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Blackberry is a creeping, perennial bush that grows in dry and sandy soil in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States. It is also successfully cultivated elsewhere, such as Europe and Australia. The plant features slender, thorny branches and hairy, oval, serrated leaves which appear in groups of 3 or 5. The plant produces white flowers in the summer months along with juicy berries which ripen from red to purplish black. There are two types of blackberries, erect and trailing. The primary difference is the growth habit of their canes. Erect blackberry types have stiff, arching canes that are somewhat self-supporting.
Trailing blackberries, also called dewberries in the East, have canes that are not self-supporting; they include the Marionberry, Boysenberry, Loganberry, Youngberry, and Thornless Evergreen.
Erect blackberries are more cold-hardy than trailing types. However, you can grow trailing types in colder areas if you leave the canes on the ground and mulch them in winter.
Choose a sunny site in your garden with good air circulation and water drainage and a pH of 6. 0-7. 0. Keep roots moist until planting. Work plenty of organic matter into the soil and mulch to keep out weeds. Plant as soon as the soil has warmed. Dig a hole large enough so as not to bend roots. Trim canes to encourage new growth. Plants should be set out at least 2 feet apart in rows 7 feet apart. Trellising is beneficial for cane support. These summer-bearing berries produce fruit on second year canes (floricanes). In the fall fo the 2nd year, prune spent canes at ground level and thin others to approximately 4 canes per foot of row. Cut off suckers which grow outside of rows. Trim remaining blackberry canes to 7 feet.
PLANT TYPE: Perennial
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Rubus fruticosus
ZONE / HARDINESS: 5 to 10
MATURE PLANT SIZE: Can quickly grow to 10 feet high x 10 feet wide
LIGHT: Full sun to partial shade
SOIL TYPE: See Details Below
pH RANGE: Hardy to Zone 5
KNOWN PESTS: None
KNOWN DISEASES: None