Grow Blackberries

My first attempt at growing food in my backyard. I started with watermelons and cantaloupes and that did very well. I began modestly with just a small section for a few watermelon plants and another small section for a few cantaloupe plants. I enjoyed it so much that I then got really into it and ended up using 4 cattle panels to build an arch trellis for each section to grow my food vertically. The main reason for this was to minimize space used so my kids could still play in the main middle part of the backyard but also grow as much as possible! Next – blackberries! As I wrote earlier, this was my very first time gardening and growing food and there are so many things I’ve learned along the way. I would do several things different if I could go back and I’ll most likely talk about those along the way. Now for the blackberries…

Just like with the watermelon and cantaloupes – I started modest because I really wasn’t sure how it was all going to go. What started as 4 small plants ended up being 14 blackberry plants both Natchez and Prime Ark Freedom.

April 16th, 2020
Here’s my start – put in a border down the fence line and added a mixture of garden bed soil, top soil and organic compost.

Blackberry Raised Bed

April 24th, 2020
Natchez blackberry plants arrived!

Natchez Blackberry plants sealed
Natchez Blackberry plants ready to be planted

In the ground – rounded out the soil making them up on a hill in a row!

Natchez blackberry plants in the raised row

April 28th, 2020
Wind damage – it has been very windy down the fence line and my small blackberry plants are being roughed up by the wind. Time to build a small temporary support trellis to keep them upright as they get established.

Support string trellis for my blackberry plants

May 4th, 2020
Transplant shock? The blackberry plants might be experiencing some transplant shock. These pictures don’t show it very well because this was the day before and the edges got even darker. Purplish color around the edges of several leaves. Thankfully they made it thru and the leaves are all green again.

Blackberry Transplant Shock

June 21st, 2020
Good growth and stronger stalks. Picture below is of plants 1, 2 and 3 from left to right. Plant number 2 is the largest of all 4.

Natchez Blackberry plants 1-3 on June 21st, 2020
Natchez Blackberry plant 2 on June 21st, 2020

July 18th, 2020
Doubling in size or more. It seemed like a bit of shaky start but now they are really taking off!

Natchez Blackberry plants 1 and 2 on July 18th, 2020
Natchez Blackberry plants 3 and 4 on July 18th, 2020

August 1st, 2020
Getting taller!

Natchez Blackberry plants 1 and 2 on Aug 1st, 2020
Natchez Blackberry plants 3 and 4 on Aug 1st, 2020

August 24th, 2020
Time to build a simple I Trellis with T-posts for my blackberry plants.

Build a simple I Trellis with T-Posts for my blackberry plants

September 1st, 2020
New I-Trellis with T-posts as they are growing fast and starting to fall over.

Natchez Blackberry plants 1 and 2 on Sept 1st, 2020
Natchez Blackberry plants 3 and 4 on Sept 1st, 2020

Natchez Blackberry Measurements:
July 1st, 2020
Plant 1: 17 inches
Plant 2: 30.5 inches
Plant 3: 25 inches
Plant 4: 18 inches

September 1st, 2020
Plant 1: 33 inches
Plant 2: 48 inches
Plant 3: 42 inches
Plant 4: 47 inches

Good growth considering all were about 4-6 inch plugs when I first planted them back on April 24th, 2020.

September 26th, 2020
Tip Layering Blackberry Plants – All of my plants are tall and easily tip over to the ground so today I will try tip layering for the first time. Here’s my video:

How to Tip Layer Blackberry Plants Part 1

October 1st, 2020
Two plants over 6 feet tall and the other two around 5 feet tall.

Natchez Blackberry plants 1 and 2 on Oct 1st, 2020
Natchez Blackberry plants 3 and 4 on Oct 1st, 2020

October 17th, 2020
Blackberry Tip Layering update – 21 days later!

Tip Layer Blackberry Plants Part 2 – Update 21 days later