Glen Ample is a well known spine free variety of self fertile raspberry that produces exceptional yields (up to 1Kg per foot of cane) of firm fruit that have an excellent flavour. I have a small row of them planted in a sunny, south facing spot in my garden. The fruits are a mid-summer fruiting ‘Floricane’ variety which means it produces fruit on second year wood. Glen Ample starts to crop in early July, the biggest crops are at the end of July and it tails off somewhere around mid-August. Our bees certainly like them and the RHS actually recommend them as an excellent nectar source so I can see why.
Glen Ample are a variety that is protected by the ‘Plant Variety Rights’ which basically means it is illegal to propagate them without first obtaining a license. Glen Ample are raised at the Scottish Crop Research Institute and come from a number of crosses that include ‘Meeker’ and ‘Glen Prose’.
I love raspberries, they are really easy to grow on reasonably rich, free draining soil and are far better ripe and freshly picked than the ‘supermarket varieties’ that don’t have the flavour. They do need some rainfall to grow into reasonable sized fruits so if we have a dry summer, I will water them from our rain water store.
So how do you prune Glen Ample Raspberries? Well, perhaps I should say ‘how do you prune Floricane varieties?’ or even ‘how do you prune summer-fruiting varieties?’ because they all follow the same method.
There are two groups of raspberry you will come across. Summer-fruiting (like Glen Ample) and Autumn-fruiting. Summer-fruiting varieties grow on second year wood, so what grew last year will have fruit on it this year. This means we need to cut back the canes in September.
How to Prune Summer Fruiting Raspberries – Step by Step
Summer-fruiting varieties do need some sort of permanent support, I use a 5ft post at the end of each row and have run 3 galvanised wires between them. Canes can be tied onto the wires with soft gardening twine.
Remove all previous year’s growth (brown woody stems that had fruit on them this year). Prune this growth down to the ground. Next, reduce new growth to 4-6 good canes to each plant. If you leave growth unchecked, you can end up with a dozen or so canes per plant which cannot support good size fruit on all canes. Pruning means the plant’s resources are concentrated and you will get the best sized fruit.
Cut some 8″ long pieces of string or twine. Make a loop around the galvanised wire to attach it. Repeat this on all 3 wires as you go up and for all canes as you work along the row.
Tie in ‘this year’s growth’ – (the fresh, pale green stems) to your support framework. These will be next year’s fruiting stems. Stems can be tied vertically to the lower support but bent horizontally and tied to the upper wires.
That is all there is to it! It takes me a couple of hours to complete 24 plants but I think it’s a rewarding job.
Incidentally, if you have autumn-fruiting varieties, these fruit between August and November and the fruits grow on this year’s growth. This means we can cut back all growth in February, allowing fresh growth the following year with fruits appearing in the autumn. They don’t need much support, perhaps a little to stop them touching the ground as the fruits start to weigh them down.