Do you love fresh berries? How about taking a walk out in the yard and gathering a bunch fresh picked. It really is not as hard as one would think to grow your own berries. Blackberries, and raspberries are all cane fruits also known as the bramble fruits. These are some of the easiest to grow so lets talk about them.
For most of the cane fruits it takes two years for them to fruit during the first growing season the canes that come up are called primocanes. These canes have dark green leaves that help to build
the root system. In the second year these canes continue to grow and are now called floracanes as they will bear flowers and fruits. After the berry production stops the floracanes will start to decline. Most gardeners prune out the floracanes to prevent disease and pests. Be careful when you are pruning so that you are only pruning the floracanes not this years primacanes or you will not have any berries the following year. This applies to most of the cane berries but there are varieties of raspberries that are none as ever bearing that flower and bear fruit every year. In this case the canes are cut down in late fall or early spring to prepare for the new canes and the new years crop.
Blackberries and raspberries may look similar but they are two different kinds of fruit when picked blackberries have a white core and raspberries have a hollow core. When planting your cane fruits you should take care to get disease resistant varieties from a local nursery. Prepare your soil well before planting add organic compost to enrich the soil. Be sure to eliminate all the weeds in the planting area as well. A warning the cane fruits like rich organic soil but it must be well drained wet feet will cause root rot the number one disease of these berry plants. Plant these berries about 30 inches apart in a sunny location the root system is up to six feet wide so allow plenty of space between rows. Be sure to mulch to keep the weeds down. When the weather is hot and dry be sure to water well.
Many gardeners will grow the cane plants along a fence to help keep the plants in line and provide a neater appearance the will tie the cans back along the fence to keep them from falling over. Just remember that you must provide good air circulation around the plants to help with disease control. A good healthy berry patch in the back yard can lead to some good summer eating.