August 17, 2014 at 3:25 pm #22263
I don’t happen to care for blackberries myself, but others here love blackberry jam. But, I inherited a tangled mess of a raised bed of thornless blackberries, variety unknown, and last year decided to do something about it. It was a good six feet above the top of the bed and the canes had drooped over and were starting to cover a neighboring bed. It was a nasty mess of canes, weeds and ground bees! Blackberries like acid soil. At least the soil in the bed they were planted in was good – lots of peat moss and manure with some sand mixed in. If you have blackberries, or intend to grow them, consider trellising them. (There are different kinds of blackberries, training, erect, primo-cane fruiting – you’ll have to investigate that yourself I’m afraid. from past experience however, I much prefer this thornless variety I inherited – whatever it is!)
First, early spring, I cut the entire mess of bushes back to the ground, leaving a few inches of a couple of live cane.
I dug out the extra bushes so they were spaced about 4′ apart, roughly in two rows. I installed two, rows of tposts and strung upper, middle and lower wire across them and on the ends. Most blackberries are prolific at putting out ******* from their roots and expanding the patch. Therefore, I then put heavy duty, commercial grade, felt-type backed fabric down across the entire bed with landscape staples and heavily mulched it.
Last year I trained select canes across the wires by simply looping them and cutting them back as needed. Last fall I cut back all ******* and anything but what was trained on the wires. Now, I had read that blackberries don’t do well in temps below 13F – but we were colder, longer than that last winter and they made it through fine.
I took the pictures just before I started to do another light pruning. Blackberries put out canes in hot weather that grow enormously fast. If you turn around and don’t keep up you will have a mess again in short order. I can now easily walk down the side and ends of each bed and quickly pick the blackberries without a lot of hassle and time foraging about. Jam jars are already stacking up. Try it!
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.August 17, 2014 at 6:43 pm #22274
tweva they look so good! I have a plant here but will not give fruit.August 17, 2014 at 7:24 pm #22292
Freedom I don’t know what variety you have. But blackberries grow on the second year cane. After the berries are harvested the second year, you cut out that cane as no blackberries will grow again on it. First year canes don’t produce fruit. Maybe this is a problem? Blackberries don’t like wet soil. Sandy with organic matter is fine. Is sand keeping them too wet? Also, they have a bunch of diseases they can get – plant looks fine – grows great but no fruit, or crumbly, other fruit problems. I fertilize mine with 1/4 cup of 8-8-8 fertilizer in spring per plant in a circle around the each plant. In high heat you have to keep them watered. That’s the best I can offer from what I know. HTHAugust 17, 2014 at 11:52 pm #22363
I have a raspberry patch but is is nowhere as neat and tidy as your blackberries. It’s on the list….
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