Please help: Need Blackberry Vine Advice

KendraSchmidtJuly 16, 2012

I recently purchased three blackberry vines that I would like to put in the ground. But I don't know what is the recommended spacing for blackberry vines. I purchased three. Also, what kind of sun does a Blackberry vine need?

These look kind of generic and didn't come with additional info, but they're for zone 8a.

Also, how invasive are Blackberry vines? I've read a few threads here with complaints about them taking over. I was going to put up a 4-wire trellis for the blackberries to grow onto. Are there any precautions I should take to keep the vines under control?

And last question, these already have a few fruits on them, but they're about 31 to 32 inches tall. How much will these grow per year in height? And how much fruit should I expect?

Thanks everyone in advance for your advice.

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Oh, I forgot to mention, they're thornless; I don't know if that is helpful or not...

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 10:15AM
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Well, I would say plant them 3 to 4 feet apart. A trellis structure is fine. IMHO, the "best" way to control their spread is to put them in a separate bed surrounded on all sides by turf, so that any suckers that come up in the lawn are cut. Alternatively, I suppose some type of physical barrier similar to the "bamboo barrier" used to control the spread of bamboo would work. In your zone, a third alternative would probably be to grow them in very large containers. In an open garden situation, yes, they will spread if you allow them, but you can remove the ones that come up beyond their designated space a few times a season as an alternate means of control. Since they're a thornless type, that is a lot less painful than if they were thorny.

Height is hard to say, because it varies so much by variety -- some of the upright kinds can get 8 to 12 feet tall in the right climate, while some of the trailers won't get up off of the ground to speak of without help of a trellis structure. Yield, too, is kind of hard to say, because there are just so many variables, including berry size. My patch that is roughly 8 x 20 will give me maybe 10-12-15 quarts in a good year after bird competition, which generally isn't bad enough to merit covering them since the birds seem to prefer other fruits first.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 10:34AM
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Thornless varieties don't produce suckers. They propagate by layering. Wherever the canes touch the ground, they will grow roots. So it is important to support canes on a structure. Overall thornless blackberries are much easier to control than thorny suckering blackberries.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 2:50PM
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Okay, thank you Olga. Dennimi, that was really helpful as well and good to know. I'll pray that these things don't try to take over, and as a precaution, put them in a dedicated area just in case.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 6:03PM
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Blackberry is the easiest fruit tree to maintain. I started with one tree and now has three pushes. They produce abundantly so far we had over 2 bushels this year, It is very irresistible to disease and can protect itself from the rabbits and the deer by inflicting pain by its thorns.They produce suckers and I am planning to replant these suckers along the fence. My grand kids have a feast with Blackberry. But be careful working with them wear gloves.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 1:26AM
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FP, are you speaking of the blackberry bushes or blackberry vines? I have blackberry vines and they're thornless...

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 5:14AM
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