How to grow blackberries

Among the fruits, the blackberry is one of the simplest crops: it is a weed not very sensitive to pests and diseases, not very demanding in terms of soil and very resistant to both frost and heat.

These characteristics make the bramble a very suitable plant both for organic cultivation on the farm and for small family productions in the garden, provided that the plant is well regulated and tidy, preventing it from becoming an unattractive tangle. .

In this article we discover how to manage a successful blackberry crop in a very simple way, learning from transplant to harvest the main tricks to have and always using natural methods.

Contents [Ocultar]

  • The bramble plant

  • The right climate and the right soil for brambles

    • Growing blackberries in pots

  • Sowing and transplanting the blackberry seedling

    • The cut of the bush

    • How to transplant brambles

  • Bramble cultivation operations

    • burl supports

    • how to prune brambles

  • Ripe adversity

    • bramble diseases

    • Insects, predators and parasites

  • Harvesting blackberries

  • blackberry varieties


The bush tree plant

Blackberry ( rubus ulmifolia if we want to use the scientific name) is the bramble and is part of the Rosaceae family, like other important berries, such as strawberries and raspberries.

It often happens that wild brambles invade uncultivated areas: they cover the ground, not caring about benches and fences, often climbing on other plants. Keeping them in the garden or orchard obviously requires regulating the plant, to prevent it from invading the spaces of other crops. There are varieties of thornless brambles, which are particularly useful in gardens frequented by children, and by choosing these crops you can try self-cultivated blackberries without risking a sting.

The blackberry fruit is usually dark in color, between purple and black, it appears as an aggregate of small spheres called drupes, each of which contains a seed. Its taste varies from sweet and sour to sour and it is perfect for making jams, syrups and cakes.

There is also a tree that produces blackberries, very similar to those of the bramble, the mulberry, which can be white or black, but has no botanical relationship.

Climate and soil favorable to brambles

Climate necessary for cultivation . The bramble is a plant that resists the cold quite well and can be grown also in the mountains, not in vain in Italy the greatest cultivations of blackberries are found in Trentino and Piedmont (in particular in the province of Cuneo) , as well than in Emilia-Romagna. Compared to other berries, blackberries enjoy a lot of sun exposure, which makes the fruit sweeter and more palatable. Blackberries do not like the wind which dries out the plants and can break the branches.

The perfect pitch. Blackberry is a berry that is not very demanding on the type of soil: brambles grow everywhere. It does well in loose, slightly acidic soils, with a good presence of organic matter and a good ability to hold moisture, but without standing water which can cause disease, especially gray mold.

potted blackberries

Blackberries can also grow in pots and on the balcony. For this, it is necessary to choose the cultivar carefully, which has a little dirty appearance, preferably without thorns. The pot in which the brambles are transplanted should be large, at least forty liters, it is necessary to prepare a support for the brambles, which can be on the wall or directly on the railing of the terrace. As soil, choose a sufficiently acidic substrate, mix it with a good dose of earthworm humus. The cultivation operations are the same as those required for cultivation in the garden, special attention should be paid to the regular pruning of the brambles on the balcony to keep them in order.

Sowing and transplanting the blackberry seedling

The bramble is a plant very easy to root, so the plant is generally born from a cutting or directly from a branch of the mother plant, while the operation of giving birth to the new plant from the seed would be unnecessarily long. .

The cut of the bush

Propagate blackberry plants . Brambles multiply directly by propagation, taking advantage of the branch’s natural ability to root, it’s so easy to do that almost no one uses the seed to make new blackberry plants. The best time to propagate plants are the summer months, just take a stream still attached to the plant, divide it by twisting it, but not completely separating it from the mother, and bury it at a depth about 15 cm. The buried stream should remain attached to the plant and should be watered frequently. In the spring, the underground part will take root and can be separated, with the transplant a new plant is obtained.

Cuts . As an alternative to propagation, you can also propagate the bush by cutting. Just take young sprouts about 35/40 cm long, cut them and put them in a pot. Also in this case, to root the branch in the ground that needs to be watered, the plants will be ready for transplanting the following spring.

How to transplant brambles

Blackberry seedlings are transplanted into the garden in the spring, either purchased from the nursery, propagated or cuttings. Where the ground does not freeze, it can also be transplanted in autumn, just be careful that there is no imminent drop in temperature: newly transplanted plants can be damaged by drought but also by intense cold. . The transplant operation is very simple, a hole of sufficient size is dug and the plant is moved with the whole root system still in the ground, keeping the neck as a depth reference. The hole is covered by compacting the soil and watering.

Sixth of the installation. The distance that must be maintained between one blackberry plant and another varies according to the cultivar chosen and the type of planting to be carried out, normally the plants are kept at a distance of about one meter, with distances between rows of at least two meters .

Bramble cultivation operations

Heather is very easy to manage, although it does require some care, especially in specifying supports and pruning to the shape of the bush.

Padded . Blackberries benefit from mulch, which protects the soil from wind and keeps it moist. Being berries, we have to imagine that they are plants accustomed to receiving a covering of leaves on the ground next to them.

Irrigation. For the bramble to bear its best fruit, it does not need to become dehydrated, so in hot and dry periods it is necessary to intervene with good irrigation. The bramble tolerates drought well, although the lack of water is detrimental to the production of fruits, irrigation is especially useful to have a satisfactory harvest.

Fertilization . Blackberries are wild, noxious berries of a very undemanding nature. However, if you want to maximize production, it is important to intervene by fertilizing both in the plantation (basic fertilization) and in the crop. Since bottom fertilization is an excellent fertilizer, when growing this bramble fruit, it is best to add mature manure or pallet manure. Among the organic fertilizers, ash is particularly useful in the cultivation of blackberries because it provides potassium, it can be used in addition to manure.

burl supports

The blackberry is a creeping and naturally messy plant, so as not to get tangled or steal space from other crops in the garden, it is necessary to think of a disciplined planting, with supports. In small orchards, to save space, it is used to grow blackberries against fences, thus avoiding the labor of building supports. For a productive plant, on the other hand, the most used form of cultivation for these berries is the trellis plant. It is necessary to plant poles about two meters high and buried at least half a meter. These poles are placed 4 meters apart, pulling three or four cables horizontally to connect them, one must use a cable strong enough to support the plant. The bramble shoots will have to run along these wires and for this they will have to be tied up, developing the plant along the length instead of the depth.

how to prune brambles

Blackberries, like all fruit-bearing plants, require pruning, especially the bramble must be pruned, otherwise it will create a tangle that is difficult to untangle, making harvesting difficult and cluttering the garden. When pruning berries, keep in mind that the previous year’s branches are the ones that produce the fruit, so they need to be protected and stimulated by pruning. To prune blackberries, it is best to get to work after harvesting the fruits, in the fall. The shoots they have produced can be cut at the base with a good shear, the strongest shoots remain, they should be pruned back to less than two meters in length, the young side shoots are shortened as soon as the first ones remain shoots.

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