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Rubus canadensis Plant Care Reminders

Thornless blackberry

Smooth Blackberry

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General Information

  • Instruction By Julie Bawden-Davis
    Notes Also known as the smooth blackberry, the thornless blackberry provides the benefits of homegrown blackberries without the thorns. New blackerry plants require 19 to 20 months of growth before bearing fruit.
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Plant Care Instruction

  • Scroll down or click on any month for plant care instructions
    • January
    • February
    • March
    • April
    • May
    • June
    • July
    • August
    • September
    • October
    • December
    January
    1. Buy

    Buy bareroot plants in the nursery or from a mail-order supplier.
    2. Plant

    Plant bareroot plants in a part-sun to full-sun location next to a sturdy support on which to grow, such as a wall, fence or wire trellis. Allow the canes (vines) that grow from the bareroot plant to spread along the ground until they are eight feet long. Then cut the cane tips to stop growth and attach the vines to your trellis. These vines will grow throughout this first year, go semi-dormant next winter and then bear fruit the following summer.
    February
    1. Buy

    Buy bareroot plants in the nursery or from a mail-order supplier.
    2. Plant

    Plant bareroot plants in a part-sun to full-sun location next to a sturdy support on which to grow, such as a wall, fence or wire trellis. Allow the canes (vines) that grow from the bareroot plant to spread along the ground until they are eight feet long. Then cut the cane tips to stop growth and attach the vines to your trellis. These vines will grow throughout this first year, go semi-dormant next winter and then bear fruit the following summer.
    March
    1. Water

    Blackberries require adequate water to grow well and bear fruit. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. If no rainfall, water when the top inch of soil dries.
    2. Special requirements

    If you did not do so in August, attach canes that began growing a year ago to your trellis structure (wall, fence, wire trellis). These year-old canes will bear fruit this year. Allow brand new canes to sprawl along the ground until after harvest in August, at which time you prune out the canes that bore fruit and attach the new canes to the structure.
    April
    1. Fertilize

    Fertilize once with an organic food designed for fruiting plants, according to package directions.
    2. Water

    Blackberries require adequate water to grow well and bear fruit. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Water when the top inch of soil dries.
    3. Mulch

    Mulch with a 2-inch layer of shredded bark.
    4. Special requirements

    If you did not do so in August, attach canes that began growing a year ago to your trellis structure (wall, fence, wire trellis). These year-old canes will bear fruit this year. Allow brand new canes to sprawl along the ground until after harvest in August, at which time you prune out the canes that bore fruit and attach the new canes to the structure.
    May
    1. Fertilize

    Fertilize once with an organic food designed for fruiting plants, according to package directions.
    2. Water

    Blackberries require adequate water to grow well and bear fruit. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Water when the top inch of soil dries.
    3. Mulch

    Maintain a 2-inch layer of shredded bark.
    4. Special requirements

    If you did not do so in August, attach canes that began growing a year ago to your trellis structure (wall, fence, wire trellis). These year-old canes will bear fruit this year. Allow brand new canes to sprawl along the ground until after harvest in August, at which time you prune out the canes that bore fruit and attach the new canes to the structure.
    June
    1. Fertilize

    Fertilize once with an organic food designed for fruiting plants, according to package directions.
    2. Water

    Blackberries require adequate water to grow well and bear fruit. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Water when the top inch of soil dries.
    3. Mulch

    Maintain a 2-inch layer of shredded bark.
    4. Harvest

    Harvest fruit when it darkens, becomes slightly soft and is sweet.
    July
    1. Water

    Blackberries require adequate water to grow well and bear fruit. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Water when the top inch of soil dries.
    2. Mulch

    Maintain a 2-inch layer of shredded bark.
    3. Harvest

    Harvest fruit when it darkens, becomes slightly soft and is sweet.
    August
    1. Water

    Blackberries require adequate water to grow well and bear fruit. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Water when the top inch of soil dries.
    2. Prune

    Blackberries produce fruit on 2-year-old canes. After harvesting, cut the canes that bore fruit to the ground. Then tie the new canes in their place, and they will bear fruit next summer. Repeat yearly.
    3. Mulch

    Maintain a 2-inch layer of shredded bark.
    4. Harvest

    Harvest fruit when it darkens, becomes slightly soft and is sweet.
    September
    1. Water

    Blackberries require adequate water to grow well and bear fruit. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Water when the top inch of soil dries.
    2. Mulch

    Maintain a 2-inch layer of shredded bark.
    October
    1. Water

    Blackberries require adequate water to grow well and bear fruit. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Water when the top inch of soil dries.
    2. Mulch

    Maintain a 2-inch layer of shredded bark.
    December
    1. Buy

    Buy bareroot plants in the nursery or from a mail-order supplier.
    2. Plant

    Plant bareroot plants in a part-sun to full-sun location next to a sturdy support on which to grow, such as a wall, fence or wire trellis. Allow the canes (vines) that grow from the bareroot plant to spread along the ground until they are eight feet long. Then cut the cane tips to stop growth and attach the vines to your trellis. These vines will grow throughout this first year, go semi-dormant next winter and then bear fruit the following summer.
  • Buy

    When's the best time to buy this plant? When can you buy these from seed (if you can)? When is it usually available? What are things to look for when you're buying it? Or anything other tidbit of information you can share!

