Triple crown spacing and trellising

poolecw(Georgia 7b)January 23, 2014

What has been your best set up with planting triple crown blackberries? I have seen several trelling methods and would like poll the the "hive" here on GardenWeb.

I have seen a two wire method where arms are sent down each wire. I have seen a two wire method where the arms are trained to wrap around the top wire, then the bottom, then back to the top (and continues this pattern). I have seen a "fan" pattern used as well where canes radiate from the ground and are tied to trellis wires.

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My triple crown blackberries are planted under livestock fence (the type with the larger holes). They kind of trellis themselves by growing through it. One "problem" I have is that the canes will continually dive down so that the tip of the cane will start a new plant. This makes mowing near the plants harder because they anchor themselves this way. But they are kept upright enough by the fence. I confess to not putting much effort into their upkeep. But I still get a decent crop mostly on alternate years.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 5:13PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I use a 2 wire system. They are semi-erect. You can't really wrap the canes, as they are too stiff, and will snap. Not like trailing blackberries where that is easy to do. You can wrap them a touch, but they are thick and somewhat upright. They do grow down after growing up. They can easily grow 15 feet long. You could cut them to 6 feet and secure to top wire, or let them grow along top wire, that is what i do.They tend to grow upright to 5 feet than start to bend down, that is when you can weave them into the top wire. These are top rate berries!! Good choice!!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 7:23PM
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Triple Crown canes are so robust and stiff that they are better suited to frames rather than wires. I use steel T-posts connected on top with 2x2 cedar. The main cane is tied onto the the horizontal cedar pieces at 5 feet above the ground; laterals can be tied onto the cedar, to adjacent canes and to each other. No need for arms or wires, the cane and laterals are largely their own trellis.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 10:51PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

What Larry says might work better. My trellis is for many cultivars, it's about 25 feet long. Some are trailing, some are erect, and everything inbetween. So a two wire "universal" trellis works for me.

This post was edited by Drew51 on Thu, Jan 23, 14 at 23:42

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 11:30PM
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My trellis also includes arms and wires for trailing types that are interspersed with the triple crowns--although the TC could just as well be used to trellis the trailers--but one doesn't want to get canes bundled too densely.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 11:36PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Triple Crown is an impressive plant. i have Sanchez too, and that one also grows like mad! It is a lot more upright, and a stake would work well. It really doesn't need a trellis. I also have not decided what i will be keeping? Mother nature has something to say about it. -14 here a couple weeks ago, and for two nights next week going down to -8.
I'll be adding Black Diamond, Apache, and Loch Ness next year.
I may have room for more, i guess we will see!! If room opens up from a plant that does not make it, i would like to add a primocane cultivar. I have 8 cultivars currently, plus the three new ones next spring will make 11! Also adding 2 black raspberry cultivars. i have one currently. I like to have red, yellow, and black raspberries every year.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 1:04AM
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So, good advice may be if specializing in erect varieties like TC, staking or framing will do. If one is eventually trialing or keeping a wide variety of caneberry growth habits, a more complete trellis system is worthwhile.

Black Diamond and black-caps definitely can use trellis wires.

As for spacing, 2 or 3 feet between clumps of canes is doable, but for such dense planting one has to plan on what to do with large crops. 4, 6, or 8-foot in-row spacing may be more practical and manageable. Spacing between rows should be at least 4 feet. 8 feet is more common.

Keep in mind that TC makes very long fruiting spurs--18 inches up high and up to 3 feet long down low (!). So these canes should not be crowded by other gardening.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 4:53AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I like to have the trailing types as IMHO they are the better tasting types. Many though will not grow here. Not that many more cultivars I wish to try. I have 6 trellises here. For blackberries and raspberries. 4 are 2 wire, one is three wire, and another is two sets of two wires. Most are for raspberries, I have about 20 cultivars. Spacing varies but it is conservative for the blackberries. Many are spaced at 6 feet, most at 5 feet. If SWD ever becomes a problem trellis systems will be used for vegetables vines, or possibly kiwi.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 7:37AM
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poolecw(Georgia 7b)

Thanks for the info, guys. I put them in the ground at 6' spacing this weekend. I have some time before I have to set up the trellis. So that should give me some time to think it through.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 3:07PM
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