Do you enjoy waking up to a creamy berry smoothie in the morning? How about having a delicious aroma of a fresh blackberry pie cooling on the window sill?
If you enjoy eating berries, then consider planting some canes in your garden this growing season. People of every age love blackberries, and in this article, we’ll try to tell you everything you need to know about raising and caring blackberries in your garden.
Most berries are a rich source of ellagic acid, which is a polyphenol nutrient that got powerful antioxidant properties. By adding blackberries in your diet list, you benefit from a strong antioxidant effect that scavenges free radicals out of your bloodstream. Free radicals oxidize healthy cells, leading to the sign of aging, such as lines in your face & wrinkles.
Cultivated blackberries are supposed to be more productive & better behaved than their wild relatives, and these blackberries can be trained in a variety of ways. Homegrown fruit always beat market fruit because of its taste and freshness, but not everyone has space to grow a melon vine or a fruit tree. And due to that reason, berries have always been a gateway fruit for many gardeners.
Recommended Varieties of Blackberries
- Usually, cultivated plants produce more abundant fruit & crop more vigorously than their wild cousins. Many thornless varieties make harvesting & pruning easier.
- There are varieties of berries that need less space like Loch Ness 1.8 m (6 feet), Oregon Thornless 2.5 m (8 feet).
- Blackberry like fruits includes Loganberries, boysenberries (noted for a similar flavor like that of a wild blackberry), tayberries & Japanese wineberries (It’s a well-flavored small berry).
Where to Plant Blackberries?
Wild blackberries grow in light shade to full sun, but some of its varieties thrive in full sun. The exception is in the hottest part of a country (Coastal South or Southwest). In such areas, light afternoon shade helps protect plants from getting excessive heat. Prepare the soil so that it has plenty of organic matter, like compost or rotted manure. In this way, you will be able to know that the earth can hold moisture or not. For growing blackberries in pots, use a commercial potting mix that is specially designed for containers.
When to Plant Blackberries
- Try to plant blackberries when the canes are dormant, try to plant in the spring season.
- You can also plant in late fall. However, it’s suggested that you should delay until early spring in the areas where the temperature is shallow.
- Blackberries & their hybrids are all self-fertile, so multiple plants are not needed for fruit production.
Choosing and Preparing Planting Sites
- Choose the site that receives the full sun for the best berry yields.
- The soil must be fertile with good drainage. You can add organic content to enrich your soil.
- Make sure that while planting your blackberries, you’re planting your blackberries away from wild blackberries because wild blackberries can contain diseases that could weaken your plant.
How to Plant Blackberries?
- For erect space cultivars, space plants 3 feet apart and for semi-erect cultivars 6 feet apart. It would help if you spaced trailing varieties 5 to 8 feet apart, and space rows about 8 feet apart.
- Try to plant shallowly, about 1 inch deeper than they were previously grown in the nursery.
How to Care for Blackberries?
- Mulching your plant is very important throughout the season to conserve moisture & suffocate weeds. Must keep a thick layer of mulch surrounding plants at all times.
- Blackberries require heaps of moisture, especially when ripening & growing. Also, do make sure that your plant receives per inch of water every weak &more in hot temperatures.
- Blackberries benefit from fertilizing in early spring with all-in-purpose fertilizer such as 10-10-10.
Pest & Diseases can Affect Your Blackberries.
When raising your blackberry canes, you must look out for diseases & pests. Some common blackberry pests which can affect your rods are raspberry borers & fruit worms. These borers can arrive on your canes and burrow their way into the joints at the plant’s base. And as a result, rods start to weaken, and the leaves begin to wilt. And sometimes, this can affect the plant’s berry production process.
If there’s a run of cold or rainy weather during the summer, check on your blackberry caners after the weather clears. One of the fungi that can your blackberry canes is Grey mold. This disease covers the foliage and berries of the plant, causing it to wilt & suffocate.
Mosaic virus is also a significant concern for blackberry canes, and if this disease gets into your cranes, it could then migrate to the roots, & overwinter in the soil. Another condition that can affect your blackberry can is Blackberry Calico, which can cause faint yellow blotches on the foliage.
Harvesting Your Blackberries
It’s essential to pick blackberries entirely. Eating an under-ripe seed may upset your stomach. Ripe berries that are ready to eat are pulling & plump away from the plant without yanking.
The berries need no further ripening, so you should start picking berries from the crane. If you leave your plant alone in the fruiting season, you could lose all of your fruit & you see all of your hard work landings on the floor.
When picking blackberries, unlike the raspberries, must keep the central plug intact. Always try to harvest your plant early in the morning when the sun gets too hot. By applying this strategy, you’ll be able to get juiciest & tastiest berries from your canes.
Storing Your Blackberries
We suggest you eat your blackberries fresh after picking each day. However, if you’ve got too many blackberries to ingest, store some in the fridge, and freeze your surplus. You can freeze blackberries for up to 6 months, and you will still get their fresh taste.
When planting a blackberry plant, you should mix 70 g of general fertilizer through the soil. And must feed again in early spring with a potassium-based fertilizer. Regular watering your cane is essential. Make sure that your plant is kept moist in their first year.