Blackberries are ideal to grow in your garden if your family loves to eat berries because they grow rapidly and offer lots of berries to harvest. They are perfect for desserts, snacks, breakfast, smoothies--the delicious recipes are endless! There are things you should remember when harvesting your blackberry crop.
Make sure you harvest blackberries at the correct time. They should be picked when they are a deep purple or black and are very juicy and large.
Wear gloves because blackberry bushes have sharp thorns and brambly branches that can irritate the skin. Gloves will also ensure your hands don't get dyed purple by blackberry juice. The gloves need to be soft, like gardening gloves.
Pick the berries as gently and carefully as you can because they are soft and fragile. Pick them right at the stems, and slightly twist the berry from it to help loosen up the berry so it will come off.
Place the blackberries in a soft container or bucket where they won't risk being bruised or squashed. The ideal container should be wide, shallow and soft-sided so you can set each berry into it. Keep layers of berries level to avoid any of your blackberries getting crushed.
Watch out for insects or spiders because blackberry brambles are ideal for insects to set up shop. Shake the bushes a little before harvesting from them, and keep a sharp eye out.
Wash the blackberries gently with room-temperature or cool water to get rid of any dirt or smaller insects. Use damp paper towels to envelope the blackberries.
Use blackberries that you have harvested quickly because they do not last very long. If you aren't going to eat the fresh berries within a couple of days, freeze them in plastic bags until you are ready to use them. To help them keep their berry shape instead of freezing into one solid clump, spread berries on a cookie sheet and freeze them, then store individually frozen berries together in freezer bags.