Grow your own blackberries

I recently bought blackeberry plants for the back yard. I have a large wild blackberry patch on top of the hill but it’s 3/4’s of a mile from the house and for a quick handful of berries it’s nice to have a small patch in the back yard.

By growing your own blackberries you will have fresh berries on hand for several weeks and  you will know exactly what chemicals on on your fruit. I use no chemicals on my plants. I believe in chemical free food whenever possible.

How to plant blackberry plants 

There are two main types of blackberries: erect and trailing. The erect variety will take less space, the trailing take more room. You will need to decide which variety to purchase according to the size of your berry patch. Purchase your blackberry plants from a reputable nursery to ensure they are certified as disease free. I also look for blackberry plants that have fewer thorns.

Next pick a planting area in your backyard garden that gets full sun. The area should also contain soil with good drainage. Poor drainage will kill the roots on your plants and slowly kill the plants.

Make sure you weed the area well when you prepare the soil for planting your blackberry plants. This will help control weeds later on.

Plan the space between blackberry plants according to the type of plant you purchase. Leave about 4 to 6 feet between erect variety plants. Trailing varieties have long canes and need 4 to 10 feet of space between each. For both varieties, leave 8 to 10 feet of space between each row of plants. To get an idea on how to properly space the plants I lay them out on the soil and make adjustments for spacing and rows.

Dig out a hole just big enough to hold the blackberry plant’s roots. Set the root system into the hole and cover securely with soil. Water the blackberry plants as soon as they are planted. This will to help set the soil over the roots and prevent air pockets in the soil. I also lay mulch between the rows to make taking care of the plants faster and easier.

Blackberry plants will benefit from being trimmed in the early spring. Pruning removes dead and diseased canes and allows more sun to get to the healthy canes and fruit.

Blackberries are rich in anti-oxidants, fun to pick in the early morning and have that great rich flavor that reminds me of summer and country living.

Tags: selecting blackberry plants, planting blackberry plants

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