Blackberries grow abundantly in the wild, so why bother growing your own? Wouldn’t your garden be better suited to raising a crop where there the delectable payoff isn’t so widely available and doesn’t require any of the maintenance from you? Well, sure, if you want to spend time carrying around buckets and looking for blackberries that haven’t already been picked over by birds and other freeloaders. Imagine having access to thick, juicy blackberries all to yourself that are situated just outside your back door? What could possibly be better?
Here is one very fine example of how growing your own blackberries can be exponentially better than depending on those growing in the wild. An espalier is the art of training plants to grow in a specific design against a wall or trellis. If you start pruning your blackberry stems to the ground during the spring and then train them into a fan-shaped espalier at the arrival of new green stems in the summer, you can reduce the primary negative aspect of going picking for wild blackberries. Creating a fan-shaped espalier serves the purpose of separating the stems by tying them to a trellis, thus making it easier to spot the best berries for picking.
Long Term Harvesting
Over the course of several years, blackberries will almost certain experience a diminishment in the robust nature of their original production. The negative impact of pests having their way with your blackberries has the potential to reduce the number of berries ripe for the picking in half just five years after planting. If you want to continue enjoying the fruit of your labor over the lifetime of your garden, plan on adding a new patch of blackberries every five to ten years. The addition of newly cultivated plants will ensure that you don’t have to put up with diminishing returns and find yourself wondering where all the blackberries went.
A Thorny Situation
One of the biggest downsides to enjoying blackberries is dealing with the issue of thorns. Why does it seem that you always have to put up with a little pain to enjoy the good things in life? One way to get around the pain of picking from your own blackberry patch is to wear gloves. Another, perhaps immeasurably better alternative, is to do away with the issue of thorns altogether. Blackberries are available in two different types: erect and trailing. Both types offer options for doing away with thorns, but individual varieties within those types are not suitable for all climate zones. Be sure to check for suitability for your specific climate conditions before deciding to plant thornless blackberries.