Author Topic: Anybody grow their own blackberries?  (Read 3121 times)

living small

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Re: Anybody grow their own blackberries?
« Reply #50 on: May 02, 2018, 02:56:56 PM »
....just don't plant one near where you park your car.....

Trifele

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Re: Anybody grow their own blackberries?
« Reply #51 on: May 02, 2018, 05:39:17 PM »
I have also heard (old wives tale? farmer's almanac ?) that planting a mulberry tree around other things with delicious fruits will keep birds away. I guess some birds prefer mulberries to other fruits? Plus, a mulberry tree can produce sooo much, there is enough for you and the birds.

Mulberries are ultra productive and beloved by wildlife. Just be sure to plant them farrrr from your house.  Birds that eat mulberries poop purple.  And the berries themselves will do a wicked stain job on sidewalks and driveways.  That said, I love mulberry trees and have had a couple different ones. 

Rural

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Re: Anybody grow their own blackberries?
« Reply #52 on: May 02, 2018, 06:15:16 PM »
Dogs will definitely pick blackberries. I often have “help” in the wild brambles. Smaller dogs are better at it - they can get the berries on the bottom that the humans can’t reach.

dougules

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Re: Anybody grow their own blackberries?
« Reply #53 on: May 03, 2018, 01:05:13 PM »
I have also heard (old wives tale? farmer's almanac ?) that planting a mulberry tree around other things with delicious fruits will keep birds away. I guess some birds prefer mulberries to other fruits? Plus, a mulberry tree can produce sooo much, there is enough for you and the birds.

Mulberries are ultra productive and beloved by wildlife. Just be sure to plant them farrrr from your house.  Birds that eat mulberries poop purple.  And the berries themselves will do a wicked stain job on sidewalks and driveways.  That said, I love mulberry trees and have had a couple different ones.

My mulberry tree is next to my peach tree, and I think it just helped the birds notice the peaches right next door.  They wiped both trees completely clean, and the 30-ft-tall mulberry produces several gallons of berries. 

And yes, mulberries stain bad whether fresh or post-processed.  When I pick them my hands stay purple for days. 

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Anybody grow their own blackberries?
« Reply #54 on: May 04, 2018, 05:43:30 PM »
I've already run into my first problem with these blackberry plants. Squirrels have started chewing on them. One is in pretty bad shape. I took some old bird netting and draped it over the plants like a teepee using some metal poles I had laying around, but I'll need to get a bigger piece of netting tomorrow at the store to protect them better. Not a great start to this project.

Ugh. Squirrels can be a harbinger of doom to a hopeful gardener. I remember trying to grow potatoes in my backyard at a previous house. No dice - the squirrels dug up and ate all of the seed potatoes before they even had a chance to sprout. Luckily, our garden at this house is fenced, plus we have a dog that keeps them at bay. The bird netting is an  inexpensive defensive tactic. Good luck with it.

So far the netting has been working. I'm currently holding down the edges with metal poles right up against the rock/cement borders of that section of the garden. The squirrels can't lift the poles and they can't tunnel underneath due to the cement border. I'm going to need those poles, though, to build a larger frame for the bushes' netting, so we're going to ride our bicycles around the area and look for somewhere we can procure some free large rocks. I figure a few cartloads of those would replace the metal pipes just fine.

tomsang

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Re: Anybody grow their own blackberries?
« Reply #55 on: May 04, 2018, 05:54:36 PM »
Shaking my head at everyone from the PNW giving grief that WTC is planting thornless blackberries. We have a 50' row of thornless blackberries at our house, despite also having tons of wild blackberries on our 8 acres. There's no comparison between the two. I can fill a gallon bucket of the domesticated blackberries in 15 minutes, and every one will be deliciously plump and sweet. It would probably take me two hours of fighting brambles to pick a gallon of our wild berries, and half of them will be quite sour. We still pick the wild ones, because they're there and I hate to see them go to waste, but I much prefer our domesticated berries (which I dug up, for free, from a friends' house).

I still have a hard time wrapping my head around this.  Growing up in Western Washington, we all know that blackberries were sent by demons to take over our yards.  So to hear that someone is considering planting them is 100% against everything we know about blackberries.  A week after this post and I still cringe when I see the subject line.  With a little education, we can breakdown our revulsion of somebody contemplating planting blackberries.  Thanks to the OP I now know that there are less invasive species. 

I see the same reaction when people talk about debt.  They are 100% against it until they gain the knowledge of the pros and cons of different types of debt.

fredbear

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Re: Anybody grow their own blackberries?
« Reply #56 on: May 12, 2018, 05:06:52 PM »
I've already run into my first problem with these blackberry plants. Squirrels have started chewing on them. One is in pretty bad shape. I took some old bird netting and draped it over the plants like a teepee using some metal poles I had laying around, but I'll need to get a bigger piece of netting tomorrow at the store to protect them better. Not a great start to this project.

Pellet guns now achieve levels of accuracy you would not believe if your experience with them is more than 30 years old, and they are very quiet.  Squirrel is good: aberts is best; fox next best; gray not ... bad; red, pine, and rock, pretty poor, though they can interest the cat.  Now, you might think that when the blackberries become a zone of death, the news is passed around the squirrel community and they abandon your yard for that neighbor's who put up the Gun-free sign and eat his blackberries.  I thought that.  But it does not appear to be true.  The deterrence is immediate, but not durable.  The meals, however, are good.  When the harvests of both are in, you might tempt yourself with stir-fried squirrel with a sauce of sauteed blackberry and creme de mure.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: Anybody grow their own blackberries?
« Reply #57 on: May 12, 2018, 05:27:56 PM »
I wouldn't say we do the growing. Our berries pop up literally everywhere. The bed flower bed with mulch and weed cloth next to the house (it was there we we bought the place) yes. In the field in the spring before the first mow, yes. Next the the stump that hasn't been string trimmed in a couple weeks, yes. Down slope from the septic field yes.  and on and on.

Wild berries are a weed here.

big_slacker

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Re: Anybody grow their own blackberries?
« Reply #58 on: May 13, 2018, 09:20:27 AM »
PacNW blackberries grow EVERYWHERE. I would even sometimes pick some off the bike path from downtown Bellevue on my commute, haha! Had some in my old rental. It is AWESOME to eat a bowl of fresh berries right off the bush. Definitely as others have said they grow strong and will take over if you don't keep them in check.

No need for berries in the yard anymore. We've got u-pick berry farms within a mile of the house, one of the benefits of rural/farm livin.

chloes1

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Re: Anybody grow their own blackberries?
« Reply #59 on: May 13, 2018, 12:41:11 PM »
PNW checking in!

I, too, never knew there were actual varieties, I just assumed they sprang from one of Satan's orifices.   This thread made me think of wild huckleberries, so so good to eat!

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Anybody grow their own blackberries?
« Reply #60 on: May 13, 2018, 07:24:57 PM »
A few weeks into this project and the blackberry bushes are growing just fine. The netting did the trick for stopping the squirrels. They had chewed up one of the three plants pretty badly, but now it's growing again, though smaller than the other two at the moment. I'm going to build a taller "cage" from PVC pipes and netting when they get a little bigger. I guess the squirrels have decided it's not worth the effort to chew through the netting when there's a ready and open supply of seeds at the bird feeder on the other side of the property.