The blackberry plant is a perennial that produces a large black segmented berry often used in pies, wine and jam. The berries are loaded with vitamins, such as Vitamin C and Vitamin K, and are an excellent source of dietary fiber. Blackberry plants generally do not produce fruit until they are a few years old. Blackberries are easy to grow and grow best in soils with a pH of 5.6 to 6.2.
Prepare the soil for planting for your blackberries. Test the soil for acidity and add limestone if you need to increase the pH. Apply a layer of nitrogen fertilizer if the pH is too high. You may use a manure compost.
Plant the blackberry bushes in late April or early May. Do not plant when there may be the threat of frost. Frost and cold weather will destroy your crops. Blackberries prefer to grow during the hot summer months in partial shade.
Space each plant at least 5 feet apart and plant the rows at least 10 feet apart so that you will have enough room between each plant for picking the fruit. Blackberry plants will spread out. You want to leave enough room to work and enough for the plants to grow. Each plant should be placed in the ground the same depth of the pot that the blackberries were in. This will usually be about 6 six inches.
Place a trellis next to your growing plants. This will keep the plants upright and make it easier to pick the berries and keep them off the ground. You can make a good trellis by positioning wood supports (small posts) in the ground and running wire at the top of the posts.
Apply fertilizer in early April or when you begin to see new growth. Use 5 to 6 pounds of 10-10-20 fertilizer per every 100 feet. (This kind of fertilizer is 10 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphorus and 20 percent potassium.) Manure fertilizer should be applied late in fall after the berries have all been harvested and right before the plant becomes dormant. Do not apply a nitrogen fertilizer in the spring. This can cause your blackberries to bloom late and they will not produce as much fruit.
Give your blackberry plants about an inch of water every week. The plants will have to get enough water, especially during dry months, to make a healthy berry. For extremely dry months you may need to add additional water.