Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blackberries ( How To Grow )

                  Welcome back here today with us on Garden The Easy Way, this is Ken and Marilou and today we want to talk about Blackberries.

                   Blackberries are one of Americas favorite berries and you can prepare them in many different ways. You can make a delicious Blackberry Pie or Blackberry Cobbler, Blackberry Jelly or delicious Blackberry Jam.

                    I can remember back many years ago as a small boy, picking wild blackberries outside of a little country town in Southern Missouri by the name of Birch Tree Missouri. You could pick a 5 gallon bucket of blackberries in about an hour at the little country store down town, they would give you $2.00 for a 5 gallon bucket, not much money for being in the hot sun and getting the blood scratch out of your arms and hands back and legs. The wild Blackberries have sharp thorns. Oh yes! we always had to pick off a lot of ticks, but back in those days there were not very many jobs out there for a boy out of school for the summer, so we picked wild blackberries. My Mom would can blackberries around 200 quarts every year in the summer in a old granite cooking kettle, it held 7 quarts jars, it set on a old wood cook stove that set in the yard. My brother and I would keep putting wood in to keep the fire going. Fresh blackberries are very delicious as a boy looking back, I remember my brother and I always had dark purple lips and tongue while picking berries.

                   We were poor country people but we were happy people, back in those days and after all the years have past us by I now know what the older people meant when they said back in the Good Old Day!

                   We still have a lot of wild blackberries here in Southern Missouri, we even have a few in our backyard, but there are lots of different kinds of tame blackberries. Some of them are thorn less, and they are the most popular because they are thorn less. All blackberries grow best in full sun, and almost all varieties are self-fruitful, meaning that you need to plant only one cultivar. As a rule of thumb, five or six plants will produce enough berries for a family of four. Each blossom will produce a sweet, juicy blackberry. But there is one blackberry thorn less that is most peoples favorite blackberry to plant. It is called  "Triple Crown Blackberry " Sweetest Thornless Blackberry

                   All blackberries taste good but there are some that taste sweeter than others. The Triple Crown Blackberry is the number one choice for those people that want to plant blackberries. All Blackberries will grow just about anywhere  and today we would like to share with you how to plant and grow the Americas number one choice of Blackberries, the " Triple Crown Blackberry".

            Triple Crown Blackberry    ( How To Plant )                

Things You Will Need:  

* Garden Tiller  
* Shovels and Pick
* Garden Hoses
* Manure ( Aged Cow Manure )
* Mulch  
* Plants
* Fertilizers 10-10-10  
* Two 8' pressure-treated 4x4

                  Since blackberries are perennial plants that come back year after year, it's worth your time to get the soil prepared correctly. Blackberries grow best in fertile, well-drained soil. Blackberries do best if the soil pH is slightly acidic, somewhere between 5.5 and 7.0. Take a soil pH test and if necessary, add lime to raise the pH or sulfur to lower the pH. The best time to plant blackberries is early Spring or late Fall.

1. Always choose a site that gets full sun, the more sun your blackberry get the better they will do, they must have a lot of sun to produce a lot of berries. Pick out a spot that will be out of your everyday living because you are making a permanent bed.  

2. Get your garden tiller and work up the soil well. pick out all the rocks and roots. Go to your local nursery and pick out your plants.

3. Build a Trellises. Blackberry trellises are simple to build and require only a few dollars worth of materials. To build a simple trellis, sink two 8' pressure-treated 4x4 posts 3' deep in the ground. If you're working in sandy soil, you can add a quick-setting mortar mix to anchor the posts. In clay soil, simply tamp down the soil to hold the posts in place.

    The posts can be set anywhere from 10' to 20' apart. Make two marks on each post, one mark at 2-1/2' off the ground and the other mark at 4-1/2' off the ground. Then, at those marks, attach 9-gauge coated wire to the posts with staples.    

    During the first growing season, blackberries don't need to be trained to a trellis. Starting the second year, the canes should be tied to the trellis. One method involves loosely tying primocanes to the wire as they develop. The best time to start is before the buds swell in early spring. When the canes are tall enough to reach the top wire, tie them horizontally along the wire. Another method some gardeners use it to train only the floricanes to the trellis and let the primocanes sprawl on the ground.

4. Dig your hole about 16 inches deep and about 16 inches across in the bottom.  

5. Put about 3 inches of age cow manure in the bottom of the hole, put about 4 inches of good top soil, no rocks or roots and mix up well with your shovel. repeat until you get to the top.

6. Using your hands, dig out the soil and manure that you just put in the hole to the same depth as they were in the nursery,  put all root down deep and cover well. After planting water well.

7. Spacing 4 feet rows 12 feet apart, spread 6-7 ft.    

                          Triple Crown Blackberries ripen late July, enjoy your delicious Blackberries!!!

                  Well that's it for today from Garden The Easy Way, this is Ken & Marilou  hoping to talk to you again soon, until then Happy Gardening Always!!!