How to Plant BlackBerry Plants
Blackberry plants produce berries during their second year. If you are planning to grow blackberry shrubs in your garden, make sure that the space you intend to grow them in has not been previously used to grow peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, or strawberries over at least the last 3 years. This is because the abovementioned plants are susceptible to certain pests and infections, which could prove to be fatal to blackberries. Moreover, blackberry shrubs have an average lifespan of 15 years; therefore, it would be wise to reserve a dedicated space for these plants to flourish well in your garden.
Where to Grow
Blackberries thrive in well-drained sandy-loamy soil. These shrubs need to be planted in areas that receive full sunlight; this will help them reward you with a good yield of fruits. Though some amount of shade is tolerable, it is not advisable if you want to harvest fruits of high good quality. Thus, it is vital that you choose an area in which the shrubs would receive the maximum amount of sunlight. Prepare the soil at least 15 days prior to planting. Loosen it, remove any apparent debris (roots, plastics, or rocks), and add plenty of manure to it for the best results. The soil should be slightly acidic with a pH between 5.5 and 7. You should avoid planting these shrubs in low-lying areas where the soil retains water for long periods of time or where frost can settle during winters. The roots of blackberry plants tend to get damaged as a result of soil wetness.
What Variety to Choose
In the absence of ideal conditions, opt for thorny varieties of blackberries as they are known to thrive even in adverse conditions. Some of the most popular blackberry cultivars available in the market include Boyne, Festival, Killarney, Nova, and Regency. People residing in regions that lack ideal conditions should choose to grow the Himalayan Giant variety of blackberries as it is capable of overcoming adverse conditions. If you want to create a blackberry hedge, choose trailing varieties, and if they are being planted as any other fruit plants, go for erect ones.
The ideal planting season for blackberries is immediately after the end of the winter season till mid-spring. If you wish to use blackberry shrubs to create a garden hedge, you could follow the below procedure.
- For hedges: For hedges, place the cultivars at least a foot deep in soil. Ensure that there is a distance of at least 10 feet between plants so that they can grow well and receive enough sunlight. Place wooden posts 6 feet away from the plants and run wires between them to support the plants as they grow. As soon as a new stem develops, wind it around the wire so that the blackberry trailer starts occupying the available space. Remove all vines and weed trailers at regular intervals.
- In the Garden Bed: Dig foot-deep holes in the ground and place the cultivars in them. The holes should be at least 6 feet apart. Use supporters to allow the shrubs to grow on them; this will allow the area just below the plant to remain airy. This would also help prevent fungal and pest infections.