Off-season Production of Primocane-fruiting Red Raspberry Using Summer Pruning and Polyethylene Tunnels

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  • 1 Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1399 Lisboa, Portugal
  • | 2 Estação Nacional de Fruticultura Vieira da Natividade, Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária, 2460 Alcobaça, Portugal
  • | 3 Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1399 Lisboa, Portugal

The spring shoots of `Autumn Bliss' red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L. var. idaeus; primocane-fruiting type) were cut on 2, 16, 31 July and 15 and 30 Aug. with the objective of delaying fruit harvest into the off-season under mild winter climatic conditions. Cutting shoots in August delayed fruit harvest until February and April of the following year, but shoot growth was weak and fruit yield low (4.8 and 2.1 g/cane). July cuttings delayed harvest until October to January with acceptable fruit yield (63.5, 52.8, and 26.5 g/cane for 2, 16, and 31 July, respectively). The differences in cane height and total node and fruiting node count between the three cutting dates of July were small, but there was a constant decrease in leaf area per cane from the first to the third date and a sharp decrease in fruit yield from the second to the third date. Vegetative shoot growth was less affected than yield when summer cutting was delayed until the end of July to induce a later harvest. Fruit quality always reached acceptable standards. This study confirms the practicability of using summer-cutting of primocane-fruiting red raspberries to induce off-season fruit production under protected cultivation in mild winter climates.

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