Blackberry Hedge

level3navigatorMarch 1, 2007

I am wanting to put a blackberry hedge up along the back of my property, approx. 120' worth. My questions are:

1. What variety grows best in Utah? I am looking for some height (8') here, as well as a good fruiting variety.

2. What type of irrigation (sprinkler system) should I anticipate to water these plants?

3. When is the best time to plant? Where is a good supplier?

4. What kind of growth rate can I expect? A couple vertical feet per year?

Thanks for any information. Thus far I'm only good at vegetables and I'm looking to widen my horizons (as well as provide some privacy)

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stevation(z5a Utah)

I haven't tried blackberries, but I do have raspberries. I think their needs are about the same. With raspberries, you have to learn to prune them at the right times. Mine are the kind that produce fruit on last year's wood, so you cut out all the canes that produced when the harvest is over and make way for the new canes to grow bigger (they're Canby raspberries -- the same as "Bear Lake" raspberries, which is nice, because they're largely thornless).

I don't know if there are blackberries that will consistently produce well without pruning every year. Although I've picked them in the wild in California, and nobody was pruning them!

Mine are watered 2-3 times a week with a regular pop up sprinkler like in a lawn, but it's held high on a riser so it doesn't get blocked by the low growth. I think blackberries might need more moisture than raspberries, but I'm not sure.

They'll grow very fast, but it will take a few years before the clumps develop some mass, I'd think.

I think you can find bare root plants in the spring. I don't know if they can be planted out before all the flowers in May, but I'd suppose if they're still bare twigs they could handle that.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 1:04PM
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songbirdmommy(UT 5)

I am taking a Master Gardener class, and we covered blackberries this last week.
The best place to buy your blackberries are from reputable nursery.
Our instructor said that the best blackerries here in Utah are the Triple Crown. They produce huge, delicious blackberries.
Triple crowns are thornless and semi-erect.
They also grow on last years growth, you can train them to grow on a chain link fence, but it will require some work to extricate the spent canes from between the links, without damaging the next years production canes(Voice of experience)
You will want to plant the brambles 2-3 feet apart to give them room to grow in.
The roots like to be kept moist, but not wet or soggy.
The Nursery that you buy them from should be able to tell you more info, or find it out for you. Another thing that you can do is google Triple crown blackberries and read more about them and their specific requirements.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 1:31PM
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level3navigator

Thanks for the information. Does anyone know about Doyle blackberries and how they perform in our area? My web research seems to indicate they outperform the Triple Crown in fruiting but I am uncertain if that is true for Utah.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 3:39PM
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songbirdmommy(UT 5)

The wonderful thing about gardening is having fun trying and testing what works and what does not work.

I would ask a local nursery about Doyle blackberries.
If a reputable nursery carries it, they will guarantee it. If it isn't going to grow here, then they do not want to waste your time and their $ on refunds.

If they do not carry it, it doesn't mean that it won't grow here, maybe they do not know about it, or maybe it does not perform as nicely.

Could also be invasive, I know when I lived in WA the blackeberries were everywhere.

Someone said in my Master Gardener's class last week... "In Gardening, we test the limits, we try things just to see "IF" they will grow, if they die, we compost and move on to the next test."

I prefer my plants to live, but if they die, we should figure out why. If it is the soil, we need to figure out if we can amend and improve the conditions. If it is something else, we should either fix the problem, or find a plant that actually likes the condition we currently have.
Work within the limits, but it is OK to test the limits once in a while too.

Please tell us how your blackberries are doing, and which ones you planted.
If it was me, and I had the space, I would plant both Doyle and triple Crown and do a side by side test.
Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 11:21AM
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stevation(z5a Utah)

Hey, I'm bringing this thread back up because I just noticed Larry Sagers wrote a column in the Des News.about blackberries two weeks ago that was pretty informative. I'll put the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Blackberries in Utah

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 12:55AM
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spyfferoni(z/5 UT)

Thanks for the link to the article. I have Canby Raspberries that I purchased on-line. There are some great places to buy plants on-line if you can't find what you need at local nurseries. I've been thinking about getting some black raspberries or black berries, but I'm not sure if they'll cross---so I'm waiting to find out more info before I spend any money. I am happy with my Canby raspberries. I've been toying with the idea of getting a Fall bearing variety so I'll have berries later too.

Tyff

    Bookmark   April 13, 2007 at 10:02AM
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