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Ripening Blackberries

I am eagerly awaiting fresh ripe blackberries from the first plant from three years ago. Last year, there were a couple of handfuls of berries and they were delicious. This year, we will add bird netting and see if we can keep more of the blackberries for ourselves.

Berry-producing shrubs amaze me because in the proper environment, they get bigger and better every year with minimal input. It’s a good thing, too. Birds and squirrels enjoy them almost as much as humans. Hopefully with enough berries there will be a chance to make crumble and compote and syrup. Fingers crossed.

The two big takeaways from last year?

First, the blackberry grows the cane the first year, and produces fruit on it the second year. After the cane has produced fruit, it is important to remove the spent canes. This helps to prevent the plant viruses that raspberries and blackberries tend to suffer from.

Second, I have read that if you prune the tips of the primary cane, the plant will put much more energy into growing the lateral canes. These are the ones that bear fruit.

Given the deer population, it is no surprise that they did the pruning for me! They ate the tips of the canes wherever they could reach. As a result, the plant is all lateral canes, and covered with unripe berries which have now started to change color.

(I later learned that this is an actual technique for better yield, from this youtube video… The more you know.)

Today I went out and added bird netting to the fortifications. Fingers crossed!

Ripening blackberries, equally enticing to humans and every other creature.

3 thoughts on “Ripening Blackberries

  1. I just put the netting on my berries yesterday as well! Last year the hard winter killed most of the canes that would have born fruit, then a freeze took most of the berries. This year, there’s quite a few plump red berries, so I want them for the freezer! The birds have been gathering, just waiting for a bit more ripeness…..

    1. I think the netting is the only reliable way to keep most of the berries away from the birds!

  2. […] hope you enjoyed reading about our backyard blackberries and their friends. Try growing berries of some kind. They are fun plants. Native species can help […]

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