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Week of August 21, 2018

Blackberries have two kinds of canes floricanes (2nd year primocanes that bear the fruit) and primocanes (first year canes that will bear next years fruit). The primocanes grow really tall and they should be topped off between 4–5 feet or the same height as their support structure. If you are growing trailing blackberries (Olallie or Marion), do not tip prune the primocanes. Semi-erect blackberries can be tied up to the support. Thin to about 3–4 primocanes per plant, selecting the strongest, biggest canes. After the fruit has been picked the floricanes can be pruned down to the ground. Keep weeds removed around your plants and since berries have shallow root systems, it is better to pull them by hand. Keep a thick layer of mulch (straw works great) around the base of the plant to help conserve water and keep weeds down.