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Week of August 6, 2020

Blackberries have two kinds of canes, floricanes (2nd year primocanes that bear the fruit) and primocanes (first year canes that will bear next year’s fruit). The primocanes grow really tall during the summer 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 or you can prune them in the winter. 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.
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