How to Grow Blackberries

How to Grow Blackberries


How to Grow Blackberries

**Blackberries are a type of bramble fruit.

**There are four types of blackberries: thorny erect types (mainly wild), thorny trailing types, thornless trailing types, and thornless upright types.

**Thorny blackberries have the best fruit quality but are less grown due to the annoyance of harvesting around thorns.

**In addition, thorny blackberries are hardier than the thornless ones.  



**Plant your blackberries in full sun and in well-drained soil. They do not tolerate wet soils.

**Plant blackberries in the fall after the first frost or in early spring as soon as the soil can be worked.  Click here to learn more about what to plant in the fall season. Click here to learn more about what to plant in the early spring season.



**Prior to planting your blackberries, add compost to the soil.

**Do not plant in soils where Verticillium-susceptible crops have been grown (including tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplants, or strawberries) because they are very sensitive to that disease.

**It would be a good idea to add lime (like this) and phosphorus (like this) to the soil the fall before planting. In addition, add nitrogen (fish emulsion works well) to the soil in the spring just prior to planting.

**If you are planting dormant canes, plant in the early spring. Before planting, place dormant plant roots in water to give them a good soak, then plant in a deep hole and replace approx. half the soil with peat moss (like this one). If you are planting first generation plants, which are preferred, plant them as soon as the danger of frost has passed.  



**When watering the plant, aim at the ground, because if the fruit get wet too much, it raises the chance of them getting a disease.

**Weed control is important, especially in the first year. If you apply straw mulch around a new plant, this often helps hinder weed growth.

**You will get a full crop of fruit after about 3 years (though you will get some fruit before that).

**After the first year, very little needs to be done to your plants. Simply add a dose of fish emulsion (for the nitrogen) once every late spring season.

**The fruiting canes die after the fruiting is completed. These dead canes must be removed immediately after fruiting to improve air circulation for the next growth. Remove all dead, damaged or weak canes and thin the plants. Once thinned, remove the top ΒΌ of each remaining cane so that they are sturdy for the next year.

**Healthy blackberries should produce for 10 or more years if they are properly maintained.

**For more information on pruning blackberries, check out this site:  



**All bramble plants should be harvested in the morning, after the dew has dried.

**While harvesting, make sure not to stack the berries too high or the bottom berries will be crushed. Keep the berries out of direct sunlight and refrigerate (or freeze) as soon as possible.  


Have YOU planted blackberries yet?!




This Post Has 30 Comments

  1. live in south Florida,can blackberries do well without a dormant part of time or freeze

    1. Do you grow them on a trellis or on chicken wire or just let them grow?

      1. I just let mine grow wild, along the edge of our woods. You CAN use trellis if you’re trying to keep them under control.

  2. I live in NE PA. my ground is not suitable for growing much of anything as there is rock ledges all around my yard. Do you have any ideas for planter type boxes to grow in? Is that even possible? The front of my house faces South so I get full sun in the front yard, the back yard is full of trees, so almost NO sun. I love raspberries, blackberries and boysenberries……. and of course strawberries…….. Is there any help for my area?

    1. I live in South Carolina, a place of bright orange, hard clay. The only way I can garden here is with raised beds. If you are struggling with your soil, I highly recommend doing raised beds. Then you can plant anything that works in your garden zone! πŸ™‚

    2. I live in WNY. I grow raspberries, blackberries ,strawberries ,blueberries and cranberries in beds 6″ deep filled with compost and peat moss mixture. All have produced well and my garden is 4 years old. I did the raised bed because the builder had left me about 2″ of topsoil on hard pan. Goodluck

  3. I live right under Canada (in the US) and one Spring I noticed this beautiful plant growing next to the porch (it’s a perfect spot. Now 3 years later it is HUGE! We call it the ALIEN blackberry plant from another planet:-) The stalks are 3″ in diameter and had big beautiful fruit this past summer. Thanks for this great article, I needed the advice.

    1. Thank YOU for visiting and commenting! πŸ™‚

  4. I have a blackberry bush in my yard. When we first moved in the thorny bush produced lots of berries. We had to share with the deers, but we all got a few. That was 2 summers ago. How can I get the bush to bare fruit again?

    1. A good pruning might bring it back!

  5. I think this is a great post and I don’t mean to mock the author, just the plants. In the pacific northwest black berries plants are insane and take over yards. I was searching for a “how to kill blackberry bushes” on Pinterest and this was one of the pages that came up.

    From Tom Robbins “Still Life with Woodpecker”

    Nothing, not mushrooms, not ferns, not moss, not melancholy, nothing grew more vigorously, more intractably in the Puget Sound rains than blackberries. Farmers had to bulldoze them out of their fields. Homeowners dug and chopped, and still they came. Park attendants with flame throwers held them off at the gates…

    1. Laugh! What a crazy story! To think that someone might not want lots and lots of blackberries. πŸ™‚

    2. Love Tom Robbins! Blackberries are able to control you just have to trail them each year. Keep the ends of the new canes off the ground and they will behave!

  6. Is there anything that can be done to affect the sweetness of the fruit? Most of the blackberries in my area (south MS) are tarty.

    1. If you can’t do anything about the variety anymore (some types are more sweet than others), you could maybe try and get your plants some more sun? More sun and warmer weather can help sometimes. Otherwise, it’s the type of variety, and there’s not much you can do about it except add sugar/lemon juice to your harvest!

  7. I live in West Virginia. Can wild blackberries be transplanted to a more convenient site?

    1. Sure! Just be careful with transplanting. Make sure you aren’t taking wild plants from a protected area, though! My friend just transplanted wild raspberries and had great success. Good luck!

  8. What is the best way to trans plant blackberries that are established all ready? I have a lot and would like to relocate them for more ease and access to them

    1. It’s best to transplant after they are done giving fruit for the year. Be careful with it! Good luck, and thanks for visiting and commenting.

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