the hope that their raspberries will grow better.

Obviously, it doesn’t yield any results. So, here are a few adjustments that don’t have any effect on the size of your raspberries, and ones that you should avoid.

The Spacing

First of all, you should know that the size of your raspberries is not affected by the spacing between each plant. You can plant them farther or closer to each other, and it’s really not going to have any impact.

You should know that these plants are vigorous growers and will fill the space very quickly. It simply doesn’t matter if you plant them at a distance of five feet from each other or six inches. They will spread in any direction they like.

Timing of Pruning

The Timing When You Prune Your Raspberry Plants Does Not Impact The Size Of Your Raspberries

Many people think that pruning at the right time could also impact the size of their raspberries. Again, that’s not true. It only matters how they are pruned. But, before we get into that, you should know that the timing is irrelevant.

You can prune them right after collecting your harvest in the summer, in the fall, or even during the spring months; it won’t matter. It’s only going to impact the month in which your raspberries will be ripe and ready for consumption.

It’s not going to affect the size.

Using a Trellis

Installing a trellis frame is also unlikely to have an impact on the size of your raspberries. If you want to install a trellis, you can. Adding a trellis definitely improves the aesthetic appeal, but don’t be fooled that this might increase the size of the raspberries.

You will find some of the biggest berries stuck under the dirt, while others might be growing on the trellis. As long as you know how to grow them the right way, they are going to come out beautifully.

Now that you know the basics and understand exactly what doesn’t make a difference, it’s time to discuss the things that do make a difference.


The Amount Of Watering You Do Can Impact The Size Of Your Raspberries

The amount of water you provide to your raspberries is definitely going to make a huge difference. While the plant can do just fine without a lot of water, you should know that it’s going to affect the size of your berries.

For instance, many people prefer using a drip system for watering their berries. Ideally, the best thing to do is to deeply water your raspberries after every four days. Essentially, you have to soak them for several hours on end on the day of watering.

In fact, some people don’t mind flooding their raspberries too! Basically, if you notice a difference in the texture of the plant and it looks water-deprived, you need to change your watering cycle.

For instance, if the plant seems absolutely thirsty on the fourth day, you might want to trim your watering cycle and bring it down to three days.

Raspberries are essentially loaded with water, and each of the fruits require lots of it. If you provide large amounts of water to the plant, your berries will be more flavorful.

Drip irrigation systems are an excellent choice because they conserve a lot of water during the process, making sure that only the roots get it.

The Timing of the Feeding

Another thing that has a major impact on the size of your raspberries is the timing of the feeding. Obviously, it’s best if you use homemade compost for feeding your plants.

If you don’t make your own compost, you can easily buy it from outside and add it to your plants. But, the important thing to note here is that the timing of the feeding has a major effect on the size of the raspberries.

For starters, you should know that this is one of the toughest plants that you will come across. Raspberries are able to grow through anything, even when there’s a limited supply of water.

Essentially, you should know that the plant is capable of growing on its own, and it will still give fruit. However, if you want the bigger berries, you will have to feed the plant when it needs some nutrients.

The plant is perhaps hungriest when it is dedicating most of its energy to make the fruit. If you do not provide them with proper nutrients, the plant will start spreading out its sour berries.

Simply put, the best thing you need to do is feed the plant soon after the first blossoms begin to appear. When this happens, the plant essentially stops producing fruit or blooming and starts consuming the nutrients from the soil.

Ultimately, this increases the plant’s energy levels and the quality of your berries improve dramatically. The berries won’t just be a bigger size; they will also be juicier.

You have to make sure that once you add the compost, you water the soil properly. This is important because it will allow the nutrients to be absorbed into the soil.

If you have a variety of different plants, you should feed them at least once every two weeks as long as they blossom.

The Style of Pruning

As mentioned above, the timing of the pruning doesn’t matter. The same cannot be said for the style of pruning. You will find a lot of conflicting opinions about pruning your raspberries.

Some people prefer cutting them relatively low, bringing the size of the plant all the way to two feet. Some prefer cutting it to chest level. Then, there are a few people who don’t like to prune the plant at all.

Ideally, the best result is when you prune the raspberry plant to chest level. When you prune the plant too short, it will give you relatively large berries.

However, because the plant will be so small, the overall size of your harvest will reduce. Conversely, if you let them grow over your head and prune them, the size of the berries will reduce because of the sheer number of raspberries on each cane.

If you don’t prune the plant at all, it’s not only going to look stringy and ugly, but the berries you get will be of the lowest quality.

Ideally, you should prune the raspberries in the fall season, and it’s best to make sure that you cut them just to your chest. More importantly, you must identify all the old canes and then prune them all the way to the ground.

Raspberries can grow on canes that are a couple of years old, so if you don’t cut the old ones out, the plant will continue to expend energy and this will affect the quality of your raspberries.

Just look for canes that look like sticks instead of plants, and you are good to go. So, if your berries are growing small, these are the adjustments that you have to make.

Make sure you prune them in the right manner and feed your plants at the right time. Above all, make sure they get lots of water, and the quality of your fruits will increase!

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Barry Lucas

Sunday 11th of September 2022

|Thanks for your guidance. Your pruning recommendations seem to cover Summer flowering berries. What about Autumn flowering ones? I have always pruned in the winter and cut them right back to the soil. It has worked in previous seasons but I guess my problem this year is not watering enough!


Wednesday 14th of September 2022

Hi Barry, It sounds like you have the right pruning technique for the Autumn raspberries. A lack of water probably was the culprit if you had smaller berries than normal.

Happy Planting! Lisa


Wednesday 29th of June 2022

Thank you. This was very helpful article. I will also look around your site for a picture of a trellis for my raspberry plants. Or something that will hold them up nicely. what I use is simply too flimsy and the stakes lean in.

Katherine Cook

Tuesday 3rd of August 2021

Thank you Lisa for a very helpful article. I am trying to grow raspberries for the first time and it feels a little daunting but your information was right was I needed! Thank you, again! Kathie