Thoughts of summer hold fond memories for a many a former kid, for it’s the season of school vacation, warm weather, swimming, picnics, fireworks and blackberrying! From May to September (and especially in June and July) intrepid wanderers stood a good chance of coming across a patch of shiny, sweet-tart, juicy berries, so it was best to come prepared with a receptacle for gathering them in (at least, the ones that weren’t eaten on the spot). And if enough of those lovely berries did make it home, you might be lucky enough to get to enjoy them in a cobbler, on top of your cereal or ice cream, or as jam to spread over your toast!
As adults, we may not have as much time to go blackberrying as we used to. You can always pick some up at a farmers’ market, of course, or even at your local grocery store when they’re in season (or when they’re out of season if they’ve been shipped in from other locations – these might not have the intense flavor of local berries, though). But there’s something about picking your own that adds to the summertime specialness of the fruit.
Growing Blackberries at Home
Great news – by growing your own blackberry bushes, you can have access to fresh, handpicked, homegrown berries all summer without having to plan a hiking trip!
If you live in North America, you’re in luck…blackberries grow very well. This doesn’t mean that you should try to transplant a wild blackberry plant into your backyard, however – many of the “wild” blackberry plants that can be found growing alongside roads and fences are offshoots of the Himalayan variety, a brambly, thorny, highly invasive species that has crowded out many native blackberry species and is very difficult to contain. If you try planning one of these, you may never get rid of them again – or be able to grow anything else!
Advantages of Buying Blackberry Plants
If you want to grow your own blackberries, your best bet is to buy plants from a reputable nursery or plant vendor. Citrus.com has long been a favorite provider for those looking to plant citrus tree plants (after all, “citrus” is right in our name!), but in addition to many wonderful citrus tree varieties you can also find a wide variety of other fruit trees and edible plants, including berry plants. We’re known for more than just citrus trees!
While there’s a certain charm in harvesting wild blackberries, one thing you can avoid by growing your own plants is getting scratched up from clambering through thorny vines while trying to reach the best berries. By buying your own plants, you get to choose where you plant them and how far apart from each other you plant them so that your berry harvest is as easy to manage as your citrus harvest. Even better, many of our berry varieties are thornless and pest-resistant, so you can skip deal with thorns and ticks altogether!
Growing Blackberries in Containers
Just as you can keep a dwarf citrus tree in a container, there are varieties of blackberry that do well in containers under the right conditions.
A great way to contain a blackberry plant’s rapid growth is by growing it in a container. Blackberries grown in a pot can’t escape into surrounding garden spaces. Any variety of blackberry can be grown in a pot, but thornless varieties are especially suited for small spaces and patios. Even better are erect varieties that don’t need to be trellised, like the Arapaho and Kiowa varieties.
Blackberry plants are very easy to grow in general, but keep in mind that potted plants of any kind need more care – more regular watering and fertilizing, pruning, etc. And although most blackberry plants are pretty cold-hardy, potted ones will need more protection in the winter, too. But with the right size plant and a little regular care, your container-grown blackberries will give you years of blackberry pies and crumbles, all the jam you can eat, and smoothies galore!
Buy berry plants now!