    January

    Buy bareroot plants in the nursery or from a mail-order supplier.

    February

    Buy bareroot plants in the nursery or from a mail-order supplier.

    December

    Buy bareroot plants in the nursery or from a mail-order supplier.

    Plant

    When's a good time to plant this plant or bulb? Any special planting instructions?

    January

    Plant bareroot plants in a part-sun to full-sun location next to a sturdy support on which to grow, such as a wall, fence or wire trellis. Allow the canes (vines) that grow from the bareroot plant to spread along the ground until they are eight feet long. Then cut the cane tips to stop growth and attach the vines to your trellis. These vines will grow throughout this first year, go semi-dormant next winter and then bear fruit the following summer.

    February

    Plant bareroot plants in a part-sun to full-sun location next to a sturdy support on which to grow, such as a wall, fence or wire trellis. Allow the canes (vines) that grow from the bareroot plant to spread along the ground until they are eight feet long. Then cut the cane tips to stop growth and attach the vines to your trellis. These vines will grow throughout this first year, go semi-dormant next winter and then bear fruit the following summer.

    December

    Plant bareroot plants in a part-sun to full-sun location next to a sturdy support on which to grow, such as a wall, fence or wire trellis. Allow the canes (vines) that grow from the bareroot plant to spread along the ground until they are eight feet long. Then cut the cane tips to stop growth and attach the vines to your trellis. These vines will grow throughout this first year, go semi-dormant next winter and then bear fruit the following summer.

    Fertilize

    When should you fertilize this plant? Which kind of fertilizer do you recommend? Should you use different fertilizers at different times of year?

    April

    Fertilize once with an organic food designed for fruiting plants, according to package directions.

    May

    Fertilize once with an organic food designed for fruiting plants, according to package directions.

    June

    Fertilize once with an organic food designed for fruiting plants, according to package directions.

    Water

    Is there a time to reduce or increase watering? Any special requirements? Things to avoid during certain times of the year?

    March

    Blackberries require adequate water to grow well and bear fruit. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. If no rainfall, water when the top inch of soil dries.

    April

    Blackberries require adequate water to grow well and bear fruit. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Water when the top inch of soil dries.

    May

    Blackberries require adequate water to grow well and bear fruit. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Water when the top inch of soil dries.

    June

    Blackberries require adequate water to grow well and bear fruit. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Water when the top inch of soil dries.

    July

    Blackberries require adequate water to grow well and bear fruit. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Water when the top inch of soil dries.

    August

    Blackberries require adequate water to grow well and bear fruit. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Water when the top inch of soil dries.

    September

    Blackberries require adequate water to grow well and bear fruit. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Water when the top inch of soil dries.

    October

    Blackberries require adequate water to grow well and bear fruit. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Water when the top inch of soil dries.

    Prune

    When's a good time to prune this plant? How about deadheading, pinching back, trimming or any other grooming? Any special requirements?

    August

    Blackberries produce fruit on 2-year-old canes. After harvesting, cut the canes that bore fruit to the ground. Then tie the new canes in their place, and they will bear fruit next summer. Repeat yearly.

    Mulch

    Does this plant need to be mulched? Are there specific types of Mulch which are better for this plant? How much?

    April

    Mulch with a 2-inch layer of shredded bark.

    May

    Maintain a 2-inch layer of shredded bark.

    June

    Maintain a 2-inch layer of shredded bark.

    July

    Maintain a 2-inch layer of shredded bark.

    August

    Maintain a 2-inch layer of shredded bark.

    September

    Maintain a 2-inch layer of shredded bark.

    October

    Maintain a 2-inch layer of shredded bark.

    Harvest

    When's a good time to harvest this plant? What's the best way to harvest? Are there special requirements or features?

    June

    Harvest fruit when it darkens, becomes slightly soft and is sweet.

    July

    Harvest fruit when it darkens, becomes slightly soft and is sweet.

    August

    Harvest fruit when it darkens, becomes slightly soft and is sweet.

    Special requirements

    Any other requirement for this plant? Is there anything that doesn't fit into the other care categories?

    March

    If you did not do so in August, attach canes that began growing a year ago to your trellis structure (wall, fence, wire trellis). These year-old canes will bear fruit this year. Allow brand new canes to sprawl along the ground until after harvest in August, at which time you prune out the canes that bore fruit and attach the new canes to the structure.

    April

    If you did not do so in August, attach canes that began growing a year ago to your trellis structure (wall, fence, wire trellis). These year-old canes will bear fruit this year. Allow brand new canes to sprawl along the ground until after harvest in August, at which time you prune out the canes that bore fruit and attach the new canes to the structure.

    May

    If you did not do so in August, attach canes that began growing a year ago to your trellis structure (wall, fence, wire trellis). These year-old canes will bear fruit this year. Allow brand new canes to sprawl along the ground until after harvest in August, at which time you prune out the canes that bore fruit and attach the new canes to the structure.

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