Berryfruit - Blackberry
Blackberries are native to North America but have adjusted well to many parts of the world. I think we all have memories of picking wild blackberries on the side of the road when we were kids. Coming away with very red mouths and hands and a few prickles to dig out later.
Train the plants on trellis to create an edible screen, beside a deck or on a fence. Or on a pillar rose frame as a focal point in the garden or container. Colourful autumn foliage.
Blackberries are rich in Vitamin C and dietary fibre. They also contain calcium, phosphorus and potassium.
How to Eat
Straight from the plant, chill for later use in desserts. Berries are ideal for jams and jellies, juice or wine. There should be no wastage.
6 plants will provide ample fruit for a family of four/five.
Generic Fruiting Time
Provide an easterly aspect, shaded from the afternoon sun.
Expose to the cooler southerly winds but protect from hot dry winds.
Low chill requirement so will grow New Zealand wide.
Any well drained site with good moisture content and high in organic matter.
Plant the bramble 2.5 metres apart.
Apply a general NPK fertiliser early spring and mulch with manure or compost.
In winter when the plant is dormant gather up the canes and train along the trellis. Cut out the weak, fruited and old canes. Blackberries have a sprawling habit so keep canes off the ground as they will root themselves at a node … read more about pruning
Apply several copper sprays in winter for fungal disease control. Planted in an open space with free air flow will help keep diseases at bay. DO NOT spray within seven days of harvest.
Hardy to -6°C
Bird netting may be required to keep the birds off. Extra water at fruiting time will improve fruit quality, but apply to the base of the plant to avoid wetting the fruit.