How to plant blackberries:
Before you start planting, choose a site that has full sun. The soil should be rich and drains well. When planting, place bushes 6 feet apart. If planting in rows, plant each row at least 8 feet apart. Crowding is never a good idea when planting any type of berry bush.
Dig the hole about 8 inches deep, add the plant, and gently cover it with soil. There is no need to fertilize at this time, just do a generous initial watering.
Growing blackberries in containers is possible, but you need to use a sizable container. Only plant one bush per container, and make sure you can dig a good 12-18 inches deep and the width of the pot is at least 18 inches. Also, be sure there is proper drainage.
How to care for blackberries:
You want to be sure you keep weeds at bay. You can do this by picking weeds when you see them as well as covering the area around the bushes with mulch. Water your blackberry bushes with at least 1 inch of water per week, and always check to make sure the soil is moist. Prune away any branches or greenery that appears to be dead or diseased.
General tips for producing a good crop:
Light netting can be used to protect the bush from animals that may want to nibble on it. When you see shoots come out of the bush, go ahead and remove them. This will help the bush focus its energy elsewhere.
If your blackberry bush can use a boost, you can fertilize 3-4 weeks after planting. A basic garden fertilizer will do. Just follow package directions.
When and how to harvest blackberries:
Blackberries are ready to pick when they are a deep bluish black, full, and fall easily from the branch. Pick often and when you do, leave the green top intact as much as possible. Don’t be concerned if you don’t see blackberries the first year you plant, as they may take several years to appear.
How to divide blackberries:
Blackberries have shallow roots that love to spread out. Be sure you always plant the bushes several feet from each other. Should you find yourself needing to divide the plants, pull up the plant gently so to not disturb the root structure. Remove as much of the root as possible and transplant according to the planting directions above.
Once you harvest your blackberries, you can eat them fresh, freeze them, or even can them. They are great for jellies, jams, pies, and so much more. So give these tips a try, and in no time, you too can be enjoying fresh blackberries.