I see people using tons of mulch but is that just to keep the weeds down and moisture around the plants? If you use drip irrigation and weed barrier do you still need to put mulch down for the new shoots to grow?
Here’s a picture of my bare root blackberries I just planted. I have drip emitters under the weed barrier.
if growing for yourself, mulch is fine. if your planting hundreds of plants, i would use the weed fabric. much easier to maintain. once it starts to degrade, pull it up and apply more except your going to have to put down 2 strips. one on each side of the berries. mulch is nice because it builds the soil over time but has to be added to yearly to keep weeds out.
I was still wondering if I should put some leaf mulch around the blackberry plants, would it increase the number of new canes to come up versus leaving it exposed?
no it shouldnt. keeps the weeds out and holds in moisture.