Natchez Blackberry Help

2010champsbcsApril 29, 2014

Just thinking about ways to get a bigger blackberry harvest and stay organic if possible. About 80% of this years crop will be lost due to borer damage. What are your thought on cutting this years new canes down to about 8" to ground and forcing multiple canes near the soil level? My intent is to be able to remove infected canes in early spring and save the uninfected canes to crop. Your thoughts and any other ideas are welcome.

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I know that on trailing blackberries, some growers use a growing approach called AY (alternate year) production. These growers essentially cut down all of the canes once every 2 years. This approach allows the blackberry plants to put more energy intro new growth this way since there are no 2nd year canes to worry about that year. Whether a similar approach would work for Natchez blackberries, I'm not sure.

I assume from your post you are hoping that by having more canes produced, you would then increase the chances that cane borers would miss some of the canes and leave more for you to harvest.

If you have a high cane borer infestation rate, you probably have another host for the cane borers nearby. Otherwise, when you remove the infested canes this year, before the cane borers emerge; you would kill off the next generation and thus remedy the problem. You may want to scour the nearby area and remove host plants. That might be your best bet.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:57AM
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jtburton. Thanks for sharing. Bill

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 12:09AM
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I have Natchez variety and Triple Crown, plus Apache, and Navaho. This spring I notice I had some odd growth on my Triple Crowns. After checking I find they are Borers. I only lost two canes on one plant and one on another. My other blackberry varieties don't show in evidence of borers. I sprayed all my plants with liquid dishwasher soap and burned the canes that had the borers. I have a Cottonwood tree some 50 feet away that we be the source for the borers.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 8:59AM
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Fred. Thanks for sharing your experience. I hate to give up on blackberries with a good fight. I'm thinking about planting a more dense row and just cut out the bad ones each winter. Wish I had a better organic method. Bill

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 11:10AM
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