Blackberries

ack01April 15, 2013

Heya, I have row of blackberry plants that I planted last year. Everything grew fine and started blooming well this year. However the canes are very long and very skinny. I think the amount of fruit on each cane is is to much for it to support. I am thinking of just cutting all of the cains back to the ground so that I will have thinker healther cains next year. Is it ok to prune all off the cains off at this time of year?

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ericwi

I don't grow blackberries, but I do grow everbearing raspberries. I think your blackberry plants will recover from the pruning you suggest, but you will lose a season of fruit production. Is it really necessary? Maybe you could prop up the skinny canes with bamboo stakes, tied at the cross points. I don't know that thin and whippy blackberry canes are unhealthy, they should work OK.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 2:34PM
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ack01

Well the reason I am doing this is because other than on the one short cain I have the fruit is rather small. I would rather have a bigger crop next year than let the plant waste it's energy on this low grade fruit. So my theory behind it was just cut off all the second year canes so that first year cans can start growning stronger.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 3:01PM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)

improve your growing conditions (Soil) and install a trellis. Blackberries are trailing, and absolutely need a trellis

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 3:28PM
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ack01

I do have trellis in place. They are growning up 6 foot horse pannel raised 1 foot above the ground. the soul conditions are also pretty good. the soil is 20% rabbit 30% cow mixed in with 50% florida sand and mulched with composted pine rabbit litter. the reason they are small is because they were all cuttings I made in the middle of last summer. They just did not have the time to get big. I am just wondering if it would hurt or help them if I were to cut them all back to the ground at this point for a bigger harvest next year. I just want to force it to put all of it's energy into growing new growth. I do not care much about the current years crop

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 6:06PM
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melikeeatplants

"Blackberries are trailing, "

Blackberries can be erect, semi-erect, or trailing. Do you know the variety?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 7:03PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Just pick off the flowers this year if you want to let the plant get bigger. Cutting back now will slow root growth down since there will be fewer leaves feeding the roots this year.

Scott

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 8:29PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Don't cut out any fruiting canes all energy are in Floricanes now to make fruits just a little water need make berries. Florida has long growing season very long Blackberries don't need much time to recover from small crop you going to have enjoy.

To stop long and slender brake bud out went get to length you want it brake bud back down cane and grow this makes more berries.

Blackberry plant if not to hot above 95 degree they grow 4 inches a day each cane in out zone they slow growth July August and pick back up in September so fall growth will double size plant from spring growth if fertilizer there and once a week watering done remember blackberry plants drowned easily water heavy one day week and no water for 6 days.

Pinch buds will make canes larger sizes mind 1 inch are more. as crowns have time to grow in size you have more canes coming up from crown in hot south we only get about 3 average per plant in cold climates they get 7 to 9 from crowns.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 8:41PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

What grew last year is going to die this summer in June your that set fruit going to die out then cut that at ground level are let just swivel away first year.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 8:46PM
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larry_gene

Do not cut down the canes, for reasons stated above. Keep a couple of clusters of fruit to get an idea what it will taste like, if you are curious.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 10:40PM
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ack01

Thanks for all the feed back guys. I will leave them be. If they only need water once a week I have defantly been over watering. I usually water everthing 3x a week (drilled my own well and am loving free water). I will slow my watering to once a week.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 11:02PM
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murkwell

If you are in Florida heat growing in 50% sand, I'd think they probably need watering a lot more often than what some other posters are used to.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 12:17PM
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