The Q&A Archives: Edible Berries as Fence Accent/Privacy Screen

Question: Our new backyard has a rather scruffy-looking chain-link fence surrounding it. I don't want to take it down (it keeps our dog in and the neighbor dogs out) and I can't afford to replace it right now. I remember that my grandparent's fence had blackberries growing all over it which made it hard to see the fence. Would blackberries, raspberries, or some other edible berry (or even grapes) make a good fence accent/cover? I'd like to plant them at the posts and let them grow toward each other. Also, the fence is only about four feet high. If I run wires at intervals above the fence, are there any varieties which would grow six feet or more with support? Advice on suitable varieties would be appreciated: I live at the southern tip of Lake Michigan (border zone 5/6). Thank you!

Answer: You can easily grow tall and productive raspberries and blackberries on your chain-link fence, provided the area gets full sun or partial shade, at most. The brambles will grow best if the soil is rich and well drained and protected from dog activity. You can grow grapevines and/or virginia creeper on the fence, too, but grapes won't be very productive unless trained properly, and a chainlink fence won't provide the kind of support they need long-term - and as vines grow into large trunks, they can contort and damage the fence! If you're interested in managing the berries for vigorous growth and fruit production, you'll need to prune out the canes that fruit in a given summer that same fall, leaving the newly grown canes to fruit the following summer. Being deciduous, brambles won't provide much of a screen in winter. For varieties that perform well in your region, you can check with local nurseries or peruse the options from Stark Bro's Nursery, PO Box 10, Louisiana MO 63353; ph# 800/325-4180. If you need any tips on planting/managing your brambles, look us up! Enjoy!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by Char and is called "'Diamond Head' Sunrise"