Choose a well-drained site that receives a minimum of 6-8 hours of sunlight each day. A little midday shade will help prevent sunscald in southern gardens. Use a raised bed if drainage is a problem. Brambles prefer a sandy loam soil that contains lots of organic matter. Adjust the soil to a pH of 5.8-6.5. The plants will not compete with weeds well, so it is important to eradicate all perennial weeds before planting, and mulch well after planting.
Plant brambles in fall or very early spring unless you have chosen plants produced by tissue culture. The young leaves of tissue culture plants are tender and should be planted after danger of frost has passed. Set the plants 1-2 inches deeper than they were in the nursery. Dig a hole large enough so the roots will fit easily. Be careful that the roots don't dry out while planting. Cut the canes off at ground level and burn them to prevent the possibility of disease.
Space the rows far enough apart that you can mow between them without causing damage to the plants or yourself. For raspberries, five feet between rows should be plenty. Blackberry rows should be spaced about 7 feet apart.
Within the row, red and yellow raspberry plants should be spaced 1-2 feet apart. They will grow together to form a solid hedgerow. Blacks and purples a should be spaced 2 1/2 - 3 feet apart. Blackberries spread vigorously. Allow 5-6 feet between plants.
All brambles do best if they are grown on trellises.
- Set 7-foot poles 2 feet into the ground. Space the poles 20-30 feet apart.
- Use three strands of nine-gauge wire for the trellis. The first strand should be 24 inches from the ground. The second strand should be 18 inches above the first, and the third strand should be 18 inches above the second.
- The individual canes must be tied to the trellis.