Recommendations regarding blackberries for South Georgia Zone 8b

I’ve only grown PAF for one season(last February bareroots from Nourse) and they are monsters in half a day’s worth of sun(morning). Barely amended black gumbo clay here in zone 8a. So much more growth than Quachita, Osage, and Natchez. Berries, the few that I got before some kind of worms started eating the canes back in early fall, were good.

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My mom was a horticulturalist before she started teaching beauty school. She worked on the soil in the yard that I inherited her whole life, and quite frankly it’s just in an unusually fertile spot for South Georgia anyway. My soil is freaking amazing! It’s a beautiful black sandy loam over a high water table, but not too high. A challenge in my garden is that wisteria constantly wants to take it over. But wisteria is a nitrogen fixer so my soil is amazingly rich, especially in the part where the blueberries, muscadines are and where the blackberries will be.

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Thanks Ike, for the detailed response. I didn’t tip the primocanes on my Freedom or Traveler, so they just kept growing and growing along the ground because I didn’t trellis them. They (especially the PAF) got so long there’s no way that they’d support themselves. I bet one of the canes is at least 8ft long.

The Osage and Ouachita weren’t as vigorous, so a lot of their canes are still upright, but some are down on the ground too.

I have a fine sandy loam soil with a pH of about 5.7, it is somewhat nutritionally deficient across the board, so I tend to fertilize the blackberries with a locally blended 18-9-11 + micros fertilizer mix which was developed specifically for area pecan orchards, which I also use on almost all of my fruit trees, excluding my blueberries. It may not be perfect, but it is $12 for a 50 pound sack so is economical.

The blueberries get a 14-4-9 blueberry blend from the same local fertilizer blending plant.