The Q&A Archives: Growing Blackberries

Question: Please tell us what we need to know about growing blackberries.

Answer: The main thing you need to know is that any leftover jams, preserves, and jellies come to me. But seriously folks, before you plant, it is a good idea to have a soil test performed. Contact your County Extension Office about this, tests are usually very reasonable, and in some cases free. When you fill out the paperwork for the test, let the agency know that you are planning to grow blackberries. That way, they can recommend specific soil amendments (if necessary). Blackberries, like most fruits, need full sun. They also will want well drained soil but need to be well watered. Blackberries are not as demanding as other berries. Generally, any average soil and average fertilizing will do. They do like manures and mulch, so add plenty of those ingredients to your planting site. Don't plant them where wild blackberries or raspberries grew, they are susceptible to a disease that can lie dormant in the ground where these other plants once grew. Be prepared to prune them annually.

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