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Your blackberry bush tips please 😊

dappledshadedappledshade Posts: 1,017
I’m planning to plant one bush, north west facing, sheltered, in very free draining soil.
I’m in London.
The bed has just been created whilst building a new patio, but it isn’t filled with earth yet.

Could I train it along the back fence?
Is there a variety that is particularly hardy and a reliably heavy cropper?
I’ve heard Monty say that they don’t mind some shade and although in winter this bed would be in total shade, by spring/summer it gets lots of afternoon sun.

Thanks all 🙏🏻

Posts

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,281
    I have a Waldo blackberry which covers just over 1 full fence panel, so is quite small.
    Very large fruits, very good flavour and thornless.
    It's attached to the fence using the Rivlen Glen gripple system which works well.
    Last year was its 2nd year and I picked berries every day for several weeks and put 3Kg in the freezer! I was very impressed.
    A variety I've heard good things about is Reuben - it is a primocane variety, so you chop the whole thing down in every spring and it grows and fruits on the current season's growth.
    I also have an Oregon thornless. It fruits a few weeks later than Waldo, but the taste is bland and the berries only of normal size.

    Waldo is on a west-facing fence and he seems very happy there.

    They grow all around the fields where I walk with my dog in shade and sun. Fair to say the bushes in the sun seem to have a better yield, but still plenty on those in the shade.
    No winter sun won't be a problem.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Posts: 1,017
    Thanks Pete! That’s a glowing reference 😊 I’ll look it up.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Posts: 1,017
    Do you have to chop down your Waldo, as well?
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,281
    edited January 2021
    Partially, yes - Waldo (like most blackberries) is like a summer raspberry for pruning - so the stems that carried the fruit in the summer are cut right out after fruiting, but you leave the new stems that have grown since Spring as they will carry the fruit the following year. It's quite easy to tell which are which.
    Reuben is a new variety and as you cut the whole plant back each year you don't need to sort out which stems are new and which have already borne fruit, so it's a bit easier in that respect.
    There may be other primocane varieties available - I've not looked recently

    PS - I bought mine from Blackmoor Nurseries, very good quality

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Posts: 1,017
    I’ve never used Blackmoor, but shall have a look.
    I have an autumn raspberry, but not a summer one, so I’ll read up about pruning!
    Thanks Pete 😊
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,281
    Autumn raspberries are cut back to the ground in early spring and they grow and produce fruit on the current year's growth.
    A top dressing of blood, fish and bone then a mulch in about a month is a good plan to get them off to a good start in spring
    Best of luck  :)

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Posts: 1,017
    Thanks Pete - I have some canes from last year and was just wondering how to deal with them!

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