Blackberry plants are available in three types: erect, semi-erect and trailing. The trailing blackberry category encompasses a few other lesser-known berries, including boysenberry, marionberry and loganberry. Blackberries are hardy throughout the U.S., but if you live in a place with harsh winters, erect blackberries tend to be the hardiest. Trailing blackberries can overwinter in these areas, provided you mulch them thickly in late fall. Buy blackberries suited to your area for best results.
Test your soil. Home test kits are available from garden supply centers but do not yield as thorough results as your local cooperative extension office. Submit soil samples to your local cooperative extension office according to their specifications; specifications may vary by locality.
Consider the area you have available for planting blackberries. Select an area that gets good drainage, has soil with slightly acidic to fairly neutral pH (5.5 to 7.0), and receives full sun or only partial shade.
Consult your local cooperative extension office for a list of blackberry varieties known to thrive in your area. Select from a wide variety of cultivars according to personal taste, no matter where you are located in the country.
Visit nurseries and garden specialty shops in your area. Speak to the people working in these shops, who in all likelihood have specialist knowledge about locally successful blackberry cultivars. Avoid large home improvement centers with garden supply sections until you know specifically what you want.
Decide how much work you want to do if you live in an area with harsh winters. Choose erect blackberry cultivars if you want to do the least amount of work possible. Choose trailing or semi-erect cultivars if you do not mind the chore of mulching deeply every fall.