Stunted Triple Crown Blackberries

curlylindsayMay 19, 2013

I was looking for info on trellising Triple Crown Blackberries and found tons of posts showing huge two year old plants... while my 2 yo's are no bigger than large dandylions!

I planted 6 TC's from Stark Bro's in May of 2010. 2 died that summer, 2 are literally the same size they were 2 years ago (about 6" and bushy this spring), and 2 did "ok" (or so I thought till I saw pictures of other people's). My biggest has one cane reaching about 3ft!

My question is, given that the two years they have been in the ground have been years of major drought and extreme heat, should I be concerned?

They are planted on a hillside and get morning shade, planted in fairly heavy, rocky soil I amended only a little before planting. I did irrigate through the drought summers, but they are way out on the edge of my property and would definitely look rough by the time their turn for water came 1 or 2x week.

Should I dig them up and move or just hope for a kinder summer?

This spring I've been fertilizing every 10-15 days with Stark's 22-24-12 fertilizer, hoping to actually get some growth.

I guess I am just looking for guidance, an idea of what is normal for plants surviving drought, or an admonition to just be patient!

also- I read on here and old post suggesting horse manure for Blackberries because they like the nitrogen? We have a horse- can we use manure before it's aged? and would I be correct in assuming it needs to not come in direct contact with leaves or canes?

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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Horse manure find use it September to December each year you want to put out so become 4 inches thick but not up to plant. I'd wait till manure aged some before used it if dry and fresh it okay to use Fall winter months up to January 1st the reason it compost in place before new growth.
If you use old old old manure its no good for crops. When rains the juice out manure go to roots and nutrient be pick up by plant.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 6:42PM
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Dig the best one up this autumn and put it in a handier site with better soil. The plants are currently in too extreme of a location.
They haven't developed enough roots in 2 years for fertilizer to be effective.

By the third summer, most blackberries should be producing quarts, if not gallons, of fruit.

How do wild or other varieties of blackberry do in your general area?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 10:29PM
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I'd move them to a better location and water them more. In that type of heat that is a little on the dry side. I have TC in 2 different areas, even the ones in the poor location have 6 ft canes.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 12:45PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Even with a drought, TC should perform better. Last year I put in 150 TC in a new planting. It didn't rain last summer and I lost 2/3 of the plants. The ones that did survive are pushing big new canes this year. The canes are mulched with weed competition kept to a minimum.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 3:23PM
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