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Blackberry Flowers

blackberryI've only been growing blackberries for 4 years now. It started when I bought a cardboard package from a big box store with delicious looking berries pictured all over it. I remember bringing the package to the register and thinking about blackberry pie and blackberry jam. I even thought about buying some lumber and steel cable to build a proper trellis. But I passed on the heavy gear and happily paid for my new plant in a box.

To my surprise, when I opened the box, the plant looked like a stick. It was pretty late in the season but I put it in the ground anyway. This jam might take a few years to make, but I was patient. By the time the fall came, the stick had turned into a 1 foot plant with green leaves on it.

The following spring, the bush got bigger and greener but still no berries. I was still fine with that because I knew that berries only grew on 2nd year canes. Since I planted it so late in the previous season, I guessed that I wouldn't get any berries again. And I was right. But when autumn came around, I had a healthy looking bush that was spreading nicely.

Last year, with the blackberry jungle completely filling a raised bed that was 3 feet wide and 12 feet long, my family gorged ourselves with delicious blackberries. They never even made it back to the house. Each night, after work, my children and I would go up to the garden and pick and eat blackberries. And after days of returning back to the house empty handed, my wife started joining us for our evening berry feast too. These were good times.

So what will this year bring? I think it's safe to say that there will be more feasts. Still not sure about the jam but with last year's canes around 6 feet tall and the huge number of flowers out there already, we'll definitely have enough berries for it.

7 Comments:

  1. nat said...
    LOL, planting blackberries. Here in the Pacific Northwest (west of the Cascades), blackberries are generally considered a pernicious weed. Great to harvest yes, but not on your own property. They're nearly impossible to kill since they send out underground runners. Birds eat the berries too, and the seeds germinate on any soil so you'll get plants popping up everywhere. Entire fields, empty lots and roadside pullouts are covered in blackberries. There is no reason to cultivate them around these parts!
    Anthony said...
    Hi Nat,
    Since I have blackberries popping up all over my garden (as far as 10 feet away), I'm not surprised to hear you say that. At some point I may pull them out and start over with a thornless variety but use a root barrier.

    These blackberries are worse that bamboo but they taste a lot better. :)
    Blackswamp_Girl said...
    You're kidding! I can't believe your blackberry has spread so much... Mine is still in its little 3x5 area against the fence. (Not that I'm complaining, if said blackberry is "reading" this comment! I like you where you are.) Plenty for me to eat... but then again, not so much leftover for jam. :)
    Blackswamp_Girl said...
    (Oh, but mine is a thornless variety. And that helps, I know.)
    Katie said...
    Mmmm. Blackberries. We have wild ones here, but the birds and other creatures get 'em before we have a chance.

    Are you going to make jam this year?
    Anthony said...
    Blackswamp_Girl,
    Yes, I think thornless is the way to go.

    Katie,
    I'd love to make jam if my family left enough berries for me. Jam, pies and muffins are the reason why I planted so many berries.
    AR said...
    I thought about growing blackberries but went with the everbearing raspberries instead. They seem a bit easier to maintain, plus if you prune them correctly, you can get 2 harvests. Sounds good to me!

    I hope you're able to make at least a jar or two of blackberry jam. It'll get you through the winter, that's for sure.

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