How to Grow Blackberries - Complete Growing Guide


well hello everybody welcome to another

very exciting complete growing guide

here on the mi garter Channel it's a

beautiful beautiful sunny day I am just

out enjoying it so I thought I'd bring

to you all a complete growing guide

because I was looking through the list

and I was reading all of your comments

on the past complete growing guide

asking for suggestions on ones we

haven't done yet and someone brought up

the point that we have not done

blackberry and raspberry yet so today's

episode is going to be on how to grow

blackberries and then the next complete

growing guide is going to be on how to

grow raspberries forewarning they are

both exactly the same but for

searchability I have to put two separate

videos out there otherwise I will get

somebody asking how to grow raspberries

even though we could cover them both in

the same episode and just call it how to

grow brambles so for those that watch

this channel pretty religiously you can

skip that episode I will not feel hurt

but it will contain the exact same

information I promise so only letting

you guys know that so the first thing to

know about blackberries is that you

actually have a very good selection to

choose from there are many many types of

blackberries out there so search around

and find ones that will meet your

criteria for instance we don't like

thorns on our blackberries because with

Geneva being around we wanted really

easy to grow blackberries that that she

could walk up and pick and not worry

about getting you know stuck with a

thorn so we went with thornless

varieties but there are lots of other

varieties out there there are some

beautiful options for those that like

options so we went with a thornless

variety but any variety will still apply

I only say that because I think

oftentimes people just assume

blackberries as being like a single

variety there are hundreds of varieties

of blackberries out there so fun tip for

that for those that do not yet know that

now when it comes to growing

blackberries it could not be more simple

I'm telling you what in fact we actually

did so little to this bed because this

was a this was a pre-existing garden bed

when we bought this houses was sitting

here and they actually had there's a

rosebush there and some other

daylilies and stuff and we didn't really

like how it looks so we move the daily

daylilies off and pretty much just kept

this soil here because we realized wow

this soil is perfect for growing

blackberries and raspberries

so blackberries do not like a super clay

heavy clay soil but they do like to have

a soil that holds onto water very well

and so we put them in this bed that has

a slightly higher clay content then I

guess are all of our other beds have but

what we've gone and done is we've added

about two to five percent organic matter

back into this bed in the form of

compost so what that's going to do is is

going to provide the the organic matter

that every plant needs but the clay is

actually going to hold on to that

moisture very well because raspberries

and blackberries are extremely prone to

drying out if you've ever seen a

shriveled up raisin raspberry that's

because it dried out and so one way you

can eliminate that it's just so common

it happens all the time and you lose so

much fruit but one way you can mitigate

that is by planting them in a soil that

has a ton of organic matter or some clay

and so since we're putting them here we

figured hey it's got the clay anyways

let's just add and it's not like really

heavy clay it's just got some clay in it

so normally would not be as ideal for

other plants but because it holds on to

water very well we're actually using it

to our advantage so that's something to

keep in mind that that raspberries and

blackberries can go in places that other

plants might not do as well now the next

thing to growing blackberries is

extremely important is to note sunlight

so we actually have a tree off to our

left and a tree off to our right but we

have a big opening in the center and

that's going to provide ideal conditions

for growing blackberries and raspberries

so for growing blackberries they really

do like having a period of full Sun but

then having some filtered Sun in between

because the hot day sun's you'll find do

in fact dry out the berries because the

berries that the blackberries and

raspberries don't have a whole lot of

protective foliage and most plants will

actually have

Eve's and their their their main

objective is to kind of shield the fruit

to protect from sunburn

however raspberries and blackberries

don't really have that their foliage is

very sparse since it's a vine and so

you'll find that like we talked about

kind of with drying out just being in

very hot Sun you'll find that the

berries have oftentimes a lot of Sun

scald on them and so you'll find that

giving them any more than eight hours of

Sun is actually kind of it's not going

to do you any good and in fact you're

going to actually suffer in some some

seasons if they're hotter than others

so since I always err on the side of

caution we've given them about five and

a half hours of Sun here so we got that

opening and then some beautiful just

kind of filtered Sun through the leaves

which is just great for growing

blackberries the next thing that I want

to talk about is fertilizing this is a

question that always comes up you know

since they're perennials do they do they

need any specific types of fertilizer

the answer is yes they do need a

specific type of fertilizer since

they've planted bare root in fact I'll

bring you in so you can see what we've

planted here we planted bare root canes

because they're the cheapest option out

there and we want to pull them out of

dormancy this applies to bare root if

you're just planting them or if you're

planting them even from from a plant

that you get from a nursery or even if

you already have them in the ground and

you just want to grow them better so in

the springtime it is crucial to feed

them with a high nitrogen fertilizer so

we've gone through we fertilize every

single plant with trifecta and what that

will do is the plants will take up that

fast-acting nitrogen and it will

kick-start the plant to grow leaves

because if you don't have a very strong

