Gardening: Growing Blackberries

How to Grow Blackberries in Your Garden

Growing blackberries in your garden is fairly easy. While blackberry plants themselves can last to 15 years, the stalks (canes) do not. New canes will grow from the blackberry plants each year. They produce fruit in the second year and then die off. So, when growing blackberries, it’s important that you’re careful with the new stalks. Otherwise, you’re harming next year’s crop.

How to Grow Blackberries – Nutrition Information

A good source of antioxidants, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin C, polyphenols, anthocyanins, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, beta carotene, and folate. They also have a low sugar content.

How to Grow Blackberries – Climate & Growing Conditions

There are so many varieties of blackberry plants worldwide, that most gardeners will be able to find a variety for their climate. (Although when growing blackberries, the colder your climate, the fewer varieties are available.)
Select a sunny location for growing blackberries – one that’s somewhat protected from winds. Train the blackberry plants to fencing Manchester for winter support.

How to Grow Blackberries: Prepare the Garden Soil

Growing blackberries requires soil rich in organic matter. Enriched sandy loams are preferable, but most soils can be modified for growing blackberries. Good drainage is very important when growing blackberries. Blackberry plants don’t tolerate standing water.
The pH of the garden soil for growing blackberries should be between 5.5-6.5. Learn how to test your garden soil pH using soil ph tester.

How to Grow Blackberries – Planting & Propagating

To propagate by root cuttings: in the fall, cut the roots into 6″ lengths and store in a moist mixture of sand and peat. In the spring, plant them in pots and move them to the nursery. By fall, they should ready to plant in the garden. Space the blackberry plants 3 feet apart in rows that are at least 8 feet apart.

Another method of growing blackberries: wherever stalks touch the ground, they will root & form new blackberry plants. Force this process in early fall by selecting healthy 1 year old stalks. Gently bend them to the ground without breaking them. Where they touch the ground, dig a small hole and gently push part of the stalk into the hole. Fill the hole with dirt. If needed, place a stone on top as an anchor. By mid-spring, the new blackberry plants should be a transplantable size. Cut the new blackberry plants from the parents. Dig the new plant up gently without disturbing the roots and transplant in the new location.
When growing blackberries, prune first year shoots to a height of 3 feet tall. This forces both stronger and lateral growth. Remove any unwanted suckers.

Remove any dead canes from the bramble.

Remove the fruited canes as soon as they’ve finished producing.

How to Grow Blackberries – Fertilizing Requirements

A top dressing of compost or aged manure in the spring gives your blackberry plants the best start. Use a nitrogen based fertilizer, but avoid over fertilization. When growing blackberries, too much fertilizer produces a wealth of leaves, but few fruit.

How to Grow Blackberries – Gardening Challenges

Birds, borers, mites, snails, double blossom, rust, verticillum wilt, cane/crown gall, blight, powdery mildew.

How to Grow Blackberries – Harvesting Your Crop

When growing blackberries, harvest every 2 or 3 days. Berries are ripe in late summer when uniformly dark in color and release easily from the cane.
Keep the picked berries in the shade until refrigerated. Avoid bruising the berries by placing them in shallow containers while picking. If piled too high, the berries on the bottom will be ruined.

Note: Blackberries don’t ripen well after picked. Leave any unripe berries on the vine to pick another day.

Consider wearing protective attire to avoid thorns, such as: hat, heavy long sleeved shirt, and fingerless garden gloves.