Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Growing Blackberries in Your Backyard

You can grow blackberries in your backyard in containers and keep them under control.

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.


  1. That's a great idea to have them contained in a pot and staked! Ours are along the inside of our garden fence and bordered by carpet. On the other side of the fence, we keep it mowed. But I might bring some closer to the house in pots. I like that!

  2. You always have so much knowledge to share, Elaine! I remember as a kid getting pricked by those thorns.

  3. Thanks for the tips Elaine! I have some wild vines that come up each year and the berries are so yummy! Oh and all 3 of my hens are laying. Just grabbed 3 eggs out of the coop!


  4. Bonjour,

    Un très joli billet.
    J'adore les mûres... J'aime confiture de mûres, le clafoutis et les omelettes sucrées au mûres.

    Gros bisous ♡ ☼ ♡

  5. How wonderful to have your own blackberries! My mother used to have secret patch of elderberries.

  6. I wonder how they would do in our beach climate. I couldn't put them in the back garden because Lulu would probably eat them, but I could have them in a container in the front.