How to Grow Blackberry Fruit

Overview

Growing your own fruit is not always a practical option, as many common fruits grow on trees. If your yard does not have room for fruit trees, and you do not have the patience to wait for the tree to bear fruit, an option is to grow berries, such as blackberries. There are several varieties of blackberries, some of which are trailing, while others are erect, as they grow on supports or trellises and are more tolerant of colder climates. The ideal variety will depend on your climate zone, which will influence the ideal time for planting.

Step 1

Select an area of the garden that receives full sun. Avoid areas where peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries or other cane berries have been grown in the last three years.

Step 2

Avoid any area of the garden where water runoff might pool or where the soil tends to be soggy, as blackberries prefer fertile, well-draining soil and dislike sandy or clay soils.

Step 3

Remove weeds from the area before preparing the soil.

Step 4

Till the soil and add organic matter such as compost during the summer or fall before planting, approximately two to three bushels per 100 square feet. Add about 1 lb. of 5-10-5 fertilizer to a 100 square foot site, if the soil needs additional enriching. Take a soil sample to determine the soil's needs, as blackberries grow best in a pH of 5.5 to 7.

Step 5

Space the plants 4 to 10 feet apart in rows, depending on what variety of blackberry you are growing. Rows should be spaced about 9 feet apart, give or take 1 foot.

Step 6

Irrigate the blackberries with about 1 inch of water each week, from mid-June and through harvest. Add more water, if necessary, in excessively warm climates.

Step 7

Prune the top 1 or 2 inches from the plant during the summer, when the plant reaches 3 feet tall, to promote outward growth.

Step 8

Harvest ripe berries at least once a week, breaking the berries from the vine rather than pulling.

Things You'll Need

  • Tiller
  • Organic material
  • Fertilizer
  • Garden hose
  • Garden shears

References

  • Oregon State University: Growing lackberries in Your Home Garden
  • LSU Ag Center: Growing Blackberries for Fun and Profit
  • Iowa State University: Growing Blackberries in the Home Garden
Keywords: growing blackberries, blackberry garden, planting blackberries

About this Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University of Fullerton.