Homegrown Blackberries

Last spring I planted a row of thornless Prime-Ark Freedom Blackberries from Burpee in my garden. It has been a learning curve but I am so happy and excited about my berries. This evening I picked the first bowl full of the season to eat.

Let me start at the beginning. Last spring I ordered six plants and they all lived and are doing well. I asked advice from local farmer friends, Bill and India Cox, who raise blackberries to sell at farmer’s markets. They do not raise primocanes but their experience was well worth listening to and very helpful.

When I planted the berries, I put a short 2-ring tomato cage over each one . You can’t see them but they are there.  This helps the canes to stay upright from the start. We also built a support fence for them to help support the canes and also to give me a “controlled” row for the stalks.

My support post at each end of the 50 foot row.

We used two strands of hi-tensile wire on each side of the row with the bottom wire 28″ off the ground and 24″ apart and the top wires are 48 ” off the ground and 36″ apart.  Each wire has a hi-tensile wire tightener/ratchet so that we can tighten the wire as it stretches. We did not put any support posts in between which was a mistake and the weight of the canes soon popped the wires loose.

They produced all summer until frost and cold weather killed the canes. This picture was taken November 10th!

The patch ended up being a mess as my support wires had broken and I had canes 8 foot long stretched out over the ground. I talked to my friends and did some reading online. I ended up trimming the canes back to about 12 inches tall for the winter. The fruit is produced on new growth. We rebuilt the fence and added four t-post on each side to strengthen the wires. This summer as the canes reach over the top wire, I am nipping them off which is causing them to get develop stronger bushes. So far it is working well and I am very happy.

This picture shows the new support posts. We put them in on a slant.

This year the row has filled in to almost a solid row. The plants are strong and bushy. Any stray shoots popping up outside the row I am pulling up and potting some for family.

A spoonful of fresh homegrown garden goodness! I have even had some bigger than this one.

Another helpful website: Growing Erect Blackberries


  1. Linda Burkholder Said:

    Your “row” and the berries are beautiful!

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Kendra L Said:

    Do these need a particular soil, or do you think they’d do ok on our mountainside? Jill was telling me you were saving her some canes and I’d be glad for a few to try too. =)

    • Pat Said:

      I’m saving you some also. She told me you wanted some. I had hoed out a bunch so as new ones are coming up I am digging them up. I now have five in pots in my greenhouse! How many would you like? I don’t know about the soil, all you can do is try. I also have blueberries but I am having much better luck with my blackberries.

      • Kendra L Said:

        I don’t know how many I want…maybe ten?

      • Pat Said:

        We’ll start there. You can always want more!!!

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