Planting Blackberries

Overview

Blackberry bushes can be a welcome addition to your backyard garden, providing you with a harvest of berries each summer. Several types of blackberries are available, including erect and semi-erect varieties, which are self-supporting, and trailing blackberries, which require trellis support for growth. If you decide to add blackberries to your home garden, remember that the plants should not produce fruit in their first year and it may take two or three years for the bushes to develop a full crop.

Step 1

Look for a site for planting your blackberry bush. They grow best in full sun, although they can tolerate partial shade. It's also important to choose a site with well-draining soil.

Step 2

Remove weeds, sticks, rocks and debris from the planting site. You can pull weeds by hand or apply an herbicide if desired.

Step 3

Dig a shallow hole wide enough and deep enough to accommodate the plant's root structure.

Step 4

Place the blackberry bush in the hole, setting it down gently but firmly so the roots make good contact with the soil but are not damaged. Make sure to allow the roots to spread out naturally in the hole.

Step 5

Fill in the hole with the surrounding soil, tamping it down firmly to prevent air bubbles from remaining in the dirt.

Step 6

Water the bush immediately after planting. Blackberry bushes generally need between 1 and 1 1/2 inches of water each week.

Step 7

Prune the bush so the canes are no longer than 6 inches. This will allow the plant to conserve energy and nutrients for berry production in the second season.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not plant blackberries in a site where peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries or raspberries have been grown in the past three years. These plants are all susceptible to the same insects and diseases, which can remain in the soil and affect your newly planted blackberry plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Herbicide (if desired)
  • Trowel or small shovel
  • Pruning tools

References

  • Oregon State University Extension: Growing Blackberries in Your Home Garden
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Blackberry and Raspberry
  • Southwest Missouri State University: Growing Blackberries in Missouri
Keywords: growing blackberries, planting blackberries, about growing blackberries

About this Author

Meghan McMahon lives in the Chicago suburbs, where she spent six years as a newspaper journalist before becoming a part-time freelance writer and editor and full-time mother. She received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University in 2000 and has written for "The Daily Southtown" and "The Naperville Sun" in suburban Chicago.