Blackberries can grow easily in a variety of soil and adjust in different climates. These qualities make them perfect for any home garden. It is the best nutritious fruit you can grow in your backyard very easily. Through proper planning, you can get fresh blackberries in the full summer season.
It is an expensive fruit so if you grow it in your garden or yard then you will enjoy this healthy, delicious, and juicy berries free. Blackberries are a good source of antioxidants and fiber.
You can plant freshly rooted cuttings in your yard but choose a thornless variety so you can easily handle the plants at the time of picking.
TYPES OF BLACKBERRIES
There are different types of blackberries found. These berries are part of the rose family and grow on thorny canes. Here are some varieties of blackberries.
TRAILING BLACKBERRY VARIETIES
Trailing varieties can grow up to 20 feet in length. These varieties need support to elevate the canes and can’t tolerate cold. Severe cold weather can kill the canes.
If you grow this variety then you will get large and elongated berries. The aroma and flavor of the berries are excellent and you can’t resist eating them.
ERECT BLACKBERRY VARIETIES
The size of these berries is not too large and their taste is not as good as trailing varieties. But the plants of this variety are hardier and berries are sturdier.
Commercial gardeners provide support for these plants to prevent cane breakage but it is optional if you are growing them for yourself in your home garden.
If you are a home grower then you should prefer thornless Wild Treasure. The other cultivators of this variety are Obsidian, Silvan, and Columbia star.
SEMI-ERECT BLACKBERRY VARIETIES
They need support but the taste of these varieties is not tasty as trailing varieties. The yield of this variety is very high and you can easily harvest them due to thornless canes. Loch Ness, Black Satin, Triple Crown, and Hull Thornless are included in semi-erect cultivars.
PRIMOCANE-FRUITING BLACKBERRY VARIETIES
This variety can produce fruit at the tips in their first year. This variety is easily manageable, the reason is that you can cut them back in each fall and get new canes in the spring season.
They are erect varieties so you will get lesser flavors and smaller yields. The common primocane cultivators are Prime Jim, Prime Jan, and Prime-Ark 45. Prime- Ark 45 will give you a better flavor.
HOW TO PROPAGATE BLACKBERRIES?
The propagation of blackberries is simple and easy. There are many ways to propagate blackberries such as cuttings, suckers, and tip layering but here we are only discussing stem cutting. First, we will discuss stem cutting and after that tip rooting.
BY STEM CUTTING
The leafy stem and root cuttings can be used for propagating blackberries. The best way of growing Blackberry plants is by stem cuttings. Now we will discuss all the steps one by one of propagating blackberries.
BEST TIME TO GROW CUTTINGS
The best time to plant blackberries when the canes are dormant in the spring. You can also grow them in the fall but at least a couple of weeks before the last frost date as high cold kills some varieties. You can get all the information about frost dates from the local nursery in your area.
Blackberries are self-fertile plants so multiple plants of these juicy berries are not needed.
THINGS YOU WILL NEED FOR THIS PURPOSE
Growing blackberries with cuttings is an inexpensive way of growing. So you need a few things for getting your favorite juicy berries. Following are things you need.
- The first thing you need is a 4 inches deep pot or container.
- Soilless potting mix is the best growing medium for developing the cutting for permanent planting.
- Bypass pruners.
STEP 1: FILL THE POT WITH SOIL-FREE MIX
There are different potting mixes available but you should prefer a soilless growing medium because it will help to minimize the danger of diseases and unwanted fungal growth.
A combination of peat moss, coconut coir, perlite, pine bark, and vermiculite will work great. You can also ask any local gardening supply company if you can’t understand the formula.
When your combination of the mix is ready then fill the pot to the top but loosely don’t pack the pot. First, you should ready the pot then cut the branches from your desired plant.
STEP 2: PRUNE THE CANE
The second step is to get a healthy primocane. You need a sharp pruner for cutting. Your cut must be clean and precise.
STEP 3: CUT THE CANE INTO PIECES AND PREP THE STEM
The size of the cutting must be 4 to 6 inches but it is not precise you can also use 7 inches long. Cut the stem, close to a bud is necessary because it will stimulate new root growth.
