Imagine fresh blackberries from your garden sprinkled on top of your favorite cereal, ice cream or yogurt. How about making blackberry jam and preserves? Even though growing blackberry bushes from seed is a bit more difficult than buying small blackberry plants from a garden center, you will get more bang for your buck and have more varieties from which to choose. Know that you will not be able to harvest blackberry bushes grown from seed until the second growing season.
Select a cultivar that is considered “erect.” They are bushes rather than trailing vines that need support. Example blackberry bushes include the Cherokee, Cheyenne and Shawnee varieties.
Choose a variety that is right for your USDA plant hardiness zone. Since blackberries grow on old canes, the must survive the winters. Locate your zone at the National Gardening Association website using your zip code.
Consider when the fruit ripens. Some blackberry bushes ripen early in the summer, others in the fall. Select more than one variety to enjoy fresh fruit for an extended period of time.
Calculate how many seeds you need to buy. You will need one plant for every 4 to 6 feet of row. Rows are spaced 8 to 10 feet apart. Buy at least four to five times more seeds than the number of plants you’ll need in the garden. You can then choose the healthiest and strongest plants out of those seeds that germinate for transplantation.
Buy blackberry bush seeds in the fall. Store in the refrigerator for one month before planting them in a cold frame. Transplant seedlings to the garden in the spring after the last frost.