Blackberries are a type of bramble fruit that are easy to grow and keep producing more and more berries each year. There are a lot of recipes that use these juicy, succulent berries. Learn how to grow blackberries so you can have buckets of berries every year.
**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.
Where to Grow Blackberries
**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.
How to Grow Healthy Blackberry Plants
**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.
Keeping your Blackberries Happy
**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 ¼ 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: http://www.provident-living-today.com/Pruning-Blackberries.html
**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.