You need a knife and scrape the bottom inch of the stem. This action will encourage the growth of new roots. Dip the cuttings in rooting hormone but it is not necessary, you can skip it. Two buds should be in the soil and keep at least two to three buds above the surface.
STEP 4: STICK THE CUTTINGS INTO THE POTS, WATER THOROUGHLY, AND KEEP DAMP
It is recommended that dip the cuttings before planting in rooting hormone, this will increase the success rate. Stick the cuttings in the potting mix and water them gently. Keep the soil moist for the development of roots and leaves. After a few weeks, you will see your cuttings start growing.
TRANSPLANTING OF BLACKBERRIES CUTTINGS
Following are easy steps of transplanting the cuttings which are ready for planting.
- The location of your raised bed or garden bed should be sunny. You know at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight is necessary for the healthy growth of your plants.
- Prepare the bed by spreading a 2-inch layer of compost. After that Sprinkle at least one pound of 5-10-5 fertilizer over every hundred feet of the bed. Spade will make your work easier as you can turn the compost and fertilizer. The top 12 inches of the soil will be ready for the growth of developed cuttings.
- After preparing the bed for planting, dig a hole the same size had the blackberry roots. If you are growing more than one plant then there must be space of two to four feet between each hole. The distance between the rows 8 feet apart. Remove the plant from the pot and plant it at the same depth it was growing in the pot.
- After planting water the Blackberry plants so the soil settles around the roots. Your plant needs at least 1 to 2 inches of water weekly. Moisten the soil deeply so your plants will not dry. You can check the soil frequently with the help of your finger, if the soil is dry then water at once. More water is needed by blackberry plants in dry weather.
- For maintaining the moisture in the soil, you can spread 2 to 4 inches of mulch over the surface of the soil. This will also help to reduce weed growth. Make sure the blackberry stem doesn’t touch the stems. If you see any weeds then pull them to prevent them from forming deep roots.
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THE OTHER SIMPLE METHOD OF GROWING BLACKBERRIES
Besides stem cutting another simple method is tip rooting. You can do it if you already have a blackberry plant in your garden or yard. For this purpose, your plant must be in the ground bed.
BY TIP ROOTING
This method is very simple and interesting. You don’t need special material for this way of growing. For tip rooting, you need the tip of one cane of a plant that is growing in your garden or yard.
Now simply pull it down to the ground. The next step is covering this tip with soil. Now you have to wait for 2 to 3 weeks for the development of the root system.
When roots are completely developed then cut off the tip from the parent plant. Now your plant is ready for growing in this way you can plant many blackberry plants effortlessly.
TIPS FOR PLANTING BLACKBERRIES
Here are some tips which will help for growing juicy blackberries from cuttings. Follow the tips for getting better results.
- After planting blackberries you should keep the soil moist at least for the first two to three weeks. You can use your finger to check the soil if you feel it dry then water it. The top inch of the soil must be moist but not wet.
- If you are living in a dry climate then water the Blackberry plants regularly especially when the plants are new. In this way, they will adjust to the new environment easily. The best time for watering the plants is in the morning. When 2 to 3 weeks have passed then water the plants 1 to 2 inches weekly.
- In moderate winters areas, you can plant blackberries in the late fall or wait for the last frost to pass in the spring.
- Full sun is needed for the best growth of blackberries so you should plant them where they receive at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. If they don’t get the sunlight they will not produce fruit.
- Make sure the roots of the Blackberry are at soil level just beneath the surface.
- Rich and well-drained soil with a pH between 5.5 and 7.0. You can check the pH of the soil with the help of a testing kit. Too alkaline or too acidic soil should be avoided because your plants will not produce fruit properly. You can add lime to increase the pH or if you want to lower the pH then add sulfur.
- When your Blackberry plants start producing then increased amounts of water. At production time you should keep the soil moist. Water will help the plant to produce juicy and plum berries.
- The interesting thing about Blackberry plants is that they are perennial but their stems or canes are biennial. In the first year, you will only get leave, the flowers and fruits will produce in the second year. New canes will start reducing in the next year.
- Blackberry plants will not need any support during the first year; it depends on the variety which you are growing. But trellis is a great option for keeping the plant upright and happy. It is not difficult to make a trellis for your plants; you can also buy it from any gardening store. If your budget is low then you can simply train them on a near fence.