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Blackberries with strawberries?

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Blackberries with strawberries?

Post  MO UR4Me on 4/8/2010, 9:19 am

I have been given some blackberry starts that I was going to put in one of my new garden beds. However, this site suggests not putting blackberries in the beds because they send out so many roots that they interfere with other stuff when you plant later; which makes sense. The problem is that I don't have a very good non-bed place to put them.

I do have one 9x12 bed that is almost all strawberries (with a bit of asparagus & herbs). So the whole thing is a perennial bed and will not have me digging in it every year. Could I put the blackberries in a line at the back of this bed and just let the roots mix in with the strawberries since I won't be disturbing the soil every year?


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Re: Blackberries with strawberries?

Post  cliftyman on 4/8/2010, 9:43 am

I don't think tame varieties of blackberries are quite as bad as wild but all blackberries get very large and will completely take over an area (at least in my experience).

I'm very familiar with wild blackberries and they will spread by root and completely overrun an area within 2-3 years.

The only people I've ever known to have "tame" blackberries were my grandparents and they had two rows of them... they had to constantly trim them and honestly they weren't near as good as wild ones. They had huge thorns and huge bitter fruits on them.

I'm no expert so don't take my opinion as the gospel on this but I don't think I'd ever considering pairing blackberries up with a SFG.


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Re: Blackberries with strawberries?

Post  rds1955 on 4/8/2010, 11:07 am


I'm planting both Strawberries and Blackberries and Grapes this year, 1st time for all three...You should not plant any of them together too closely... as previously mentioned, Blackberries will overtake and overwhelm an area they are in, no ifs, ands, or buts.. doesn't matter if they are wild or tame, Blackberries will require a constant eye on them to make certain they don't get out of hand...If you are planning on putting them in the same bed as Asparagus, that is a No No....Both require space for their roots to develop, and if you plant them both in the same box, I'm pretty certain the Blackberries will win...

In the Plants Section of the Help and FAQ area on this web site Mel regards Blackberries and Raspberries in the same category and says:

"To answer your question about blackberries and raspberries, we usually keep them away from a Square Foot Garden where other crops are planted. Remember that things like blackberries and raspberries spread underground through their root system and keep coming up where you don't want them. However, you could go ahead and plant raspberries in the same Mel's Mix and we would recommend that you build a long, narrow box (2' wide by however long) and plant only blackberries - 1 per square foot. That would help keep them under control and they wouldn't be coming up in other parts of a box where you had other crops planted. You would want to add more compost to the soil each year to replenish the nutrients. Blackberries would need some sort of support to hold them up as they grow since they tend to spread out along the ground.

Mel suggests not mixing blackberries and raspberries in the same SFG box either. Both plants will send out suckers and try to take over. Blackberries and raspberries will ripen at different times also, making harvesting more difficult. Mel says to think of Blackberries and raspberries more like a hedge, plant your 2x? box with just one kind of plant. Adding a tomato tower will give this hedge more structural support and keep going up, not out as much. Plants take the path of least resistance so if you train them to go up and snip the runners that go out, you can control the shape a bit more."

Hope that helps...


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Bitter blackberries?

Post  ander217 on 4/8/2010, 12:12 pm

Cliftyman, like you I thought I'd never want to eat another tame blackberry after my first taste. The ones I ate were awful. However, my neighbor brought me gallons of her tame blackberries last summer and they were huge, sweet, and had much less bitterness than our wild blackberries. The thorned fruit grows larger than the thornless, with many berries two inches or longer.The only drawback to them was large seeds which bother some people. (I've discovered the more sunlight our wild blackberries receive, the smaller and more bitter the berries, but it didn't seem to make any difference with our neighbor's tame plants.)

I think new varieties of tame blackberries have been developed which are far superior in taste to the old varieties. Our neighbors have both thorny and thornless varieties, and both taste wonderful. They couldn't remember the names of their varieties, but they purchased their plants in Arkansas and had to pay an extra fee per plant for patent charges.


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Re: Blackberries with strawberries?

Post  cliftyman on 4/8/2010, 3:32 pm

In the back of my Dad's fields there are actually two varieties growing... the wild blackberries and ones with much larger leaves, larger thorns and the fruits are twice that the size as the standard wild ones.

My Dad kept telling me not to pick those but I did anyway (getting scratched up really good in the process) and they were good.

I wonder if the birds planted some tame variety back there?

I love blackberries... even if they are a little sour but I've always thought of them as something to plant as a border or in a fencerow and let them take over.

I'll tell you another berry I love... mulberries!


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Re: Blackberries with strawberries?

Post  camprn on 4/8/2010, 4:28 pm

Yum Berries! I would plant any caning bramble berry in a box all on its own. Yum!! Berries. I wish I could grow currants and gooseberries, but I think it's still against the law here in NH. Something about the belief of them carrying rust that attacks the white pine tree.
Here is a nifty berry site: http://www.pickyourown.org/unusualfruits.htm


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Post  ander217 on 4/9/2010, 7:45 am

Camprn, I love gooseberries, too. I'm growing two bushes right now that are descendants of my grandmother's bushes. They've just started blooming. It wouldn't be spring around here without a gooseberry pie. They make pretty, pale pink jelly, too.

Cliftyman, are you associated with Clifty Farms? They make good ham. I'm in southeast Missouri so we probably have a lot of the same plants here that you do. There is a mulberry thread on the forum - someone was asking what to do with them. I ate them when I was young, but ours sometimes have little worms on them, so I leave them for the birds now.


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Re: Blackberries with strawberries?

Post  cliftyman on 4/9/2010, 9:43 am

Nope though I like Clifty Farms hams!

I've had my internet handle for ages.... it comes from the itty bitty tiny spot on the map that I grew up in... Big Clifty, KY

And I grew up playing on the banks of Clifty creek on the back of my parent's farm...


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