Planting, Growing, And Harvesting Blackberry Bushes
It is good to have a landscape with flowering plants but my belief is it is better to have edible plants or plants that produce edible fruits. It is such a great feeling to take a walk in your garden and to be able to eat the fruits of your labor.
Sometimes we spend so much time in our gardens laboring away to ensure that our plants are well taken care of so it is only fair to be able to reap the reward to share with family and friends.
What I love about blackberries is that they are easy to grow which means you can harvest this fruit by following these steps that have proven to give good results. Blackberries are perennials that come back year after year. So you have a tree that can last a lifetime.
There are basically three varieties of blackberries.
- Trailing thornless blackberries
- Erect thorny blackberries
- Erect thornless blackberries
How to plant blackberries
- The location to plant blackberries should get at least 6 hours of full sunlight
- The soil ph should be acidic
- Blackberries should be planted in sandy soils
- Applying organic helps to condition the soil
- Apply about 2-3 inches of mulch to conserve water and suppress weeds
- keep plants moist but don’t overwater because waterlogged plants suffer from root rot
- Applying fertilizers such as 16-16-8 or 10-10-10 can give good results
- Installing trellises for your berry plant is beneficial and is an added bonus
Blackberry plant pests
Blackberries also have their share of pests problems but following these tips will bring insect pests under control.
- Raspberry borers
- Fruit Worms
Chemical control includes the use of insecticidal soap sprays and horticultural oil.
Biological control involves the release of beneficial insects in your garden. For more on how this is done follow the link. Releasing and keeping beneficial insects in our gardens.
Mechanical control is a process by which infected parts are removed or prune and disposed of properly.
Diseases of blackberries
Blackberry disease is caused by a fungus. This disease is known as grey mold that spreads rapidly and can infect the entire plant. Wet conditions encourage this disease.
What is also important to know is blackberries must be injured in order for this disease to take effect so be careful when handling plants not to cause injury. The signs of this disease are water-soaked spots that appear on the leaves. The spots also turn from grey to brown covering most of the leaves. When this happens the leaves will begin to wilt.
Fuzzy spores along with webbing may also appear on leaves. Eventually, the entire plant will be covered with this mass. Action should be taken immediately in order for the plant to recover.
- Control methods involve removing the infected part with a hand pruner and properly disposing of them
- Sterilize your pruner as you make cuts
- The use of fungicides can help in bringing relief
Mature blackberries are firm and fat to plumpish deep black and detach easily when little pressure is applied. The harvest is great so be ready for a lot of picking. I am sure this is music to your ear.
Word of caution
- Ensure at all times that your blackberry bushes are getting proper air circulation by properly spacing and thinning out somewhat
- keep the entire garden area free of weeds and debris that encourages insects and disease
- Don’t overwater because this is also a breathing ground for disease
- Make sure that your plant is injury free at all times
The final word
This is an amazing fruit to add to your garden. I love garden designs that are not only created for beauty but a garden that produces edible fruits that are filled with vitamins and benefits the body in so many ways. The next time when deciding what should I add to my home garden blackberries is a fruit that will make an excellent choice.