The blackberry plant is a berry-producing bramble that is tolerant of hot temperatures. The plants are easy to grow and maintain with supplemental water provided during dry weather. Blackberry plants are available as either a trailing or an erect cultivar with the erect variety requiring less maintenance and growing area. Do not plant blackberries in an area where potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes or peppers were grown in the past five years as they harbor a fungus that is lethal to blackberry canes.
Choose a blackberry growing location that has a minimum of six hours of full sunlight and a well-draining soil, such as sandy loam.
Work 3 to 4 inches of organic compost or peat moss into the soil with a tiller one month prior to planting. This will increase the nutrient and water-draining properties of the planting area.
Test the soil pH at least two weeks prior to planting to verify it has a pH of 5.0 to 7.0. Work ground rock sulfur into the soil to lower the pH number if needed. Water the soil generously to assist with amendment absorption and let it rest for two weeks.
Prepare the planting bed by creating rows 4 feet apart. Dig a 2- to 3-inch-deep hole that is wide enough for the roots to spread out. Set the blackberry cane roots into the hole and cover gently with soil. Lightly tamp to hold in place. Space the blackberry canes 2 feet apart in the rows.
Water the soil well after planting. Cut the blackberry canes to 4 inches in height to promote new growth.
Apply 3 to 4 inches of straw or pine bark mulch around the canes to limit weed growth around the plants. Pull weeds as they grow around the plant, because they will compete for nutrients and moisture.
Provide the blackberry canes with 1 inch of water each week during the growing and fruit production season when the rainfall amounts are low. Do not let the soil dry during this period, as it will decrease berry production.
Fertilize the blackberry canes with a 10-20-10 fertilizer in the spring after planting the canes. Do not apply fertilizer during the planting year.