Blackberry bush care
Finding a perfect wild blackberry to munch on during a late summer walk is a treat, but they don’t like giving up their treasures without a fight, so you might also find yourself nursing a few scratches.
Luckily, our friendly cultivated varieties are thorn-free and produce abundant crops, so you can pick away happily without fear of injury and enjoy a bountiful berry harvest without leaving your own garden.
Choose a sunny and partly shaded wall or fence location with free-draining and moisture retentive soil.
Blackberries are enthusiastic, vigorous plants, so make sure they have plenty of room to grow. As the stems grow, they will also need support in the form of sturdy wires or a trellis.
Dig a hole twice the size of the root-ball. Spread the roots as you place the blackberry plant into the hole, then refill the hole to the base of the stem with a mixture of soil and compost. Press the soil down gently with the heel of a boot.
Water especially well in the first few months and every week during the summer if the weather is particularly hot or dry.
In the spring treat your blackberry plant to a generous helping of fertiliser. It will also appreciate a layer of mulch or well-rotted manure every winter.
Blackberries are wonderfully boisterous but can be a little unruly if left to their own devices, so they do need regular pruning, especially if you wish to train them in a particular direction. Keep an eye out for any new shoots and tie them in. Keep them separate from the old shoots as much as possible to prevent any diseases spreading.
After they have fruited, cut the older (two year-old) canes down to the ground and cover with compost. Spread out the new shoots ideally in a fan shape against a fence or wall
The first harvest of berries will appear in the second year, usually in late summer, and will continue until the first frosts.
IDEAS FOR YOUR BLACKBERRY HARVEST
We love to sneak ripe blackberries to gorge on when they are at their most luscious, but if your blackberry bush is an especially generous sort, we recommend trying our fabulous Blackberry Grunt recipe below, which we can honestly say has been thoroughly tested by our hungry team!
Blackberry Grunt Recipe