Blackberries are a delicious summer treat. Picking your own blackberries might seem like a tiresome chore, but you can quickly fill up your container if you know the best way to pick these juicy berries. You’ll soon have more than enough for a blackberry pie or cobbler. Pick-your-own farms are your best bet for finding an abundance of ripe berries. June and July are the best months for picking blackberries in the U.S.
Gather your supplies ahead of time. If you are heading to a "pick-your-own" farm, call ahead to find out if you need to bring your own containers. If you're offered the option of bringing your own containers, save time waiting in line to rent and return the farm's buckets and get started picking much quicker. The best containers for blackberries are wide and shallow. Don’t pack your blackberries more than 5 inches deep, as the ones on the bottom will bruise.
Look for blackberries that are plump and dark. If the berry has red-tinged drupelets, it’s not ready to be picked. Blackberries will not ripen once picked, so you’ll be wasting your time if you select berries that aren’t ripe yet.
Bend down and look up at the plant from underneath. This angle will reveal berries that others have probably missed. By doing this, you can save yourself the time and trouble of scanning plants for the same easy-to-see berries that may be picked over already, and you’ll fill your container much quicker.
Look for gaps in the bushes where you can easily reach through to pluck blackberries without scratching your hands. You can also wear a pair of work gloves or gardening gloves to prevent scratches if you feel that these don't hamper your dexterity too much. This will save you time otherwise spent delicately maneuvering between thorns and speed up the picking process. Some varieties of blackberry plants do not have thorns, so this might not be a problem.
Store your filled containers in a cool shady spot while you fill new ones. Keep your blackberries out of the sun as much as possible. Only pick as many blackberries as you will use in the next two to three days, as they spoil quickly.
- Freeze blackberries that you don't plan to use in the next few days.
- Don't wash your blackberries until you are ready to eat them. Washing them too soon can cause them to spoil.
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