Plants grown in a greenhouse must be acclimated carefully before planting or placing them outdoors. This is especially true in hot or sunny locations. Many species should never be grown in full sun. Before purchasing a plant, learn about its sun requirements. Knowing the plants requirements can avoid any damage to the plant by incorrectly giving it the wrong conditions.
If your plant has been grown in a greenhouse, here are a few steps we recommend you follow:
These are general guide recommendations. Some plants take longer than others to acclimate.
The best way to succeed is to plan before you plant. Let’s discuss location: Do you know where you want to plant your new berry plant? Avoid many future problems by considering all aspects of the planting spot, such as:
Is a pollinator variety present? Cross-pollination by a different variety, of the same type of plant, is key to the success of many plants. In most cases, its absence is why the plant doesn’t bear fruit or produces poorly. Most berry plants are self-pollinating, but for a larger fruit and crop plant more than one variety.
Your plant would love a sunny place with well-drained, fertile soil. But it will be quite satisfied with six to eight hours of sunlight. Good drainage is required to keep your plant “happy.” If your soil has high clay content, use our Coco-Fiber Potting Medium or add one-third peat to the soil at planting time. We do not recommend planting berries in heavy, pure clay soils.
Even if your yard isn’t the most ideal location, take heart. Most berries are very adaptable and respond well to fertilizers, so they can get along well even where the soil is nutritionally poor. Just steer clear of sites with extremely heavy soils or very poor drainage.
Once you’ve found out about fruit growing goodness firsthand, you’ll want to expand your home orchard. It’s important to plan so that the future growth areas will be ready when you are.
Few things are as delicious as homegrown blackberries, and the success of your harvest begins right with the planting site and method. For maximum growth and yields later on, give your brambles the best foundation possible.
Before you plant, check your soil pH. This can be done by contacting your local County Extension Office for information about soil testing in your area, or purchase one of our digital meters for quick and accurate results. Ideally, your blackberries need a soil pH between 5.8-6.8. Steer clear of soils that are extremely heavy or very poorly drained.
Preparing your soil before you plant will greatly improve your plant’s performance and promote healthy, vigorous growth. It is a good idea to have your soil tested to determine if it is lacking in any essential minerals and nutrients. This can be done through your County Extension Office or with one of our digital meters.
The goal of soil preparation is to replenish vital minerals and nutrients, as well as break up and loosen any compacted soil.
Soil preparation can be done at any time that the ground is not too wet or frozen. Your trees may be planted even when temperatures are quite cool. If a hard frost is expected, it is advisable to delay planting for a while until temperatures become more moderate. Generally, as long as your soil is workable, it is fine to plant.
Your lawn can provide you with ideal organic materials such as grass clippings and shredded leaves. Not only will the grass and leaves break down to provide soil nutrients, but they will help loosen the soil as well. You can gather these in the fall with spring planting in mind.
Adding organic materials, such as our Coco-Fiber Potting Medium and compost will improve most every soil type. Organic materials bind sandy soil particles so they retain moisture and nutrients better. They also break apart clay and silt particles, so that water can infiltrate and roots can spread.
Fertilizing is an excellent way to replenish the natural nutrients in your plant’s soil. We recommend using Stark® Bro’s Blackberry and Bramble Fertilizer, which is specifically formulated for blackberries.
Every plant has the future potential for disease and insect damage. Factors such as location and weather will play a part in which issues your plants encounters. If available, disease-resistant varieties are the best option for easy care; and for all types of plants, proper maintenance (such as watering, pruning, spraying, weeding, and cleanup) can help keep most insects and diseases at bay.
Plants appear stunted and slow growing; leaves may be reduced in size, little or no fruit. If plant is dead, inspect roots for hard, woody tumors. Note: many things can cause stunted plants.
They are the size of a pinhead and vary in color depending on the species. Cluster on stems and under leaves, sucking plant juices. Leaves then curl, thicken, yellow and die. Produce large amounts of a liquid waste called “honeydew”. Aphid sticky residue becomes a growth media for sooty mold.
