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How and where to plant your Blackberry bush

Care of Blackberries In

Soil Preparation
Two or three weeks before planting, dig the soil over and incorporate as much organic matter as possible. The aim is make the soil able to retain the moisture which will see the blackberries through the summer with little or no need for watering.

When To Plant A Blackberry Cane
The best month to plant blackberry canes is mid-October - the soil is still warmish, but there is also sufficient moisture in the soil to keep the newly planted canes happy.

If you miss mid-October , don't worry, any time up to mid-March is OK as long as the soil is not frozen or water-logged.

How to Plant A Blackberry Cane
First decide how far apart to plant the canes. This varies considerably depending on the variety being planted. The strong growers such as Himalaya Giant and Bedford Giant should be planted about 4m (13ft) apart. Medium strength growers such as John Innes, Merton Thornless and Parsley-Leaved need to be planted about 2.5m (8ft) apart. The less vigorous growers, such as Merton Early need about 1.2m (4ft) between plants. Ask your garden centre for advice if in doubt.

When planting the canes, keep the crown of the roots level with the soil surface. This normally means digging a broad hole about 12cm (5in) deep. Spread the roots out into the hole and cover them in crumbly soil, firming it down with your hand. When planted. water well to provide moisture in the initial stages of growth. Cut the plants back to a good bud about 30cm (12in) high.

Immediately after planting (before if you want), trim the canes to a length of 25cm (10in). It's tempting to leave the canes longer, hoping they will produce fruit next year, but this does not pay off in the long run.

Supporting and Pruning Blackberries
Many complicated articles have been written on how to train and support blackberries. In fact, blackberries have only three main needs that make support and training important - light, circulating air and removal of last year's fruiting stems. 

As far as pruning is concerned, it's simple. As soon as the blackberries have been picked, cut the stems which have produced berries this year to ground level. Don't prune any stems which have not produced fruit this year, they will be the ones which produce blackberries next year. With thorny, strong growing varieties a good pair of gardening gloves (strong trousers and shirt as well, if you have them!) are essential. If you have the time, during mid-April have a good look at the new stems and cut back maybe 25% of those which are growing very vigorously.

Supporting blackberries is not essential with the stronger growing varieties, although all blackberries appreciate a modicum of support. The idea behind supporting them is to permit a free circulation of air within the plant, thus helping prevent disease in general. 

The best way to do this is to put wooden posts into the ground every 2m (6ft) and run wires between them at 70cm (2ft) heights up to 2m (6ft) high. As the new stems grow, tie some of them into the wires. The result will be that some stems will be unsupported and form a natural arch over the ground, whereas others will be tied to the supports and grow slightly higher. This will result in less congestion at the centre, promoting greater circulation of air and exposing much of the plant to the sun. If you have the time to support all the stems, so much the better.





Name: jim@GardenAction
E-mail: Private
Date posted: November 16, 2011 - 05:41 pm
Message: If there are too many, transplant whole plants in autumn or spring and trim back branches.

Name: helen
E-mail: Private
Date posted: November 16, 2011 - 08:49 am
Message: There are too many blueberry trees in my friends garden... I would like to learn how can I plant one from that trees? Is it possible to plant a branc from it? And which weather I should plant it. Thanks...

Name: jim@GardenAction
E-mail: Private
Date posted: November 15, 2011 - 05:50 pm
Message: Cut back the canes after fruiting in the autumn. Leave the new growth to flower and fruit next season.

Name: Katherine
E-mail: Private
Date posted: November 15, 2011 - 11:39 am
Message: So, cut back right away after planting in the fall? When will the first bloom occur?

Name: jim@GardenAction
E-mail: Private
Date posted: November 10, 2011 - 02:01 am
Message: Like all fruit, blackberries like a sunny sheltered position.

Name: Ruth
E-mail: Private
Date posted: November 09, 2011 - 04:03 pm
Message: It seems like a lot of work w/the tying plus the the thorns are quite intimidating..but I love Blackberries location ??? where do I plant them in sun ,filtered, shade...I live in so.west Fla.?????

Name: jim@GardenAction
E-mail: Private
Date posted: October 23, 2011 - 04:33 am
Message: Fall is the best time for planting, settle them in before it gets cold. Next year they should get going. Dig the soil deep, add plenty of humus and a bit of general fertiliser, water well.

Name: Tom
E-mail: Private
Date posted: October 22, 2011 - 03:36 pm
Message: I am about to plant 8 bushes. Is it ok to plant them in the fall. And do you have any fall planting tips?? Thanx!!

Name: gillian leakw
Date posted: October 10, 2011 - 06:29 am
Message: started growing black berries for the first time and well pleased with the results.

Name: ron phillips
Date posted: July 05, 2011 - 10:54 pm
Message: the cain on my marion berrys grow and then they die and the next year they start growing again .i train the cain,and ive studyed alot on this.i have done this for two year now and no go.please help.the plants are really nice when they come back.

Name: brendan thomas ryan
E-mail: Private
Date posted: July 04, 2011 - 01:09 pm
Message: can you grow blackberrys in a pollytunnel

Name: Nancy
Date posted: June 30, 2011 - 09:35 pm
Message: It is my first time plnating blackberries and I would like to know if I can grow them on a hill. we have a hill beside our house and it is hard to cut and hard to grow any thing there. It is facing south.

Name: Krystal Joslyn
Date posted: June 18, 2011 - 10:17 am
Message: I have blackberry bushes that have produced well for about 5 years. This year many of the new shoots are dropping off and dying so the bushes are very thin. also many of the original plants have are now dead and only new bushes are there and just not as healthy as in the past. I have mulched around the bushes with dead leaves to help retain moisture.

Name: Nikki
E-mail: Private
Date posted: May 15, 2011 - 01:34 pm
Message: When purchaseing blackberry and raspberry plants do you need a male and female plant? If so how do you tell the difference

Name: Jerry Nelson
Date posted: November 12, 2010 - 07:28 am
Message: I am growing a few blackberries. I refer to this web site for info. Thanks