For gardeners, there are few pleasures that equal the fun of raising and tasting homegrown blackberries. They grow wild in many areas of the country, and they’re surprisingly easy to add a blackberry plant to your home garden.
There are some things you need to know, though, so let’s walk through the process when it comes to buying and raising blackberries.
The first thing you need to know is that those gnarly vines you run into when you pick wild blackberries aren’t necessarily part of the drill when it comes to raising your own blackberries. There are now thorn-less varieties being sold to take the pain out of the process.
Climate-wise, blackberries tend to prefer warmer days, with a cool-down at night. When it comes to the planting, they can be situated upright or semi-erect, and they can also be planted so that they’re trailing when they emerge.
The berries the plants produce are typically larger than those found in the wild. As a general rule, blackberries tend to thrive during the winter as well, so don’t hesitate to dive in if that’s a potential issue for you
If you’re after prolific amount of fruit, semi-erect blackberry plants are probably the best choice. The flavor can range from tart to very sweet, and they tend to produce the largest berries of the three types as well.
For better or worse, blackberries do require some planning. It’s best to prepare a planting site a year ahead of any expected yield, and you may want to plant them away from the rest of your garden if you already grow tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, eggplants and potatoes.
When you do lay out your site, make sure it gets a lot of sun. Light and heat are essential to fruit production, so if you put them in a shaded area, it will definitely lower your yield.
As for the soil itself, you need to plant them in sandy loam that drains well, and ideally the soil should have a pH in the 5.5-6.5 range. If you don’t have great drainage, try to grow your blackberries in a raised bed that’s large enough to accommodate the root system, and you can build a trellis or add a system of training wires, depending on your preferences.
Once you’re set up, one of the most important things to remember is to get plants that are certified as disease-free. You can get more information about this from Chris Bowers & Sons by going to https://www.chrisbowers.co.uk/, and you can also get answers to any other blackberry growing questions you may have.