Kiowa planting and spacing

poolecw(Georgia 7b)March 21, 2014

I have two 60' grape trellises and recently set bracing posts at each end of each trellis. I am thinking about planting something in the spaces now occupied by the bracing posts (sticks out 7.5 ft from last trellis line post). I am leaning towards kiowa blackberries due to the fact theat they are upright growers and don't require trellising (once established).

What would be a good spacing for these? Should I just plant one plant in the center of my extra 7.5ft space or could I squeeze two in there? I don't know how big they get so I don't want to overcrowd the plants.

If I can get two per 7.5 ft spacing, I may plant four of them and four of another upright variety.

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I have several Kiowa and they need at least 3ft spacing. Mine form a hedge at that spacing but require summer pruning to keep from being unstable. If I don't prune them once in the summer, they will grow too tall and will lean into each other, blocking the sunlight for that plant. I lost several Kiowa primocanes (they broke at the base) last year from strong winds because I let mine grow too tall and didn't provide the requisite support.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 12:40PM
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I grew Kiowa for several years as well and dont see how you could get away with out a trellis. Seemed to me some canes would be really thick but would grow so long they would tip, expecially when fruit set happend. Kiowa produces so much fruit that any laterals on my plants more than a foot long would break in high winds when loaded with fruit. I think the best spacing is about 4ft if trellised with a 2 wire system. I would grow 2 canes per plant, one up to the bottom wire and one to the top wire. Tie it then cut the tip off and send 2 branches both ways from each cane and when a branch reached the next plant tip it again to force laterals then let it grow. In the fall when it stopped growth I would cut laterals back to about 1 ft. You end up with with 2 branches on every foot of wire on the trellis. Keeps things nice and neat which is great when it comes time to cut them down after fruiting. Those Kiowas are extra thorny!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 2:16PM
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