Blackberry Question

Willie McKemie mckemie at
Wed Jun 5 17:20:16 EDT 2002

On Wed, Jun 05, 2002 at 04:52:01PM -0500, Robert W Arnold wrote:
> I put in some thornless blackberries this spring and they seem to be doing
> great. They aren't doing a whole lot since it's the first season but the

You must have put in pretty good sized plants!  Blackberries are 
commonly and cost effectively established from root cuttings; in that 
case, the first year's growth (second year fruit) will be only one or 
two feet high, while the second year's growth (third year fruit) will 
be "normal" and 4 to 6 feet high.  Right now, you should be training 
the new growth which has no blooms or fruit.  Pinch the tips regularly 
to promote branching and grow a dense hedge.  Letting the canes grow 
rampant will result in long canes that topple over.

After the previous year's growth is through fruiting, you should 
consider removing it to lessen disease pressure and make for easier 
picking in future years.  For early varieties (earlier than Apache), 
that can be done by mowing since there is enough time for the early 
varieties to re-grow.

Good luck.  Apache is a descendant of Navaho which is the finest fruit 
I have encountered.  We will be picking our first Apache in just a few 
days. Right now, we have finished Brazos and Rosoborough and are in the 
middle of Kiowa and Chickasaw.

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