Blackberry flowers being pollinated©Janet Allen Blackberry flowers being pollinated

We bought one Black Satin blackberry plant quite a few years ago. It hung out near our fence for some years until we noticed that it was growing along the fence and producing a lot of berries.

When the canes touch the ground, they root themselves. I transplanted some of these new plants, and since the one we had seemed to do well in the shade, I moved them into another partially shaded area.

Blackberry canes ©Janet Allen
Blackberry canes

I haven't totally figured out how to take care of blackberries. I have tried to train them on a series of horizontal wires that I ran between some metal posts, but the plants, for the most part, eschew the wires and just grow out in all directions.

I know that the berries are produced on the previous year's new canes and that I can prune away the canes that did produce berries.

Triple Crown ©Janet Allen
Our new blackberries

We recently planted two other varieties with upright canes: five Triple Crown plants and one Ouachita (an impulse buy at the grocery store).

We hope these will be manageable enough that they'll behave in the actual garden rather than at the back of the yard. These also are thornless.

Blackberries beginning to ripen©Janet Allen Blackberries beginning to ripen

We use the blackberries to make jam. The first batch we made was full of seeds. Now we use a simple Foley food mill to remove them, and it makes a much nicer jam. Though the berries aren't sweet enough to eat by themselves, the jam is delicious.

I do very little to take care of the blackberry plants. Pruning and trying to train some canes is all I have done. I haven''t fertilized them at all. They are in out of the way places where access is difficult and they don't get noticed much. But then they don't seem to need attention to be very productive.

Harvest record

YR LB Notes
14 1
13 20 Janet's favorite jam; great for pies, too
12 3
11 11
10 14
09 8