Temperate Fruit & Orchards > Temperate Fruit Discussion

Blackberry (Rubus sp)

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Triloba Tracker:
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:
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.

SeaWalnut:
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.:
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:
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?

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