Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Take Care of Blackberries

There are two types of blackberry plants. The first are upright blackberry plants that grow upward like a bush, and the second kind are trailing blackberry vines that grow along the ground or up a trellis or wall. Blackberry plants are one of the less common berries to grow in a yard or garden, but they are delicious and produce a lot of berries. They need special attention to keep them healthy.

Plant blackberry plants in a full to partial sunny area with well-draining soil. Before planting, separate the roots so they will spread out more easily, becoming more healthy and producing more fruit in the long run. Plant multiple blackberry plants at least three feet apart with a wooden stake next to the plant, about 4-inches thick.

Tie each upright blackberry bush to the post with a plant tie or string in a loose manner. These help hold the plant up and grow vertically.

Place a trellis alongside the blackberry bush if it is a trailing plant to support it as it grows.

Add a layer a couple inches thick of mulch around the base of the blackberry plant. Spread it out around a foot and a half outside of the plant. In the spring, add fertilizer to the soil to add nutrients to the roots.

Water the blackberry plants accordingly, so they get about one inch of water a week. If there has been rainfall that week, do not water the plants.

Prune canes on the blackberry plants during the first year that produce berries. The second year is supposed to be the first production year. Always trim back dead, broken or diseased canes and leaves.

Tie Up Blackberries

Install upright posts at the ends of each row of blackberry bushes. The posts should be constructed of 4-by-4-inch 8-foot-long treated wood. Dig a hole 2 feet deep and 12 inches wide with a posthole digger. Stand the post in the hole and fill with ready-mix concrete and add water according to package instructions. Place the first screw 3 feet from the bottom of the post. After bearing fruit, these canes will die. Secure new growth with "U" shaped pieces of bent wire. Newly developed canes will bear fruit the following season. After pruning dead canes, remove the "U" stakes used to secure new growth canes.

Garden Guides