Help! Illini Blackberry planting question!

offgridnatureman(4)April 18, 2009

Hi folks,

A question concerning planting some Blackberry's that are not dormant in my still cool climate.

I just got an order in of Illini Hardy Blackberrys...

They came in with "bare-root" scratched off the shipping form and "TC" written in, looks like this means Tissue Culture. They came in with some other Blackberries and Raspberries that are typical bare-root dormant stock.

I don't want to start naming company names as possibly I did not understand when ordering - but I could swear I asked if all stock was dormant bare-root, as I didn't want anything not dormant.

Anyway, these Illini's, are little plugs, green growing plants, I'm worried about planting them outside here in my 8000 foot zone 4 that has another few weeks of freezing temps...although this week is supposed to be nice sunny 60 degree days, nights are still freezing for a few weeks.

Any ideas of what to do? Plant outside, and mulch the top with straw for a few weeks? Pot up in my greenhouse, then attempt to harden up and plant outside in a month or so?

Anyone ever grown Illini's in pots indoors? ; )

Thanks...

AC

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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

The blackberry leaves can take some pretty cold weather, I dont know the exact cutoff but I planted some this spring which took 25F no problem. So I would plant them. If a super cold low is coming throw some leaves on them. My blackberries usually keep leaves on through half of the winter around here, they must be taking some weather colder than 20F.

Scott

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 4:32PM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

My Doyle blackberries came as a 1' tall plant, which was fully leaved out. During my discussion with the company (for another reason), they said it was fine to plant them (even with them being fully leaf'd out), and a frost wouldn't hurt them. I didn't get an exact temperature from him, but he made it sound like mid 20's wouldn't be a problem. He said that my plants had already been through frosts after being grown in Florida, and then living outside in Indiana for a while. If you plant them and it is going to get cold, you could always put a hat (bucket, leaves as Scott mentions, or something) over the top of them. Good luck,
-Glenn

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 7:07PM
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