Adult is a long-horned beetle. Larvae indicated by sawdust.
Enters through wounds made by insects or mechanically. Cause large brown dead areas (cankers). Often first noticed when leaves wilt and wither. Cut back to below cankers; disinfect shears between cuts with 1 part bleach and 10 parts water. Dispose of pruning.
It is most common on Black raspberry. Reddish-brown sunken spots with purple margins and light gray centers appear on young shoots. Grow together into cankers. Leaves may drop early. Fruit may dry up. Over winters in lesions on old canes. Proper pruning can help control. Always remove and burn old fruiting canes after harvest.
Not common on Red raspberry but serious on all others, especially Blackberries. Underside of leaves covered with orange-yellow spores. Remove infected plants.
Appears as gray, hairy mold on decays blossoms, green and ripening fruits and harvested fruits.
Whitish-gray powdery mold or felt like patches on buds, young leaves and twigs. Leaves may crinkle and curl upward. Over winters in fallen leaves.
Adult is yellow to brown sawfly beetle, 1/4” long. Larvae are brown and white, 1/8” long. Adults make slits in flower buds and larvae feed on berries.
Pinpoint size, many different colors. Found on undersides of leaves. Severe infestations have some silken webbing. Sap feeding causes bronzing of leaves.
Adult is metallic green beetle, which skeletonizes leaves. Larvae are a grub, which feeds on turf roots. Check turf product labels for timing of control of grubs. This is more of this problem is east of the Mississippi River.
Pale yellow or ‘dirty’ green worms. Leaves are rolled and webbed together where insects feed. Eventually becomes skeletonized.
Beetle has 1/2” long, tan wings with reddish-brown edges. Long, thin hairy legs. Skeletonizes leaves and flowers. Present in large quantities in June and July. Worst on sandy sites near grassy areas.
Tiny, slender, fringed wing insects ranging from 1/25 to 1/8” long. Nymphs are pale yellow and highly active and adults are usually black or yellow-brown, but may have red, black or white markings. Feed on large variety of plants by puncturing them and sucking up the contents.
Leaves thicken and curl much like they have aphids. Spread by insects usually from June until plants ready to cultivate. This is caused by a virus and spread partially by Raspberry Aphid, which are hard to control.
Leaves will thicken and curl, display ‘mottled’ color. There will be dark green areas and bright green areas on same leaf. Caused by a virus and spread partially by Raspberry Aphid which are hard to control.
Pruning is an important part of proper edible plant care, but many people find the task overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be! Keep these things in mind:
Spraying is important to the survival of your plants. To handle potential diseases and pests, reference the guidelines below to know what you should spray, and when you should use it.
Before you begin, read and follow all instructions on labels.
Unless you’re in an area where irrigation is usually needed for normal plant growth, you probably won’t need to water after the first growing year. Until then, follow these guidelines to get your new blackberries off to a great start.
Are you ready to enjoy delicious homegrown fruit? Harvest is the time to enjoy the results of your hard work. Keep a few things in consideration as you reap the fruits of your labor: the best time to pick the fruit from your tree, and how to store the fruit.
You can expect your first crop in the 2nd season. For the best flavor and texture harvest your blackberries when it is dry and cool. The berry should look plump and have a dark coloring. Grasp the berry gently and twist, if the fruit releases easily then it is ripe. While picking berries try to keep them in the shade and don’t stack them more than a couple inches deep in your containers, otherwise you will squash your berries.
It is best to harvest every 2 or 3 days, to avoid over ripening or rotting fruit. Blackberries do not keep long after picking, at most 4 or 5 days in the refrigerator.
Annual average yield per plant is around 1 quart.
Refrigerate your berries immediately after harvesting. Do not wash berries until you are ready to use them. Washing makes them more prone to spoiling.
If not able to use right away put berries on a cookie sheet in a single layer and freeze until firm and then put them in freezer bags to enjoy all year long.