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How to Grow Blackberries from Bare-roots

Planting: Make a 2’ deep trench, and spread roots along the bottom of the trench and cover immediately. To prevent the fine root system from drying during planting, soak the plants for up to 2 hours before planting, and keep the plants in water as you plant. Irrigation: Water the plants thoroughly after planting. Maintain good soil moisture until the plants are well established. Do not water every day, rather provide 1”-2” of water 1-3 times per week. Fertilization For best results, add 10-10-10 fertilizer at least 2 weeks before planting. Do not fertilize new plantings until well established. Additional applications can be applied again in July or August, and in the spring of following years. Weed Control/Mulch: Weed regularly during the growing season. Be careful not to dig more than an inch deep to avoid damaging the roots. Mulching during the establishment year can help control weeds, but do not mulch beyond the first year. Trellis and Training: We suggest blackberry plants be supported by a trellis. A trellis keeps plants upright and fruit off the ground, makes picking much easier, and maintains good aeration which helps with disease control. Pruning: Prune canes that bore fruit after harvest, and thin new growth to 6-8 strong, healthy canes. Black raspberries respond well to “tipping”, where the 1-year old canes are pinched back at a height of 5’-6’ in July or August. This encourages lateral branches to fruit and keeps plant height in check. Laterals can be trimmed in the late Fall to 10”-15”. Blackberries work best with trellis support. Tip 1st year canes when they reach 5’ high in midsummer, and after harvest remove canes that fruited. Thin the remaining canes to 6-8. Laterals should be cut back to 12” in late November.  
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