Posts Tagged ‘blackberries’
A couple of years ago I planted 6 thornless blackberry vines in a patch I had prepared just for them. It turned out not to be such a great place because the nearby trees didn’t allow enough sun to get to the plants and so they grew but didn’t produce much fruit.
Last fall I moved them to a sunny area near the raised vegetable beds. I provided something for them to grow on by driving two pieces of rebar into the ground, one on each end of the blackberry bed and arching a PVC electrical conduit (which I had painted black to blend into the background) over the bed and down onto the rebar. This works great because it is a little flexible and I can pull it down a little so that I can reach the berries.
Apparently the vines are very happy
in the new location because the vines have more than quadrupled in number and are producing prolific amounts of berries. We will have plenty of berries this year. The berries are huge and when they get ripe they are so sweet. I picked a basket full today to make a cobbler. Being sweet is great for just eating raw but for a cobbler, the tartness of the berries is perfect.
I’ll tell you what I’ve learned about strawberry plants since I’ve moved to zone 6. They can be about as fast growing and invasive as Kudzu, you know, the vine that ate the south. When we bought this place there was a sickly little strawberry patch about 2’x2′ and the plants were pitiful, since they were in heavy shade all day.
I designed a little berry patch with strawberries growing low and blackberries on a little trellis (which they quickly outgrew). It is about 10’x8′ and gets sun most of the day. It had a wooden border from 4’x4′ posts left over from building the grape arbor and the deck.
Well…in no time at all they had jumped that border and were headed cross country. I cut them way back, but that only slowed them down for a couple of weeks. Now I know that I have to be vigilant about chopping runners off before they can make it to the border. They do have really good berries, but not as many of them as I would think they would with such prolific plants. I wish I knew what kind they were. Any suggestions would be welcomed.
I learned recently that after strawberries quit bearing, the leaves and runners should all be cut off, being careful not to injure the new growth. Maybe that is part of my problem, I haven’t been pruning them back like that and they just got too rambunctious. They’ve been pruned back now and we’ll see if they’ve been tamed a little.