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Author Topic: Blackberry (Rubus sp)  (Read 570 times)

Triloba Tracker

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Blackberry (Rubus sp)
« on: November 30, 2019, 09:58:07 AM »
I decided to plant some Blackberry bushes. I've never grown these before and really don't know a lot about them.

I ordered the following from Ison's nursery:
Prime Arkansas Freedom
Kiowa
Darrow
Navaho

These are all supposed to be upright varieties - i didn't want to hassle with a trellis (hopefully i won't still need to).

I have a little concern because my soil at the moment is lightly above 7 pH....one thing i read said they will not tolerate alkaline soil. I will be adding elemental sulfur and some organic topdressing.

I'm also concerned about disease. Everything i plant in my garden seems to come down with some kind of fungus. I really don't understand it.

Anyway - if anyone has any tips or comments, please let me know! Or, just share your experiences with blackberries in this thread.

usirius

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Re: Blackberry (Rubus sp)
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2019, 01:57:59 PM »
I am cultivating many types of rubus, raspberries, blackberries, dewberries, vine berries and much more  since many years in my garden. The frost hardy ones planted out, the less frost hardy ones are in the pots.
Of the blackberries you mentioned, I have cultivated the variety Navaho for about 8 years. It grows in soil of my garden with ph more than 7. It is extremely vigorous, especially in summers with a lot of rain, otherwise the shoots do not grow so strongly. This year the fruits have dried for the first time mostly before ripening, because we had a very long and very hot summer.  Rubus from temperate zones generally does not tolerate heat and drought so well.
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SeaWalnut

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Re: Blackberry (Rubus sp)
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2019, 04:30:39 PM »
These days i decided to make a small raspberry plantation to replace somme grape vines.I allready have the concrete poles trelices.
Blackberryes compared to raspberryes ield 10 times more fruit but ( raspberryes make only 1-2 kg per stalk while blackberryes can make 10-15 kilos per stalk).
But none of the blackberryes ive planted here survived in 7,5 ph while the raspberryes grow like weeds here.
Im thinking to plant 200-300 plants and see how it works.
I also like that they need trimmed each year and the stalks are straight so i can use them as a fuel to heat my greenhouse in winter.
They are verry valuable fruits also.

W.

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Re: Blackberry (Rubus sp)
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2019, 07:03:03 PM »
I inherited some unknown type of upright, very thorny blackberry in my yard. I have found that my blackberries are indestructible and require no maintenance. The berries are a little on the small side but with a good tart/sweet mix, though their size could be due to a lack of fertilizers, as I let them do what they want with little care or interference on my part. They make an effective screen against intruding neighbors with the added bonus of more delicious fruit than I can eat. I have had no signs of disease from any of my blackberries, but my yard seems fairly disease-free. Only my dogwoods show signs of powdery mildew during very wet years, and my tomato crop was poor this year due to too much rain. Not bad considering that there has not been a drop of herbicide, fungicide, or pesticide sprayed in my yard in nearly six years.

Triloba Tracker

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Re: Blackberry (Rubus sp)
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2019, 09:51:48 PM »
Sounds great, W!
Seems like we have opposite yards in terms of disease though. I really don't understand why i have so many issues other than i'm in a historic downtown area that has had immigrant human presence for 200+ years. There is a lot of wild privet and a lot of hackberry trees.  ??? :o

Do you know your soil pH?

W.

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Re: Blackberry (Rubus sp)
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 12:28:05 AM »
I do not know my soil pH, but I know the soil in much of my yard is pretty terrible. I am on top of a limestone cliff, above a creek, which means that all the nutrients that would have been in my soil have leached away or been washed into that creek over the decades. And before I moved in, my yard had sixty years of being mostly grass with some wooded areas (which have good soil) on the periphery.

But, I believe you have identified why your yard is filled with disease. The pests and diseases have nowhere else to go if you are surrounded by privet and hackberry. Hackberry is a native tree but one that is quite disease and pest resistant. Privet is a non-native invasive because no diseases or pests attack it; it is outside of its native ecological niche and nothing in the United States has evolved to keep it in check (except me and other people who attack it vigorously whenever possible). Your yard full of garden plants must be very inviting to every insect, disease, and fungus that happens to wander through. Poor air circulation during our hot, humid summers just adds another issue. I am lucky in that my yard has no privet but unlucky because I have wisteria and English ivy.

If you do not mind me asking, which historic Middle Tennessee downtown do you live in? I am an architectural historian and historic preservationist, and Middle Tennessee has some great historic architecture and landscapes which are being rapidly lost due to demolition and urban sprawl, something I am not a fan of.

SeaWalnut

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Re: Blackberry (Rubus sp)
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2019, 04:33:05 AM »


If you do not mind me asking, which historic Middle Tennessee downtown do you live in? I am an architectural historian and historic preservationist, and Middle Tennessee has some great historic architecture and landscapes which are being rapidly lost due to demolition and urban sprawl, something I am not a fan of.
Im not a fan of the destruction of historical buildings too.
I had a shock when i got to the old church in the city and found out that  the  new pastor had changed the oak carved doors with plastic doors and inside he installed a LED projector that projects crosses on the walls.

