Growing and Harvesting Blackberries

Every summer we look forward to the juicy purple-black fruit. Before we bought our homestead, we missed picking and eating fresh blackberries. We even tried purchasing them at a grocery store which was a mistake. The berries hardly tasted at all and were rather expensive. Now that we have our homestead, I have left a row of blackberries specifically for picking.

I have then growing along our road. I have no spray signs and maintain them myself. With the little traffic we get, vehicle exhaust pollution is not too worrisome. My first year here, I tried to get rid of half of them. But they were back just several weeks later. We ended up using so many blackberries I decided to let them grow instead of eradicating them by other means. Blackberries also work well as a security perimeter fence. No one sane will wander into a property through ten feet of blackberry vines. Even animals like deer or elk prefer easier paths.

Blackberry vines do not usually need irrigation, but if you do water them, berries will be larger and juicier.

Ideally you have a few paths that you cut in to have access to more berries. A machete is about the easiest tool for this.

Trellising the bushes provide the most berries and control of them, but you have to stay on top of them or they will take over with long vines and shoots being sent up from roots many feet away.

Once ready to pick, bring a bowl and clothes that do not matter being stained. You may also want long sleeves to avoid getting scratched up by the thorns. If you want a lot of berries, you can even bring a ladder and lean it up against your bushes to reach even more berries.

The best berries are easy to pick off the bush but not shriveled from being overripe. If you like some tart berries as well, pick some black ones that are still hard when lightly pinched and harder to pull off the vine.

Freeze any extra berries for tasty pies year round.

For fresh eating, add some whipped cream and the berries in a bowl and enjoy!