Blackberry Understory

blindingbrown(6b)April 4, 2013

We have a 10' wide row of blackberries next to the house that were great producers last year. There is almost two feet of soil in front of them before the lawn starts, and I'd like to plant some vegetables / herbs there. Any suggestions on what / what not to plant?

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I know legumes are a recomended crop as it is a recomended companion plant. I planted bush beans inbetween 2 of my rows and it worked out pretty dang well.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 5:01PM
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Raw_Nature(5 OH)

Strawberries? Low bush blueberries? Beats,carrots,radish,etc.. Leafy greens.. Heading vegetables - broc, coli,etc.. I assume anything in front of the blackberries will shade them, so anything low growing would probably work fine.. How much light does it get? What does it face,south,north? Also, I plan on installing 30 foot row of blackberries soon.. How much did you 10 foot row yield roughly? What kind if blackberries? How far apart you space them?


    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 6:31PM
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Perhaps there is more space than you describe; two feet from the berries is exactly where I would be standing to harvest or prune them, thus trampling the vegetables. Perhaps you can stand on the lawn and still reach the fruit?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 11:23PM
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I think I will try legumes. Did you train them up the blackberry canes, three sisters style?

We have about 4 main clumps of canes, and got 4-5 gallons of berries last year. We still have bags in the freezer and jam in the basement.

They are in an extreemly sunny spot, and also get stored heat that radiates out of the house siding. It's a SSE spot. Mostly south.

As for the two feet. It's two feet of dirt between the base of the canes and the grass. The tops lean towards the grass, where we stand to pick. So, the blackberries will shade the understory a bit. But given the site, should still be sunny enough for most things.

Thanks everyone, for your responses.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 8:09AM
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Raw_Nature(5 OH)

If you don't already have a trellis for your blackberries,you could support them so they don't arch and shade the understory, but so you could still reach them from the grass so you donthave to step on the understory.. I can't see legumes or anything climbing like beans working, it will likely compete with the blackberries, not only for sunlight,etc, but for air circulation which could cause mildew and other problems.. Maybe it will work if you plant a few of them, but 5 in square foot is asking for trouble.. You dont happen to have a picture do you? We could help you much better instead of guessing your scenario..

Good luck,

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 10:03AM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Any heavy feeder plant work like onions garlic herbs if take rich soil. Plants like Tomatoes and Potatoes add soil diseases to soil that not good for blackberries. Any digging around my blackberry plants cause more plants to come up spreading patch outward I don't think you get very many years growth in that spot.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 11:42AM
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