Growing Blackberries in Burke County

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Blackberries need full sun and plenty of room to grow. The soil should be a well-drained sandy loam soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. A soil high in organic matter is beneficial under non-irrigated conditions. If the soil is not well drained, establish the plants in a raised bed. Prepare the soil before you plant by removing weeds, adding organic matter and fertilizer, and making raised beds if needed.

Plant in spring and build a trellis. Allow three to four new canes per plant to grow to the top wire. Blackberries require about one inch of water per week during the growing season. Harvest a small crop of fruit one year after planting and a full crop two years after planting. After fruit is harvested, prune out fruiting canes to ensure next year’s crop is substantial. Birds, deer, and even bears enjoy blackberries as a tart treat, so be sure to stay out of their personal space when your blackberries start to fruit this summer. For insect pests, spray an insecticide labeled for edible fruit use and be sure to follow all instructions on the product label.

If you’re looking to grow some blackberries, you can order plants from our Annual Small Fruit Plant Sale.