[NAFEX] Growing Blackberries in the North

John Barbowski jbarbowski at gmail.com
Sat Dec 17 13:19:35 EST 2005


I have two blackberry bushes. One is Black Satin, purchased from a nursery
in the spring of 2003. The other is an unknown thornless one that my mother
scavenged from a neighbour's plant - seems very similar to Bl Sa - don't
know how to tell the difference. I also have a boisenberry bush, planted in
the spring of 2004.

I did get a handful of blackberries in 2004 while the plants were
establishing. I was looking forward to increased amounts in 2005.

I don't know if the winter of '04 did them in or the cool spring. All
unprotected canes were dead. One runner that was covered by some leaf mulch
that I had spread was still alive when it was uncovered in early Apr. The
buds started to flush, but soon after, the growth stagnated and the cane
died.

I am in Can Zone 6B, my mother is slightly warmer in 6A (I don't know how
this relates to the US zones, but I have heard that we might be equivalent
to US Zone 5 - Canadians like to be considered distinct from our
neighbours). She and her neighbour experienced high cane mortality in 2005
with almost no berry production.

This year, I have covered my canes as much as possible with a leaf mulch and
will not  expose them in the spring till my apples start to leaf out.

I know of a thorned variety that survived, however, its production in 2005
was not as good as 2004. I purposely stayed away from the thornies because I
heard they were extremely invasive; and besides,  I am very sensitive to
pain.

jb
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