Growing Blackberries in Your Backyard

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

We love berries and blackberries are a favorite, but if you have seen blackberry bushes growing wild then you know they are invasive. Growing blackberries in a small yard or garden can be a challenge. Here is what we have done.

To control the runners that make the plants pop up all over your garden requires you contain them. We have blackberry and raspberry plants in containers and in small planters that are impossible for the vines to spread.  Raspberries are planted in a planter along our driveway that is surrounded by concrete so the plants spread in that small planter but no where else.

We also took some large pots we were not using and planted two plants in those containers with a support in one and the other up against a wall along a trellis. The vines need to climb so you need to support them with cages or a trellis or along a fence.

You can see this plant is top dressed with lots of compost and supported by an obelisk. This is the plant in January. I have pruned it and if you could look closely you could see small buds swelling. The old leaves will all fall off as new growth emerges but I will pull them off if they don't.

We love the thornless varieties of blackberries. Easier to pick the fruit and prune if you are not getting poked by thorns. Here is one of the varieties I have planted.
Tips for feeding your blackberry vines.

1. Fertilize blackberry bushes in the early spring just as they start to form buds and before new
growth. You can use a 20-20-20 granular fertilizer or top dress heavily with compost like I do and feed a couple of times with your homemade compost tea.
2. Feed blackberry bushes again in midsummer but only if they are not looking good and thriving. Use a high nitrogen fertilizer to help force more green growth and fruit.
3. Again in fall apply aged manure or compost in early fall or winter. I top dress my plants and containers of blackberries with my own compost. Pile it on around the plants and that will break down wonderfully over the winter feeding your vines organically.

Next time I will talk about the annual pruning of blackberries and how to start new plants from your vines.

Simple Valentine Decorating Ideas

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It is time for red and white and hearts. I love Valentine decor. I love red and white so I mix in items from around the house to dress up my small collection of Valentine decor. 

We always leave a Valentine tree up because I just cannot take all the Christmas trees down. One left for sparkle and Valentine's decor always finds a place. 

How about some red heart lights for out front. This says, "There is love in this house." Or at least some crazy people who decorate for every holiday.

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Washing Silverware the Easy Way - Another Kitchen Quick Tip

Monday, January 26, 2015

I love sharing little tricks that make cleaning the kitchen easier. Here is another great tip for washing your silverware. When you are preparing a meal, take a tall glass that is probably already sitting there ready to be washed. Fill it with a squirt of dish soap and hot water and as you dirty utensils, drop them into the hot soapy water.

By the time I am ready to wash dishes or load the dishwasher, the silverware and cooking utensils have soaked and the stuck on food comes right off or is super easy to swoosh off with my brush.

Sharing here and with these blog parties.
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