Welcome to my website in which I record my activities growing Organic Fruit. I am seriously limited for space, so I have to be smart about what I grow. The best way to maximise yield in a given space is to grow tall plants, but I wanted as much variety as possible, so my more recent additions have been dwarf fruit trees.........................................John Ashworth 27th July 2015.
Latest Update 6th August 2016.
Blackberries are not indigenous to Australia, and the wild feral forms we see in our hedgerows are noxious weed and were declared a weed of national significance in 1999.
Blackberry hybrids often thorn-less like mine and with seeds which are not viable are not declared noxious.
Blackberries grow their canes from a crown, and fruit on second year old canes.
I bought my Blackberry plant many years ago, and it had been forgotten and abused for quite a long time.
It kept emerging from strange places, and I would remove it because I didn't really have time to cultivate it in those days.
In the end I searched my garden and rescued all the reasonably healthy plants and disposed of the weaklings.
I have now been growing blackberry vines on trellises since 2010, and I have been marvelously well rewarded.
This variety is prolific, pest and disease resistant, and the fruit is delicious.
Despite their drought tolerance and all round hardiness, I have not found them to be especially invasive.
Variety: Unknown thornless with non viable seeds.
Family Group: Rosaceae.
Garden bed type: Drip line irrigated bed.
Recommended soil pH: 5.5 - 6.5.
Plant Spacings: 1250mm.
Good Companions: Tansy.
Climate: Warm Temperate.
Geographic Hemisphere: Southern.
This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium.
also a good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Folate, Magnesium,
Potassium and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin
C, Vitamin K and Manganese.
Minimise soil disturbances to maintain a natural soil structure.
Keep shaded in the summer (December to February) with 21% shadecloth/exclusion netting.
Do not allow the soil to dry out.
Feed the Soil.
Remove mulch and dead leaves from the previous year in September and dispose of them in your compost heap.
Remove any unwanted suckers, and dispose of them in the compost heap after shredding them.
Apply a 60mm top dressing of home made compost and cover with fresh straw mulch.
Propagating thornless blackberries is easy. They can be propagated by
cuttings (root and stem), suckers, and tip layering.
are one of the easiest ways to root new blackberry plants. They can be
removed from the parent plant once they have developed a healthy root system, and replanted elsewhere.
is another easy method.
It can be started in late summer/early autumn by bending young shoots
over to the ground and covering them with a few centimetres of soil.
They are left to root through winter and by spring
they should be strong enough to cut from the
parent and replanted elsewhere.
Blackberries need to be supported on a trellis, and I grow 3 plants, each with a star picket support.
are set 1250mm apart and I use 4 wires threaded through the star
picketsanchored to the raised bed sleepers at each end of the row to provide support for the fruiting canes.
canes are trained loosely along the trellis wires each year. At the end of theyear old canes that have borne fruit are removed, and new ones that have grown from shoots are rearranged so they cover all the supporting wires equally. They are tied down securely so they don't sag under the weight offruit.
Blackberries are sprayed with aerated compost tea every month when all thye edible plants are sprayed.
Harvesting and storage.
Harvest the Blackberries in March.
Harvest when ripe, and use immediately, or store in freezer bags in your freezer.
They make great jam especially with rhubarb and are wonderful in blackberry and apple pies.
Blackberries should be protected against slugs and snails using self adhesive copper
tape bonded around the base of your raised garden bed.
these molluscs get into your bed as eggs laid in your compost, kill
them with organically approved iron based snail pellets as soon as you
discover them. You should only need to use a small number of pellets.
At the first sign of caterpillar damage, spray the crop thoroughly with Bacillus thuringiensis (Dipel in Australia) This
natural soil dwelling bacterium once ingested by the caterpillars produces toxins which
paralyse the caterpillar's digestive system causing it to stop feeding.
It dies within a few days.