Reach for the shears when your berry bushes are no longer bearing a crop. We tell you which woody plants need pruning in July.

Prune the currant bush right after harvest to increase your yields

With a vigorous pruning in July, you can ensure that the shrubs in your garden will bear more berries in the future. After all, without regular pruning, the plants will senesce within a few years and the harvest will be increasingly meager. The easiest way to prune currants, gooseberries and summer raspberries is directly after harvest. Because then it is easy to distinguish the young canes from the old, and the worn from the new fruiting wood. So, take the time and sharp secateurs and bring the following berry bushes in shape.

  1. Woody plants: cut back currants after the harvest

As long as currants are pruned regularly, they will bear juicy berries in long clusters. However, yields decline significantly after four years if the berry bush is allowed to senesce. The berries become smaller and the clusters shorter. Therefore, red and white currants should be cut back immediately after harvest. Shorten the worn side shoots so that only stubs with one or two eyes remain (so-called “cone pruning”). New, high-yielding canes will sprout from these cones.

Side shoots close to the ground, troublesome and weak branches, and three- or four-year-old twigs are completely removed at the base. Often a garden saw, or more powerful pruning shears are needed if you want to cut the older wood. Only six to eight of the old ground shoots should be left standing, and the oldest ones must give way. In this way, the plant renews itself every year and continues to produce many fruits on the young canes.

  1. Woody plant: pruning the main shoots of gooseberries

When pruning gooseberry bushes (Ribes uva-crispa), it is similar to currants. The most delicious berries are found on the one-year-old side shoots. Here, too, six to eight of the strong main shoots may remain standing each year. They form the basic structure of the bush. However, you should not let the main shoots grow older than four years. Therefore, they are regularly replaced by young shoots. All other main shoots and young ground shoots are cut off at the base or pulled out. If there are horizontal or inward growing branches on the shrub, they should also be removed. The long ends of the main shoots and one-year-old side shoots should be left standing, as they produce the best gooseberries. If the side shoots are too dense, every second can be cut back to two eyes.

  1. Woody plant: cut back summer raspberries

After harvest is also a good time to cut back summer raspberries. Remove the harvested canes close to the ground. This leaves only the young canes that were selected as new fruiting canes when the new shoots were thinned out in the spring or early summer. If more than ten strong, this year’s main canes remain after pruning the bearing branches, you should thin them out a bit more. Then the long, young shoots are tied to the trellis. On them will grow raspberries in the coming year. Instead of waiting until after the harvest to prune, you can simply cut the fruiting canes directly with the last ripe raspberries. This has two advantages: you can pick the berries while sitting down and the bearing branches are easy to spot. In this way, you do the harvest and pruning in one go.