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Free Blackberries

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Free Blackberries

Post  greatgranny on 7/10/2015, 9:39 pm

Living in a heavily wooded area has lots of benefits.  Along the edges of the woods are many wild blackberry plants.  They could be a nuisance because I don't control where they grow.  I mow the lawn and let the rest grow. 


This week I have picked only the large ones and have about 3 gallons.  I leave the small ones for the birds and because they are mostly seeds.  Love these for making blackberry syrup and also kefir smoothies. 


One draw back, have to wear protective clothing.  Yikes, the thorns are mean.  My arms look like I have been in a cat fight.  (but it's worth it)

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Re: Free Blackberries

Post  AtlantaMarie on 7/11/2015, 7:39 am

Oh, I'm SO jealous!

Enjoy....  I see jam in your future...... Razz

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Re: Free Blackberries

Post  greatgranny on 7/11/2015, 9:29 am

@AtlantaMarie wrote:Oh, I'm SO jealous!

Enjoy....  I see jam in your future...... Razz
No jam.  I prefer to freeze the berries until I need them for the syrup and smoothies.  Love waffles and this syrup is so simple to make.  I dislike the seeds so I strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer.  The compost pile gets the seeds.  (they have been cooked so no sprouting)

Recipe

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Re: Free Blackberries

Post  boffer on 7/11/2015, 10:35 am

@greatgranny wrote:Living in a heavily wooded area has lots of benefits.  Along the edges of the woods are many wild blackberry plants.  They could be a nuisance because I don't control where they grow...

If your wild blackberries are just a 'nuisance', you must have a kinder, gentler variety.  Around here, during 51 weeks of the year, they are an insidious scourge!  

But come harvest time, hate turns to love.  It's hard to beat blackberry syrup or warm blackberry pie ala mode.    

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Re: Free Blackberries

Post  greatgranny on 7/11/2015, 10:58 am

@boffer wrote:
@greatgranny wrote:Living in a heavily wooded area has lots of benefits.  Along the edges of the woods are many wild blackberry plants.  They could be a nuisance because I don't control where they grow...

If your wild blackberries are just a 'nuisance', you must have a kinder, gentler variety.  Around here, during 51 weeks of the year, they are an insidious scourge!  

But come harvest time, hate turns to love.  It's hard to beat blackberry syrup or warm blackberry pie ala mode.    
Yes, they can be a nuisance until I pull the blade of the mower to the highest setting in the spring and rid the yard outside the lawn of a few.  I need a path even if it grows back almost immediately.  I tend to stay at the edge of the lawn when harvesting but alas, I end up seeing large berries beyond and "bite the bullet".  My forearms are proof. 

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/plant-low-maintenance-blackberries-zmaz07djzgoe.aspx?PageId=1

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Re: Free Blackberries

Post  boffer on 7/11/2015, 11:59 am

Contrarily,

If you have property in the Pacific Northwest, there’s one plant you’ve most likely encountered … and battled – The Himalayan Blackberry.  It’s enemy No.1 in the Northwest... Himalayan Blackberry is now classified as a noxious weed.

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Re: Free Blackberries

Post  AtlantaMarie on 7/11/2015, 2:04 pm

But how do they taste, Boffer?

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Re: Free Blackberries

Post  boffer on 7/11/2015, 3:05 pm

Just like some veggies, some years they're to die for, and some years they're blah.


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Re: Free Blackberries

Post  plantoid on 7/11/2015, 6:10 pm

@greatgranny wrote:Living in a heavily wooded area has lots of benefits.  Along the edges of the woods are many wild blackberry plants.  They could be a nuisance because I don't control where they grow.  I mow the lawn and let the rest grow. 


This week I have picked only the large ones and have about 3 gallons.  I leave the small ones for the birds and because they are mostly seeds.  Love these for making blackberry syrup and also kefir smoothies. 


One draw back, have to wear protective clothing.  Yikes, the thorns are mean.  My arms look like I have been in a cat fight.  (but it's worth it)


 I guess I'm lucky GG,
 I sought out some giant thornless Himalayan black berry plants three years ago.. they were very poor specimens . I had to keep them in buckets as the final garden landscaping stage was not quite ready to put them in .
This year I put them in 25 gallon tubs that I'd put drain holes in , then filled them with mother earth and some spent MM from the end of season green house raised tomatoes .

Giving them feeds and a reasonable amount of water , this year they look like they will be giving us a couple of pints of big juicy berries .
Come autumn I'll be trying to set the two tubs up along the back garden fence panels and put the new growth that arrives into the left side of a fan , cutting the current growth off  once it has bore fruit .Next year the fan moves to the right side & so on.

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Re: Free Blackberries

Post  greatgranny on 7/11/2015, 6:51 pm

Sounds quite ambitious plantoid.  I am at the place in my life that makes me want to not add anymore structure to my gardens.

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Re: Free Blackberries

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/13/2015, 12:46 pm

We had an article here about what a fire hazard they are, too. Old dead canes stay in the interiors of the bushes and are soon all but impossible to get to. The bushes spread outward from each other so that there are all sorts of pockets that flames could develop in that can't even be seen, much less accessed. The only way to be sure you've put out a fire in an area overrun by blackberries is with a bulldozer.

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Re: Free Blackberries

Post  plantoid on 7/13/2015, 3:38 pm

That's why you grow them as fans against a wall /fence and move the fan over each year cutting out the dead wood .

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Re: Free Blackberries

Post  Kelejan on 7/13/2015, 10:12 pm

@plantoid wrote:That's why you grow them as fans against a wall /fence and move the fan over each year cutting out the dead wood .

Is that the same with raspberries?

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Re: Free Blackberries

Post  plantoid on 7/14/2015, 7:32 am

Let me check some of my ancient Raspberry oracles .

 Most of this info comes from a book circa 1964 by " Mr Percy Thrower " .


Note This applied to the general area of the UK

Plant canes Oct to Mar in deep rich soil .
Space canes 2foot apart ' 5 foot between rows  that have 6 foot straining posts with the top wire 5 -6 foot up the straining posts.

Cut canes back to 6 " of the ground in the first year to promote root growth.  Every year after that cut out the old wood out immediately the cane has given up its fruit to you .

once the plant has stopped giving fruit reduce the number of this years canes coming  off each " stool " so that there are only 5 or 6 strong ones left on it .
 
Come Nov or Dec  take out the tips of each of these over wintering canes so that they are just able to poke above the top straining wire
 

Apply a decent mulch of well decayed manure or home made compost in March or April  each year

Water during the fruiting bearing season to get big fruits .

Propagate by division of roots in the Autumn before frost and what ever you do don't go digging around the plants unless you are propagating them lest you damage the delicate surface roots
 use soft string or raffia to lightly tie the canes to the straining wires .

 Yes indeed it does appear that it is the same for Black berry . The only differences I found is that to propagate you take 6 " long tip cuttings and plant them in deep loamy soil during may or June . The other differences are that you do not snip out any of the new emerging canes to redu ce the numbers of the growing new wood tips  but encourage the plant to grow as long as it can . Neither do you snip the tops to to stop the cane growth .
 

You can also " Tip layer " im May or June  using this current years canes to get new plants rooted then sever the new plant to make it independent of the host plant doing this in large plant post  makes it easier to move the new rooted plant .

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Re: Free Blackberries

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