Blackberry Growing Methods

It's hard to beat the taste of eating fresh-picked blackberries right off the bush. Growing blackberries in your home garden can produce an abundant crop of juicy treats the second season after planting. Pick the best growing method or trellis system to use, depending on the type of blackberries to be grown. The two types of blackberry canes are erect and trailing, and do not differ in taste, appearance or use. The difference involves how much support the growing blackberry canes require. Erect varieties grow rigid and vertical. Trailing blackberries produce longer canes that spread out more.

Hill System

Use the hill system to grow erect blackberry varieties. This growing method requires a single post or stake placed near each blackberry cane at planting. Space each of the blackberry plants 4 feet from each other in rows spaced 8 to 12 feet apart. Bury the posts at least 2 feet in the ground and allow for at least 4-1/2 feet above the ground. This method requires you to spiral and tie the blackberry canes to the nearby post for support. A single wire also could be run to each of the posts in a row and used to tie off the blackberry canes.

Two-Wire Trellis System

A growing method that works best with fast-growing, trailing blackberries is the two-wire system. This is a regular kind of trellis often used to grow blackberries. An 8- or 9-foot line post is buried 2-1/2 feet in the ground at the end of rows 20 to 24 feet long and supported with an end post. Heavy gauge wires are attached to the posts at 3- and 5-foot positions above ground level. Tie the growing blackberry canes together, to the bottom wire and then to the top wire as the blackberries grow. Spread and train the canes back under the lower wire and then over the top wire again.

Four-Wire Trellis System

Blackberries that are trailing also grow well with a four-wire trellis system. The same spacing and posts required in the two-wire trellis system can be modified to include two additional wires. This type of growing method allows you to fan the blackberry canes out as they develop instead of growing the canes together up to the bottom wire. This allows more air circulation and sunlight to reach all parts of the blackberry canes. Place the bottom wire 2 to 3 feet off the ground and the other three wires 12 inches apart above it.

Keywords: blackberry canes, growing blackberries, grow erect blackberry, trailing blackberries

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published in Southwest, Intel, TravelChannel, AmericanAirlines, Poker4Amateurs, AOL, CityGuides, Yahoo, GardenGuides and more. Dilov-Schultheis is an electronics media specialist and has a degree in Accounting.