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Blackberries prefer soil that is enriched with humus Leaves, weeds, straw or any healthy pruning’s from other plant. A continuous mulching may save the gardener the time usually dedicated to watering and weeding.

Blackberries propagate by means of suckers that arise from the underground root system. A 4 to 5 “ sucker planted in late spring will bear fruit the following year.

New canes can be planted in spring or early fall. Fall plantings should be protected with a good covering of mulch such as straw.

Pruning in spring after harvest will give the plant greater effort toward nice canes for the next season. The canes that have just borne and the very spindly new ones should be cut out. The plant is going to produce next year’s crop on new wood that it will produce after harvest. Early, early spring pruning is also necessary.  Cut back the laterals about half of their length to keep the plant in a close growth.

Berries are not ready to be plucked from the vine until they first turn black. When fully ripe the core is soft and hardly detectable.

A fertilizer that is satisfactory for you garden(12-12-12 or 8-10-8) will be good food for your patch and it will profit for OLD manure. Any type is fine however chicken (or poultry) is very strong and should be used sparingly.  In general, blackberries are the most productive bramble fruit, followed by black or red raspberries.  But in all cases, good care is the most essential thing, along with the free use of compost and mulches to maintain the organic content of the soil.

Mays Greenhouse ©2010