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I live on zone 6a and have some fall bearing raspberries which were recently mowed (November 3rd). This was about two weeks after first frost. Unfortunately, I've learned after the fact that the time to do this is late winter after they are more thoroughly dormant.

My question is, just how bad of a mistake is this? Will this result in any major or permanent damage to the root system? Is there anything I can do to help them at this point?

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  • The main question to ask before Fall pruning is "Am I killing Spring buds now by pruning?" Azaleas set buds in the Fall (for Spring bloom), and so does my Camelia. But most do not, so you're good. Another way to say it is you can always prune after bloom or harvest. Timing is not critical, although 2 frosts do not a deep freeze make. Nov 5, 2023 at 14:08
  • Thanks for the input @YosefBaskin. Do you have any direct experience with primocane raspberries or is this more of a general observation? Nov 5, 2023 at 19:23
  • No, I don’t mow my Primocanes. Nov 5, 2023 at 23:40

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What's done is done.

You could put 2-4 inches of compost over the bed, I suppose. Don't know that it will do anything specifically for having been mown early but it's generally appreciated, if the plants survive the experience (which they probably will, at least to some extent.)

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  • Thanks - I do plan to mulch them with a bit of compost. I'm still looking for something definitive in regards to the amount of damage this may or may not have caused. My assumption was that there have been studies on the effects of mowing at various points but perhaps not. Nov 8, 2023 at 16:09

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