When do you plant blackberry bushes?

jessakaNovember 3, 2012

I want to move my blackberries because they are mostly in shade. Do you do it now or in the spring? Thanks.

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I think that sometime between late February and late March would be the best time because it would give them plenty of time to get established (hopefully) before summer's insanely hot weather arrives.

If for some reason you needed to move them in the fall or winter after they've gone dormant, I think they would be okay. You'd just need to keep an eye on them and make sure they didn't get too dry while dormant since they'll lose some of their feeder roots when they are dug up and transplanted.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 8:44PM
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thanks dawn. i think i will wait until march then. am even wondering of the wisdom of planting them in an open field due to deer, but where they are they don't get much sunshine, so i can use netting.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 8:10AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

You're welcome Jessaka. Here's what little I've learned about growing blackberries in open fields. Snakes are a bigger problem than deer, at least here in my part of the state. Snakes like to lie there under the blackberries. I assume they are either relying on the thorny plants to keep predators away from them, or maybe they're lying in wait for small critters that come to steal the berries. Around here, you have to watch your feet when you're harvesting blackberries directly in or adjacent to an open field or on the sunny edge of a woodland. I still would move them though--just be sure to watch your feet when harvesting. If they're in too much shade, they'll never produce very well, so moving them is definitely the best choice, even if you have to fight Mother Nature's wild things for the berries. We have lots of deer and I've never had them bother blackberries, but that might be because the plants were grown pretty close to the house and the dog yard.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 9:18AM
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thanks dawn, never see snakes in the field next door, but it is good to know. maybe the feral cats have killed them. they would be close to the house.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 9:53AM
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jessaka, the deer havent bothered my blackberries and they can't be seen from the house. The only time my dog is around them is when I allow him thru the gate and I don't allow him to mark his territory on them if you know what I mean. I see deer tracks all the time but they don't seem to care for my blackberries. Add this to what Dawn said and i'd guess they would prefer to eat something else and keeping in mind that there always seem to be an exception to the rule. You can move small tip layered plants anytime as long as you don't disturb the roots. I do it all. year round. I started with 7 plants and now have around 30.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 2:08PM
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hi, that is good news about the deer, but what is "small tip layered plants?"

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 5:52PM
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Tip layered plants are plants that have cloned themselves by having a limb touch the ground long enough to form roots on the tip of the branch. It doesnt even have to be the tip of the limb it can be a foot away. Some plants don't do well with this method of propagation but clematis, forsythia, and blackberries do. Especially blackberries. I have some plants with 7 or 8 tips rooted. If you tug on a cane and it does'nt want to come, congratulatios you have a new blackberry plant. Try not to disturb the roots when you move it (which are usually not much bigger than an orange)but can be bigger.Leave about 4 to 6 in. of top cane so you see where its at.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 8:19PM
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I woke up this morning and it occured to me that i had'nt mentioned bending a limb over, covering it with dirt and placing a rock on it till it roots. This generally takes all summer. Google layering or propagation and you will see that its easy.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 8:50AM
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thanks. now i know what it means. i am trying to do that with a lilac bush.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 2:25PM
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I've done it successfully with Hydrangea also. I sure wouldn't be doing it with Hydrangeas in the persistent drought we are having, tho, cuz they take a ton of water to get established, as the name implies.


    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 7:17AM
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Ditto on the watering Susan. I lost 4 out of 7 endless summer hydrangeas this summer learning that lesson.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 7:34AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I learned my lessons with hydrangeas in general in the drought of 2003 when our area received less than 19" of rain. I lost most of mine then and haven't planted one since. ThenI lost the survivors in the drought of 2005. I love the way they look, but have a heck of a time keeping them alive in our hot summers.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 9:35AM
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and will this drought continue?

i notice that my oak hydrangeas are better with water, but i really like the pink or blue flowers.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 7:11AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Jessaka, So far, they are saying yes the drought will continue.

Last night on our evening news, our local TV met mentioned that the current drought began in October 2010 and will continue in the foreseeable future. Now, he was speaking specifically about his Texoma viewing area which includes counties near and along the Red River in both southern OK and north-central Texas, but I think what he said applies to most of OK. Some areas may not have had the drought begin until early in 2011. Regardless, it will take months of above-average rainfall to end the drought, and most of us continue to receive below-average rainfall.

Some of the Texas counties near my OK county that had dropped their burn bans after good rainfall in roughly August-September or maybe August-October, now have put burn bans back in effect, which is never a good sign.

The latest Drought Outlook is linked below. As you will see when you look at it, it forecasts that the drought will persist over a huge portion of the country, including almost all of OK. They update this outlook every two weeks and this is the worst it has looked in a while.


Here is a link that might be useful: Seasonal Drought Outlook Nov 2012 - Feb 2013

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 9:55AM
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