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Has anyone tried growing blackberries?

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Has anyone tried growing blackberries?

Post  ander217 on 4/6/2010, 8:19 am

Our neighbor brought me eight blackberry plants yesterday that came up in their pasture across the fence from their blackberry patch. They are not thornless, but she said they grow huge, sweet berries, and grow very tall.

We're thinking about planting them in a box along the garden fence. Has anyone tried growing cane-type berries in a SFG box? Should they be allowed to arch over, or should they be trained to a trellis? These bear fruit on 2 y/o canes.

Any advice is appreciated.
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Re: Has anyone tried growing blackberries?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/6/2010, 8:25 am

I've never grown them in a SFG box since they grow so large, but I grew mine along a short fence (4' high) to provide some support and then let them flop where they wanted. Wished I still had those particular canes -- awesome large blackberries.

Mel discusses blackberries in the FAQ section -- click on the "plants and herbs" button.

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Growing blackberries

Post  ander217 on 4/6/2010, 9:34 am

Thanks for the info, Belfrybat.

I clicked on the FAQ button on top of my screen, but I didn't see anything there about plants or herbs. Am I looking in the wrong place? (The site I found dealt with questions such as how to post, registration problems, etc.)

I'm just learning my way around the site and I'm still a bit challenged.
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Re: Has anyone tried growing blackberries?

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/6/2010, 10:41 am

Blackberries are not canes. They are vines and to say that they get quite tall is like saying it gets a little windy in Florida during hurricane season. Some wild blackberries are extreemly difficult to get rid of once you have them (birds usually plant them along fences for you) In or along the SFG would not be my first choice for blackberries. If you were to get sick in the spring, go away on business or have any other reason to not give them the discipline required to make ladies and gentlemen of the thorny vines you will have a battle on your hands. I WOULD NOT plant wild blackberries anywhere in my neighborhood, not even in my county, they are SO aggressive. If they are abandoned domestic berries gone wild then I would absolutely put some in--à but not near my SFG.

There is a thread about both cane (Raspberries) and vine (blackberries) that goes into basics of culture but I'll have to have a look-see to find it.

Deborah ….hoping you have a good pie crust recipe!
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Growing blackberries

Post  ander217 on 4/6/2010, 4:06 pm

Thanks for the link, Deb. It was very helpful.

We must have a different kind of blackberry here, because the ones in this area are definitely canes, not vines. They look very much like roses or black raspberries with the arching canes that grow berries on the second-year canes. There is a vining black berry here that grows low to the ground that we call a dewberry. I'm not sure if it's a type of blackberry or is a separate berry altogether. We have lots of wild blackberry patches scattered around our farm, and I love to pick them, but they are small berries and unless grown in shade can be bitter. (I freeze plenty of blackberries each year for my home medicine arsenal. They are great at stopping diarrhea.) They will spread from the roots, or from canes that touch the ground and root, but I've never found them to be particularly invasive. I've tried transplanting them several times to my yard fence, but I haven't had any luck in getting the wild ones to grow.

Our neighbor's plants are from his tame blackberries that spread beyond his garden fence into his pasture. I was in hopes that I might have better luck growing the tame berries in a SFG box placed next to a hog panel, so they could arch over the fence. Our sheep would take care of any which spread into the pasture. I'm not sure if a box would allow enough spreading to send up new canes each year, but it would be nice not to have to weed under the thorny briars.

(BTW, I have a GREAT piecrust recipe - it's made with home-rendered lard and butter.)
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Re: Has anyone tried growing blackberries?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/6/2010, 10:31 pm

The info I directed you to is on the main website, not this forum. Sorry for the confusion. Goto www.squarefootgardening.com. Click on help and FAQ, then on Plants and herbs. That will take you to my most used page!

And yes, blackberries are canes not vines. Dewberries, which are sometimes confused with blackberries are vines and will take over as Deb mentioned. Blackberries usually will not grow more than 8' tall, which is why I grew mine along a low fence. Although they take up too much room to go into SFG, they are a wonderful addition. Just make sure to amend the soil with lots of compost and if you are in an alkaline soil, add an acidifier. I use cotton burr hulls and pine mulch.

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growing blackberries

Post  ander217 on 4/7/2010, 7:36 pm

Thanks for that link, Belfrybat. Not sure how I missed it before, but it will be one of my favorites, too.

From the way Mel described training blackberries to grow up a trellis and snipping out runners, it sounded to me as though he was describing a vining-type berry, too. Maybe different regions of the country refer to different plants as blackberries. In my area of the Upper South, blackberries are canes, dewberries are vines.

(And they both make good cobblers!)
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Re: Has anyone tried growing blackberries?

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