How do I plant this blackberry bush? PICS!

We live in southeast Georgia. My neighbor gave me this a couple of months ago, and looks like it has come out of dormancy. leaves are growing, and it looks like it has a few blossoms. The pot is about 2 gal. Our native soil is sand. Was thinking I’d just plant it, and back fill with a mixture of the sand and some good soil I have. Should I prune it or just let it grow?

Any comments are appreciated. Thanks, Ed

I would add compost with native soil, and back fill. Mulch with what ever you got, shredded leaves, wood chips, pine straw. Also mulch with compost if it looks bad. No don’t prune it. Remove canes as low as possible after they fruit, or the end of the year. Get it in now.
You might want to fertilize once established. I like mild organic granular types, Plant-Tone Holly-Tone, Plant Doctor, Happy Frog, etc.

I agree, plant is now, the canes that are now growing are second year canes and will give a small crop this year. Later the new canes from the ground will put out and this will be what develops fruit next year. Prune after fruiting and new after new canes are up and growing.

It’s in the ground! Thanks for the replies. Now to begin obsessing on trellises, fertilizer, birds, fungus, and diseases :wink:


Hopefully it will grow like a weed. They are very impressive plants. Water it well, and in a couple months very lightly feed it, if growing well. Organic if possible, they respond well to it. It’s much safer to use. It’s easy to over fertilize these plants. Other plants don’t care, these need a little care then almost no care except positioning canes if you can! Good luck with that! I like suede work gloves handling these plants.
Good luck, a good start!

Thanks, yeah, I have some remesh I can use to make just about any cage or trellis I want. This is our first year in GA, so it will be interesting to say the least. We’re not big Blackberry fans, but they will make jam :slight_smile: and since our gardening neighbor gave it to me, felt it would be right to stick it in the ground and give it a shot. If we like them am pretty sure we can “tip” them and make more bushes, right?

Yes, easy as can be. I use a 1/4-1/2 gallon pot and just stick a tip in there. I have Marion and New Berry right now I rooted to start new plants. I threw about 10 of them out they did on their own.
The biggest mistake new blackberry growers make is picking fruit too early. the calyx or foliage around berry must be brown, not green. Yellow to brown, wilted. Often berries turn black, but need a few days yet, this has been the easiest way for me to tell how ripe the fruit is. Even if tart, the berries make a good jam. I like to mix with blueberries, or kiwi just to get different flavors in the jam. The blueberry one is one of my favorites. I like it much better than blackberries alone.
Seeds are rather big and even more annoying than raspberries. I remove the seed with a fine strainer. Some of the pulp is removed too, still it makes for a super smooth jam. I heat the berries with a 1/2 cup of juice (optional), mash them with a potato masher, and then filter them. I use a pestle, or spoon to jam the pulp into the screen.

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If the stems are too stiff, is air-layering the next best method to reproduce them? I have some Prime Ark Freedoms, which are still experimental, but the stems were rather stiff last summer, as I recall. I have them highly covered with styrofoam blocks and some other insulating materia over the winterl, since they are not rated hardy here. It worked great a year ago, their first winter. If the SWDs don’t ruin them, we may have a winner.


I have not tried it, but it should work like a charm!! That’s a very good idea!
I have a very small PAF, it barely grew the first year, but I just looked and it looks plenty alive. Yea!

Will this remesh cage work for a trellis?

I’ve done blackberries like that. It will likely take a lot of pruning to keep the size in check. Mine like that were in pots.

Assuming you mean pruning after harvest?

I have larger cages. Would a larger cage be better or even a different trellis system? I only have this one bush this year.

I would suggest a trellis vs a cage even for 1 root because eventually you will have more than 1 cane and you will not be able to prune very easily.

Once you top the canes you will have laterals that can grow 10 to 20 feet in one season.

My answer to your question is I would not do it. You can build a small trellis very cheap

Somehow, I doubt that’s zone 5 :wink:

Usually you head them when they are 4 to 6 feet, this cause laterals to grow. You don’t have to, but it is how most prune them. Keep laterals short too, some say 18 inches or less. I keep them a touch longer.24 to 30 inches. I do this type of pruning for uprights, or semi uprights. Trailing types I usually don’t prune, just keep wrapping on the trellis. I would open the wire and put against the fence using it like a stake to hold the canes up. A cage would be near impossible to pick fruit
Some photos of my blackberries

This is three blackberry plants

This is one, I have a fence there to tie too, these don’t need it, but I would not want a cage around it.

Thanks for the replies. Finally figured out how to change my Zone to Z9 :slight_smile:

Those are some awesome looking bushes. Yeah, ok, will have to rig up a different trellis.

I showed my plants so you can see a little better what a beast you will have! Not sure what you have or growth habit? It should be similar. You can still use that wire, just open the loop and stake the ends of the wire. See those green stakes, with the white tips, they have similar wire attached. Also there is a trellis, you can see one wire of it in the 2nd photo. I used that for something else, but left trellis there, it’s not on the same plane as the fence, so both can be used if needed. They sell fence zip ties at Home Depot online. But any zip ties can be used to attach fence to stakes. The remesh is excellent for tomatoes as you have it. Good stuff! Those green stakes are sold at Home Depot. They may be a little short, so top of remesh can be left unattached if the rest is.
So many things can be used for a trellis. I use cemented in conduit poles.
Some blackberry cultivars don’t need a trellis at all. Even tying each cane to a stake works.

Have you grown Apache thornless? I saw them amongst other berry plants in boxes at Lowe’s the other day. Are the thornless varieties tastier in comparison to the prickly types? I guess that’s too general of a question.

I don’t think we’ll put in any, we have them growing wild on the farm. To me they are too tart, even when ripe, but my wife really likes them. So much so, she’ll get out there in the heat of the day and fight with the thorns and bugs just to get a few pints.

She’s canned lots of them. I generally don’t care for blackberries, not much flavor, and the seeds mess with my teeth.

Root cutting is a easy and common method of blackberry propagation especially for the more erect varieties such as Prime Ark Freedom. The early crop will probably ripen before swd arrive but the summer crop will be vulnerable. My larger issue with blackberries is dealing with borers.

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I would say the opposite.