It’s been asked so often – Why plant blackberries away from raspberries? Will it impact your crop’s growth if you fail to do so?
Thus, it should not be an issue growing both crops in your garden.
However, it is not quite advisable to plant them close together. Even with the compatibility, this is something that experts advise.
What’s the reason behind this planting recommendation for these berries? Keep reading to learn more about how to plant blackberries the right way. Let’s get to it!
Know Before You Go – Why Plant Blackberries Away from Raspberries
Both blackberries and raspberries are from the rose family. They are also from the “Brambles” category, which is a group of plants with long, thorny stems known as canes.
Blackberries produce fruit on canes that sprouted during the past growing season. As for raspberry plants, they bear fruit on either the first- or second-year canes. Other than these features, these two crops are relatively the same in many ways.
For instance, they are both winter-hardy crops. They can withstand the cold and thrive in plant hardiness zones ranging from 3 to 9. However, raspberries prefer zone 4 to 9, which is not very distant from the ideal growing climate for blackberries.
One thing to note, though, is that the cultivars you choose to plant in your garden. You need to go with cultivars that have the same tolerances to temperatures. If both cultivars of blackberries and raspberries you plant are suitable for zones 4 to 9, then it should be fine to plant them together.
On the other hand, it is best to choose a separate location for these two crops.
They generally grow well in an area that receives full sun. The soil’s condition also needs to be taken into account since they prefer loamy soil that is well-draining. It is important that the soil is not drenched in water.
Speaking of water, both crops need a good amount of moisture, especially during the growing season. This is also important as these plants are developing fruit, which allows them to thrive. You need to irrigate the soil and make sure that the average level of water is within 1 to 2 inches every week for optimal growth.
Additionally, compost helps boost the moisture retention features of the soil. This is why you need to add compost into your plant bed to boost the soil’s nutrient content and improve its overall texture.
Should You Grow Blackberries Away from Raspberries? 4 Tips You Need to Know
There are 4 things you can do to make sure your blackberries and raspberries thrive and keep producing an abundance of fruits. Here are expert tips you need to know and how to apply them.
1. Provide Distance Between Crops
Blackberries spread vigorously, in comparison to raspberries. Thus, it is important that you provide ample spacing when planting these crops together.
Before planting, plan out the distance to allow your crops to spread naturally. However, you can take action to make sure things don’t go out of control. I discuss this more in the next step.
2. Pruning is Essential.
I advise that you prune occasionally as a means of controlling the growth and maximizing fruit production.
You need to prune canes of these crops, particularly the ones that are fruit-bearing. The goal is to prune these to the ground after fruit production season has finished. This is best done during early spring or late winter just prior to the start of a new growth.
Prune all the dead canes, as well as damaged ones during the cold weather. It is best to remove a few more canes until only about 4 to 5 healthy ones are left at the start of the growing season.
Make use of sharp pruners when you trim your blackberries and raspberries. Before you prune away, be sure to dip the blades in isopropyl alcohol. This prevents the spread of pests and diseases from one plant to another.
3. Control Diseases
Diseases are common among many plants – and your blackberries and raspberries are not immune from these. However, with proper care, you can ensure their healthy growth.
At the onset of a cane disease, you need to get rid of the problem right away. Prune the plants until ground level and eliminate infected vines immediately. These diseases include anthracnose, or when the canes obtain purplish spots and start to wilt. Moreover, you should use the right amount of fertilizer to facilitate the health of your crops.
4. Plant Healthy Cultivars
Prevention is always better than cure. The best way to counter these diseases in your crops is by choosing healthy cultivars to start with. As much as possible, avoid planting wild berries since you may not be certain about the diseases these can carry. The last thing you want is to have the disease spread to all your crops.
In the case of a disease such as orange rust, you need to remove this promptly. Tell-tale signs of this disease include spindly canes and yellow leaves.
Here are further tips you need to know to ensure the healthy growth of your blackberries and raspberries. These are natural tips that can be sure you will have a great yield from your crops each fruit production season.
Final Thoughts on Growing Blackberries and Raspberries
Both blackberries and raspberries are very easy to grow and care for. However, you cannot deny the fact that there are certain diseases that can trigger some issues with your crops. By applying these simple growing tips, you can mitigate problems and make sure your crops are thriving all year round!