I'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.