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Blackberry and Raspberry plant care

Palmdale, CA(Zone 8a)

I just love fresh blackberries and raspberries on my strata! My only problem is how do i grow them? I own a blackberry plant but its my first year, what do I do?

Thumbnail by Bloomfly22
No Central, AZ(Zone 7b)

First thing - do not let gardeners think it is a weed and do not let horses eat it. LOL, that is what happened to mine. I have another blackberry and boysenberry plant on the other side of the yard with a little short fence around them that are doing better, but did not bear fruit last year. The miniature pinschers like to dig under that little fence to go through to try to dig under the larger fence to get to the neighbor's yard! We work at trying to prevent that digging.

I sited you on the map and see you are close to the high desert, but are you even higher in elevation?

Palmdale, CA(Zone 8a)

I believe I'm around 2,600. My blackberry plant had fruit on it when it was purchased earlier this year, I pulled the 3 berries off to help the plant establish itself better. Was this a good idea?

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Probably. I find my raspberries and blackberries do just fine (and spread in their second year) without any attention from me. My original 6 plants now fill a space 8' x 20' and I dig up any runners that escape that area.

Palmdale, CA(Zone 8a)

I hope my plant spreads like yours does, it was a little small when I purchased it, but it grew to be 5.7 feet tall. I want it to spread to cover the garden area it's planted in.

BC, Canada

Blackberries and raspberries are perennial plants that bear fruit on biennial canes. Choose a site that gets full sun, Bramble fruits will tolerate some shade, but the more sun they have the more fruit they'll produce, especially in cooler climates. Till the planting area well (remember, this is a permanent bed) and dig in plenty of compost or well-cured manure to provide the right soil conditions: well-drained but moisture-retentive. The soil should be slightly acid; 6.0 is ideal, but plants will do fine in any pH from 5.5 to 7.0.

Plant in early spring in USDA zone 5 and north; in fall or late winter in zone 6 and south. Keep the plants moist until you can put them in the ground, then dig the holes and moisten the soil. Set blackberries into their holes at about the same level they were in their pots; plant raspberries a few inches deeper. Place red and yellow raspberries about three feet apart, plant blackberries and black raspberries about four feet apart, and place trailing blackberries five to six feet apart. Keep rows about 10 feet apart. Cut blackberries and red raspberries back to six inches above the ground, but cut black raspberries to ground level. After cutting back, water well.

Apply a thick organic mulch such as salt hay or compost, give plants a constant supply of moisture - especially when they're setting fruit - and top dress in early spring every year with compost or well-cured manure. Harvest raspberries and blackberries when they're a deep shade of red, black or gold, depending on the variety. Don't tarry in getting them off the plants or the birds will beat you to it.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Also, watch for Corgis. One of mine loves fruit and will eat the blackberries right off the bush, thorns or no thorns! The little imp =D!

And yes to the thick organic mulch. Pull it away from the canes if you notice mice nibbling away. They usually only do this in winter.

North Port, FL(Zone 10b)

I live in North Port FL and my Blackberries and raspberries grow ok but they do not produce much fruit. They are both 2 yrs. old Any suggestions.
And my BLUEBERRIES, I have planted in the ground where there is a lot of pine and oak leafs, I have given them fertilizer for azaleas, is their anything else I should be doing? Thank You Robin

No Central, AZ(Zone 7b)

I am not sure about blackberries in FL. In my mind I have visions of them growing wild in the northern climates. I have heard they grow fine here, even though we get dry 100+ temps sometimes in the summer (spring, fall....).

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

I'm in NE Texas. Very hot and humid summers here. Blackberries are grown all around here so I would think you would be OK in your area as well. In fact, the wild ones can grow rampant in the pastures. Mine took a couple of years to really get going. They fruit on new growth, so don't cut back the new canes. You might check which variety you have as some are more suited to the southern climate. I got mine from Berries Unlimited, but they are readily available at our local nursery. I found that the Berries Unlimited website has all sorts of really good info for us newbies in the fruit growing game. Also, they are not too far from where my older son goes to college, so there is a potential road trip to look forward too.

I've read that raspberries can have problems in the heat and so, as I'm just getting started with various fruits, I have avoided planting them. This may not be correct as I got that idea from the local co-operative extension agent. He is very good with veggies and livestock, but kind of weak in the fruit department and tells me to check online. Perhaps someone else in the hot south has them?

As for the blueberries, it sounds to me like you've got them ready to go. They just need some time to settle in and routine watering. Also, I've had a problem with my resident Southern Mockingbird family. I love them, but they actually sit and watch a particular fruit ripen. I will come home from work one day and know that the much anticipated fig or whatever must have reached it's ultimate ripeness because it will be gone and the Mockingbird family will have moved to the next tree or bush. Perhaps you have a Mockingbird in your yard? =)

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

I'm not sure what raspberries would be best for the hot humid South, but I know who WOULD know. These guys:

EDITED TO ADD: As a general proposition, blackberries are more heat-tolerant and less cold-tolerant than raspberries, but there are plenty of exceptions. I happened upon a New Mexico Agriculture Dept. publication that clearly showed Triple Crown to be the best blackberry for our state. According to the Stark Brothers website, it's good down to Zone 9, so it might be good for most of Texas. But they also list two raspberries that are also good down to Zone 9.

Bramble fruits are difficult but not impossible in alkaline soil. Acid-loving blueberries and cranberries ARE basically impossible in alkaline soil, but they're not even in the same family.

This message was edited Feb 13, 2012 10:05 PM

No Central, AZ(Zone 7b)

Don't cranberries grow in bogs? I tried a blueberry plant in a very large pot so I could give it richer soil and acid lover's fertilizer (we have sandy soil). In it's location it had shade by around 2 or 3 in the summer. It, however, succumbed, alas, in less than a year. But I think they need 2 plants to bear fruit? Although my blackberry and boysenberry have not died, they do not flourish either. Maybe fruit this summer?????

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Well, here is probably more than you ever wanted to know about raspberries. These folks are in Arkansas and, as a newbie, I very much appreciate all their information and advice.

Then, if I were living in Florida, Just Fruits and Exotics is the first nursery I would ask about any fruit. .They list "fuzzy raspberries" and they do list blackberries and I would think if they didn't have your answer they would know where to send you for correct information. Doesn't "fuzzy" make they sound kind of like a muppet?

I do like Stark Bro's. as well.

This message was edited Feb 15, 2012 2:34 PM

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

"fuzzy" raspberries may be wolf berries that grow wild around here. They do look like a fuzzy rasp, and taste pretty much like them too.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Hmmmm! How long or tall to the canes get? Or are they some sort of vine?

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Nope, they just look like wild raspberry canes, same height, same thorns. They don't get long enough to tip root like the Triple Crown Blackberries get...

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Thank you very much of the description. I think I'll look into them. I'm trying to get enough of a fruit garden going to make my own jams and preserves. Raspberries are DH's favorites and it didn't look like I was going to be able to grow them in our new climate.

And thank you to Bloomfly22 for bringing up the topic which led to the research and the phone call to Just Fruits..... It looks like these are my best bet for raspberries in this climate. I'm always trying to learn something new. And Dave's is such a great source of info!

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

WHOOPS... I made a BIG mistake above!

The fuzzy raspberry-like berries around here are NOT wolf berry, but wine berries. My apologies... must be Old-Timer's Disease. :)

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

TeeHee! No prob. =)

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