Triloba Tracker

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Re: Blackberry (Rubus sp)
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2019, 09:36:19 AM »


If you do not mind me asking, which historic Middle Tennessee downtown do you live in? I am an architectural historian and historic preservationist, and Middle Tennessee has some great historic architecture and landscapes which are being rapidly lost due to demolition and urban sprawl, something I am not a fan of.
Im not a fan of the destruction of historical buildings too.
I had a shock when i got to the old church in the city and found out that  the  new pastor had changed the oak carved doors with plastic doors and inside he installed a LED projector that projects crosses on the walls.

Wow, in my opinion that's a tragedy.

Triloba Tracker

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Re: Blackberry (Rubus sp)
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2019, 09:45:31 AM »
W -

Thanks for the great info. Yeah, the area where I am growing things is the far back of my lot. When we moved in 13 years ago, it was a jungle of hackberry, privet, and bush honeysuckle.
Over the years some trees died and I removed others. I cleared back the privet and honeysuckle to the property line by hand, cutting to the ground and painting the stumps with 41% glyphosate. (not wild about glyphosate, but..)
So at this point the area is pretty open but there is still a loose privet hedge around much of the perimeter (most on others' property) and a few small hackberry as well.
But still - yeah we always joke that the place is cursed. But i do still get some productivity.
Any other tips are welcome.

I will PM you about my location :)

Triloba Tracker

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Re: Blackberry (Rubus sp)
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2019, 12:27:31 PM »
Plants arrived yesterday, haven't unboxed yet.

On the seller website, in one place is says plant 3 to 5 feet apart, but the planting instructions say specifically 3 feet apart.

these are upright varieties.

Due to my disease concerns i am inclined to give them more space for air flow, but i also wouldn't mind saving the space.  Any suggestions?

I'm thinking maybe the 3 feet recommendation is more about allowing the plants to sort of support each other?

spaugh

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Re: Blackberry (Rubus sp)
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2019, 11:43:38 PM »
Thry will throw out root suckers everywhere and easily take over your yard.  Careful where you put blackberries if you dont have a lot of space.

3 ft spacing is fine, just realize that they sre very aggressive and will fill in and spread.  Especially the thorny upright ones.  They are the most agressive and invasive type. 
Brad Spaugh

Samu

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Re: Blackberry (Rubus sp)
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2019, 08:13:03 PM »
Thry will throw out root suckers everywhere and easily take over your yard.  Careful where you put blackberries if you dont have a lot of space.

3 ft spacing is fine, just realize that they sre very aggressive and will fill in and spread.  Especially the thorny upright ones.  They are the most agressive and invasive type.

Agreed! In my yard, started producing in 2nd season, grew wildly and yes, suckers abound; after harvesting the 3rd season, I pulled them all off...: too much maintenance and very thorny. (I heard those thorn less variety is not a good producer).
Sam

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Re: Blackberry (Rubus sp)
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2019, 08:47:08 PM »
Yikes. Y’all are scaring me!
Well, I put 4 vines in the ground about 4 feet apart. They are relatively close to my muscadines.
If they produce good fruit I hope I will be willing to do what it takes to keep them in check.

I grow Passiflora incarnata which pops up all over the place. I just pull them up or mow them and it doesn’t seem to be an issue. Though they are not thorny :)

I actually received a bonus vine and planted in a another area far away. Will be interesting to see how it does.

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Re: Blackberry (Rubus sp)
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2019, 12:44:10 AM »
Yikes. Y’all are scaring me!
Well, I put 4 vines in the ground about 4 feet apart. They are relatively close to my muscadines.
If they produce good fruit I hope I will be willing to do what it takes to keep them in check.

I grow Passiflora incarnata which pops up all over the place. I just pull them up or mow them and it doesn’t seem to be an issue. Though they are not thorny :)

I actually received a bonus vine and planted in a another area far away. Will be interesting to see how it does.
After watching how well you take care of your garden i dont think youl have problems with blackberryes taking over your yard.
You will have to learn to prune them i think every spring.
For what delicious fruit they are ,its worth the maintenance.

Triloba Tracker

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Re: Blackberry (Rubus sp)
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2019, 10:13:49 AM »
Thanks, SeaWalnut!

W.

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Re: Blackberry (Rubus sp)
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2020, 10:12:51 PM »
Yikes. Y’all are scaring me!
Well, I put 4 vines in the ground about 4 feet apart. They are relatively close to my muscadines.
If they produce good fruit I hope I will be willing to do what it takes to keep them in check.

I grow Passiflora incarnata which pops up all over the place. I just pull them up or mow them and it doesn’t seem to be an issue. Though they are not thorny :)

I actually received a bonus vine and planted in a another area far away. Will be interesting to see how it does.

I do not think of blackberries' aggressiveness as a drawback or something to be worried about. I think about my upright, thorny blackberries as a perpetual source of delicious fruit, no matter how little care I provide them or how much my neighbors want to get rid of them.

If you are worried, then dig a trench around the area you wish to confine the blackberries in and line it with something impermeable by roots (metal, plastic, etc.). Blackberries spread by runners close to the surface, no deeper than 6" down from what I have seen. If you block off their runners, your blackberries will not be able to spread.

 

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