sturdy plant there's really nothing for

it to fruit on and raspberries Mutchler

blackberries much like raspberries and

all the other brambles they will fruit

on new growth so if you have old canes

you'll find that they won't fruit

anything and then you just have a big

tangled up mess of no fruit so the

secret is to boost new growth every

spring because that's what they're going

to fruit on and they'll fruit that same

year on that new growth so big pointer


so how so getting them off to to the

races is a good idea so we've got them

fertilized up blood meal is also a

really good option fish emulsion is a

less potent but still a very good

nitrogen option but something that has

nitrogen in it then come fall around

early October ish I'm depending on the

type of blackberry some will ripen in

October but just after the fruit has

been harvested you want to come back and

follow up with a high phosphorus

fertilizer what that's going to do is is

going to prep the root system for for

winter and to go dormant so since you've

already gotten the fruit off of it and

most blackberries will kind of fruit all

around the same time some will fruit you

know throughout the course of like a

month month and a half but pretty much

once fruiting is done it's done and

you're not going to get any more so you

might as well get it ready for winter so

as soon as you harvest usually in August

August September October are your months

for blackberries pick them off and then

prep prep the plant for winter using a

high phosphorus fertilizer again we just

follow up with trifecta because the

plant will take up that phosphorus

that's in trifecta plus but if you want

another option bone meals another great

organic option and and that's going to

give you a very good source of

phosphorus to prep the root system for

winter now the next thing I want to talk

about is watering

so we also talked about this with soil

but I figured I might as well make it a

topic on watering because we do stuff a

little bit differently here than some do

because it actually really helps us out

so coming in close for this one so I can

demonstrate demonstrate has already done

but I can show you what we've done to

conserve water so that we don't have any

drying out of our berries and fruit and

it's also going to help you save water

during the hot season so coming close

check this out alright so what we've

gotten done is we've planted the plants

slightly below soil level and we've

created kind of a crater here what that

will do is all the water whether it's

you watering or rainfall will actually

go into the crater and soak in being way

more efficient with where the wall

is going and that's you can see that is

extremely effective because we had a

rain about two days ago and I have not

watered these scents and it's still very

very nicely damp which is great and you

can see I mean the outer soil is dry as

a bone I mean it's just blowing away so

we are going to go through we are going

to go through here and mulch this don't

you worry which is a good idea if you

want to helps conserve more moisture and

just kind of keep the soil quality

intact which is something we're going to

follow up and do but but you get the

method here and this is going to really

be a lifesaver for conserving water and

your fruit quality if I don't think I

wanted to talk about when growing

blackberries was soil pH this is

something that you really do want to to

kind of keep up on if you have already

kind of slightly acidic soil that's

going to be great you don't have to do

anything and they'll do awesome but

blackberries do prefer a slightly acidic

soil of right around 6.0 to 6.5 so by

having your soil slightly acidic it's

going to allow the plants the ability to

uptake much more nutrients stay stay far

healthier and disease-free if your soil

is alkaline you'll find that one of the

problems that you have is that the

blackberries will turn dark around the

edges it's a very common problem and

that can be solved by just adding some

soil acidifier some sulfur things like

that and what that's going to do is it's

going to lower the pH again back to

ideal levels and you'll find that that

that those dark edges might stick around

for a little bit but they will recede

and the leaves will turn green again so

I do get asked that a lot too with

blackberries and people often times

panic and and it's really also one of

those things that is kind of it's it's

not a major concern because it's so

fixable and it's not like it's really

harming the plant the only time I would

harm the plant is if you left it for the

whole season like that it would begin to

have some some issues and that stress

would take its toll eventually but if

you leave it for like a month or two

with these dark you know the dark leaves

its are the dark edges around the leaves

it's not going to harm anything in fact

I might even have a some example of one

that I just put in a small

small container to get it kind of

growing and up to size before you

transplanted it I think had some dark

edges so I'll show you that if I have

one aha I did have one so this right

here is growing in pretty average soil

here it's just some native soil that we

dug up and we're really just using this

as a temporary holding space the soil

quality is not as great I'll probably

have to go back and fix it but you can

see here the leaves are very very dark

and that darkness is because of a pH

imbalance if I made the soil slightly

more acidic you'll find that the leaves

will return back to kind of this state

here and even this one is still having

some some pH problems as you can see but

it's not a big deal I'm not concerned

I'm just going to go back here put some

soil acidifier in and mulch with some

some really good finish compost and it's

going to fix all these problems it's

just because the the native soil is

quite clay and that clay has a tendency

to be slightly alkaline and so that's

all it is it's really not a big issue at

all but it's something that you do want

to keep in check so there you go there

is all there is to growing blackberries

I hope you all enjoy hopefully you learn

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enjoyed hopefully you learned something

new and as always this is Luke from the

mi Gardner channel reminding you to grow

big or go home see ya bye