was given blackberry cane and planted it in raised bed where it has grown well and spread. Have no idea how to care for this and prune. It is a thornless variety with I'm told large fruit
You need to provide some sort of framework to train the stems if you can. Trellis or posts and wire or wires stretched against a wall on vine eyes.
They fruit on last year's growth so you keep the stems till they've fruited and then cut out those stems at the base once you've harvested. Meanwhile, new stems will be growing from the base form spring and thru the summer. You can tie these loosely to a vertical support to keep them out of teh way and then, once the old stems have been cut off, you release the new stems and train them along the supports to get maximum light and sun to make the next season's crop.
This way you automatically renew the vigour of your plant each year. Giving a generous handful or two of blood, fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure in spring and supplemented with liquid tomato fertiliser drinks from spring to mid summer will increase flower and thus fruiting power.
I moved into a house which had a blackberry bush on a chain link fence between the gardens, not wanting it to get out of hand we used to cut it down to just above the ground every February and it would grow back and be covered in big juicy blackberries, I have no idea which variety it was but the fruit used to grow on the current years wood.
i'm glad someone asked this ,I would like to know if I can take cuttings from the pruned old briars and if so hows the best way to do so?
eagerly awaiting a reply and thanks in advance,
If you want more plants, the easiest and best way is to let it do what it does naturally. Each year it throws out, as well as the fruiting branches, great big thick arching branches which touch the ground several feet away. Where they touch, they root. All you have to do is let this happen and then (the following year) cut the link to the old plant, dig up the new one and plant it where you want it. You might even persuade them to root into a pot to save the trouble of digging it up. Like a giant strawberry.
Of course it's entirely possible that this characteristic has been bred out of cultivated varieties. In this case, I suspect air-layering will stiil work: bind some moss and soil, maybe in a plastic bag, round a stem and I bet it'll root into this, especially if you nick the stem. Once it's done so you can cut it off and move it to its new home.
thanks Steve .