A thriving raspberry patch in a home garden can produce enough raspberries to enjoy throughout the year. Keep raspberry plants healthy and vigorous by pruning the canes properly. Raspberries produce two distinct canes in a raspberry thicket: primocanes and floricanes. Primocanes are canes in the initial year of growth and floricanes are older canes bearing fruit. As the growing season winds down, cut back raspberries after the season to keep the plants healthy and prepare them for winter.
Harvest the last of the raspberries from the floricanes. Do not prune until you finish harvesting all of the ripe raspberries from the plants.
Cut back all of the floricanes immediately after they quit producing. Use the pruning shears to trim these canes back flush with the soil level. Place the canes into the bucket to collect them as you cut them.
Examine red raspberry plant varieties for new primocane growth at this time. If you find new shoots emerging among the established canes, remove all but the healthiest four canes in each foot of row by cutting them flush with the soil level.
Discard the canes you removed by placing them into the trash. Never leave plant refuse on the soil around growing plants because this can introduce disease into the plants that remain in the ground.
Black raspberry plant varieties do not require thinning at the end of the growing season. These plants require thinning at the beginning of the growing season by removing any canes that are smaller than 1/2 inch in diameter.