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□¡□Easy to Grow Blackberries□¡□

With a good yearly pruning to restrictgrowth, the fruit is incredibly easy to grow.
Plants often grow rampant if left unattended.
The bushy vines send up suckers from the roots and start new roots where stems touch the ground.
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Planting Blackberries in Your Garden
With their habit of growth and thorny stems, growing blackberries make an excellent privacy fence for your backyard or vegetable garden.
Just be certain to plant them where they have room to roam.
Bush blackberries should be pinched back in summer to 30-36 inches and then pruned in the winter to 8-12 inches.
As an added bonus, once you begin growing blackberries, you will have them forever!
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Growing Blackberries
Plant a few rooted shoots or plants ina prepared site.
Blackberries are adaptable to a wide variety of soils.
An acceptable pH range for growing blackberries is 5.5 to 6.5.
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Watering and Fertilizing Growing Blackberries
*. Water them once or twice a week during dry periods.
*. Feed new plantings every 8-10 weeks with three ounces of 8-8-8 from early spring until fall.
*. Mature vines should be fertilized using five ounces per plant once in early spring and two more times during the summer months.
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Harvesting Blackberries
*. Pick the growing blackberries when the fruit changes color from red to purple.
*. Initially, just a few berries will ripen.
*. Soon you will have your hands full, picking every other day for a month!
*. Cut all plants back to the ground immediately after harvesting.
*. This practice eliminates most insectand disease problems that may crop up.
*. By the fall, plants will produce new fruiting canes for next year's production.
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Brazos
The semi-erect Brazos does not need another variety for cross pollination or to be grown on a trellis.
It grows with some stems sprawling and others upright.
Darrow
Darrow blackberry is an everbearing variety.
The plant is a vigorous grower whichreaches 4-7 feet high.
When planted, it starts to bear duringthe regular midsummer season and continues until fall.
The blackberries are large and sweet and taste wonderful fresh, canned, orfrozen.
Plant bushes 3 to 5 feet apart in full sun.
Growers in zones 4-9 have the best growing conditions for this bush type.
Black Satin
Black Satin is a thornless blackberry variety, so you can pick the juicy berries without getting a scratch.
The bush is hardy in zones 4-10.,p>The plant is even recommended for northern growers if you are careful about applying mulch for protection during the wintertime.
The plants are extremely vigorous, disease free, and grow 5-7 feet tall.
This type is a consistent heavy producer, producing 35-40 large, sweet berries from each thornless stem.
Plant bushes 3-5 feet apart where they will be exposed to full sun.
This type ripens in early August.
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Blackberry Syrup Recipe
This delicious syrup should be made at the height of the season when the fruits are at their very best.
Blackberries are at their peak of freshness in June, July, and August.
Serve blackberry syrup over ice cream, vanilla pudding, custard, and rice or bread pudding.
Use as a flavoring for milk shakes andice -cream sodas or make a refreshing drink using crushed ice and sparkling water.
The following recipe makes about 1 pint, and can be doubled or triples with equally tasty results.
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Ingredients:
4 cups fresh, ripe blackberries
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
Directions:
*. Wash, drain, hull berries. Place in a saucepan with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer exactly 10 minutes. The fresh flavor depends on minimal cooking.
*. Strain off all the juice from the fruit using a jelly strainer bag. For properstraining, allow juice to drip into the waiting bowl gradually.
*. Measure the juice into a saucepan and discard the pulp. Add 1 cup of sugar for each cup of juice. Cook over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, and the syrup comes to a boil. Boil exactly two minutes. Remove from heat and skim off the froth.
*. Pour the hot syrup into hot, sterilized jars, allowing ½ inch headroom at the top, and seal.
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