Planting Wild Blackberries

Overview

Wild berries produce food for wildlife, birds, and people too. One type of wild berry plant, the blackberry (Rubus), grows naturally in many locations along wooded, damp areas along stream banks and tree lines. This vigorous variety of berry bush produces thorny, trailing canes that can reach almost 9 feet. The fragrant white blossoms in spring give way to clusters of shiny dark fruit in the summer to early fall. Plant a few of these blackberry brambles in your landscape and enjoy the tasty fruit that they produce.

Step 1

Insert a commercial root barrier that measures at least 18 inches deep outside the edges of your proposed blackberry garden to discourage the spread of your bushes. These brambles require containment to keep them from spreading into other areas that contain flowers, vegetables and other plants.

Step 2

Remove the existing vegetation from the location of your blackberry garden. Get rid of all groundcover plants and weeds.

Step 3

Rototill the entire growing area. Make sure to remove deep roots and other plant debris.

Step 4

Mix together equal amounts of existing topsoil and compost to form a rich, loose medium.

Step 5

Dig holes for your wild blackberry roots. Whether you obtain your new plants from plants found growing in the wild or as gifts from neighboring gardeners, these plants normally arrive in the form of root divisions, rather than seeds. Make your holes large enough to allow the roots adequate room to spread. Plant the wild blackberries about 4 feet apart in rows which lay about 10 feet from one another. Pile approximately 2 or 3 inches of soil/compost mixture over the roots and tamp down firmly to remove air from the soil.

Step 6

Cut the small stems from your new plants to a height of no more than 3 or 4 inches above the ground. Use sharp pruning shears to snip through the prickly stems. This initial pruning will encourage healthy, new growth.

Step 7

Soak the soil slowly with your garden hose immediate after planting your blackberry plants. Allow the water to dampen the soil around the new brambles until evenly moist. About an inch of water right after planting will create the moist environment these berry bushes require.

Things You'll Need

  • Root barrier
  • Rototiller
  • Compost
  • Shovel
  • Pruning shears
  • Water

References

  • North Carolina State University: Growing Blackberries
  • Oregon State University: Growing Blackberries in Your Home Garden
  • "Principles of Horticulture", C.R. Adams, 2008

Who Can Help

  • Wildman Steve Brill: Wild Blackberries
Keywords: wild blackberries, grow wild berries, plant blackberry bushes

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.