Do you know how long does it take to grow blackberries so you can make those tasty jams that everyone talks about?
Blackberries are commonly grown by most gardeners due to their favorable taste and the variety of recipes you can make with them. They can grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 to 10 and are among the easier berries to grow among the classification of berries.
However, like any fruit-bearing plants, they will require proper care to thrive. If you wonder how long blackberries take to grow, you will learn about all that in this article.
So How Long Does It Take To Grow Blackberries?
Most gardeners fear that these plants take forever to bear fruits. However, as long as you give your blackberry what they require to grow, you can expect them to bear healthy fruit at least by the second year.
Growing a fruit tree requires patience. After you plant the seeds, the canes will grow fast, producing leaves and a small batch of fruit in the first year. The fruit will come in full during the second year before the canes die and new canes come alive.
Each cane lives for 2 years and is referred to as an old cane. The old cane will need pruning to prevent diseases from spreading into the new canes. The faster you prune the old canes; the quicker new ones will reproduce. Do not prune canes that are healthy to keep your fruit consistently growing.
That said, blackberries are usually ready for harvesting at the end of summer or early fall. Pick them when the temperatures are cool and refrigerate them immediately as they are highly perishable.
If you are not ready to wait so long to get fruit from your blackberry plant, you can buy mature canes locally.
Some Understanding About Blackberries
There are a few things you need to know besides how long does it take for berries to grow. They include:
All blackberries are perennials. This means they grow back year after year.
Three types of blackberry varieties exist. These are divided into erect thorny blackberries, semi-erect thornless blackberries, and trailing thornless blackberries.
Blackberries are susceptible to diseases and pests, including fruit worms, mites, raspberry bushy dwarf virus, and grey mould. Therefore, it is vital to keep a close eye on your blackberries and protect them from any infestation.
Blackberries do not require too much maintenance; they only need pruning to remove the old canes that have died and allow new canes to grow.
How Do Blackberries Grow
Blackberries are known as brambles because they have vigorous growth and their stems are so thorny. If you leave them unmanaged, they will form an impenetrable hedge that will not allow you to harvest the fruits. These plants can be useful for creating fences or barriers around growing areas of other vegetables and fruits that could be susceptible to being eaten by animals.
They have canes that grow up to 20 ft long and require trellises to support them. Any gardener planning to grow blackberries must be prepared to prune, train them for support, and bring the trellis support early in their growing days. This type of attention will produce robust plants with strong fruit. Healthy blackberry plants are less prone to bacterial and fungal infections.
Three Types Of Blackberries And How To Grow Them
The three types of blackberries are trailing blackberries, aching blackberries, and erect blackberries. All three types can be cultivated by gardeners, but you can choose a type depending on what you want them and where you want to grow them.
Today, most gardeners have adopted the thornless cultivars that are best to cultivate in a home garden and harvest the fruits.
The erect blackberry bush is ideal for growing in containers.
The trailing and arching blackberries can be grown as a hedge
The thornless blackberry is best for a home gardener
BlackBerry prickles are sharp and aggressive, making harvesting or pruning a bit difficult for any gardener. Introducing the thornless blackberry cultivars is a huge advantage to many gardeners who can grow this fruit easily.
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Choosing The Perfect Site For Growing Blackberries
When selecting a site for growing blackberries, select an area that:
Receives 6 hours or more of direct sunlight every day
Does not allow water to collect in a pool around the base of the plants
Have enough space for the number of plants you want to grow
Is protected from strong winds
Has not had any plants in the Solanaceae family growing in the same spot for the past five years.
What Is The Best Weather For Blackberry, Cold Or Warm?
Blackberries prefer temperate regions that experience mild winters and cool summers. They also have varieties and cultivars that are now available and can adapt to slightly extreme conditions.
However, most of them will do well in a temperate area which equates to USDA zones 5 to 10. If you live in zone 4 you are lucky because few cultivars adapt to the colder regions. For example, Doyle is a thornless BlackBerry suitable for the Southern part in USDA zone 4, while Illini hardy is a thorny BlackBerry that is cold hardy.
Most blackberry varieties are cold tolerant up to -20 to -25 degrees Fahrenheit. In regions that experience dry, windy summer, the plant will need at least 200 to 300 hours of sunlight per season. The trailing varieties are best suited for zone 7, 8, and 9.
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When Is The Best Time To Harvest Blackberries?
The best time to pick blackberries is in the morning on cool, dry days. This extends the shelf life of these fruits that do not love too much sun while harvesting. They are soft and must be handled with care to avoid crashing.
Pick the blackberries, place them on trays or shallow tabs, and immediately refrigerate them to extend the shelf-life to about 7 days.
Your blackberries are ready for when you notice the shiny look beginning to fade away. Before harvesting blackberries, you will need to expose them to ample sunlight so they become sweet.
How long does it take for blackberries to grow? Generally, in 1 to 2 years, you can enjoy blackberries from your tree.