Harvesting Blackberry Plants

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, and how to store your harvest.

NOTE: This is part 11 in a series of 11 articles. For a complete background on how to grow blackberry plants, we recommend starting from the beginning.

When to Harvest

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.

Storage

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.

Previous: Watering Blackberry Plants