The popular blackberries are in high season in the summer. To ensure a bountiful harvest in your own garden, blackberry bushes need to be pruned regularly. How and when you should prune your blackberries so that they always hang full of delicious fruit and do not overgrow the whole garden over time, you will learn in this article.
Blackberries need pruning after harvest. This is the only way that blackberry bushes form many large and juicy fruits every year. However, if blackberries are left to their own devices, the harvest will turn out smaller and smaller and the bushes will quickly spread uncontrollably in the garden. Care pruning keeps blackberry bushes vital, healthy and prevents the wild growth often feared by gardeners, which is difficult to get back under control.
Which blackberry canes are cut?
Blackberry bushes always form fruit on the biennial canes. After the last berries are harvested in the fall, these canes do not form new fruit the next year. Therefore, in the spring, cut all the biennial canes from which you harvested blackberries last year to the ground.
After all the old biennial canes are removed, only the young canes remain. The young canes will form side shoots in the spring, which will then grow the delicious fruit in the summer. Since these shoots will provide the next blackberry crop, be sure to leave four to five of the strongest young canes. Since about five young shoots are quite sufficient for a bountiful harvest, only remove diseased or surplus shoots. By pruning in spring, the young shoots get enough light and can develop much better. However, under no circumstances should all the young shoots be removed, otherwise the harvest will not be available for a year. Only the strong side shoots of the remaining young canes should be additionally shortened to four centimeters in the spring. But how can the old two-year-old canes be distinguished from the fruit-bearing young canes?
This makes it easier to distinguish between old and young canes.
If you stand in front of the blackberry bush in spring to cut it, it is often not so easy to keep apart in the tangle of branches which are the new and old canes. Usually, the two-year-old canes can be identified by the fact that parts of last year’s fruiting canes are still hanging from them. These old canes must then be removed. However, it is much easier if the blackberries grow on the trellis from the beginning. In this way, all the young canes can be attached to one side of the trellis and the older canes to the other. Growing blackberries on a trellis has several advantages. The clear separation of the canes makes pruning and harvesting easier. The young canes and fruits get more light, which allows them to grow and ripen better.
Summer pruning keeps the blackberries in check & improves the harvest.
In early summer, new light green young canes are already growing up to produce fruit the next year. However, the strong side shoots of the young canes like to proliferate. If the blackberry bushes are not stopped, they soon spread uncontrollably throughout the garden. Therefore, summer pruning of blackberries is carried out from mid-June to prevent wild growth and improve fruit quality. The new young shoots must be retained in any case. Only their side shoots are shortened to about 2 – 4 buds during summer pruning, as soon as they have reached a length of about 40 cm.
Pruning blackberries to protect them from diseases
Dense stands of blackberries should be avoided to prevent disease. Therefore, when planting, it is important to make sure that the bushes have enough distance (about 80 cm) from each other. If the blackberry stand has become too dense, some space can be created between the bushes again by shortening young shoots. Canes and leaves infected with disease are best removed completely immediately, regardless of the season. Keep infected cuttings out of the compost or near blackberry plants to prevent the spread of disease.
Always use sharp, clean pruning shears when pruning. The smooth cut prevents the shoots from being crushed at the cut. Dull shears cause ragged wounds on the canes that heal poorly, making blackberry plants susceptible to disease.
Blackberry pruning at a glance
Important when pruning:
Blackberries always form fruit on the two-year-old canes. After harvest, no new fruit will grow on these canes the next year.
- Cut off all old biennial canes down to the ground.
- Leave 4-5 of the strongest young canes, which will bear fruit in the summer.
- shorten only the strong side shoots of the young canes to 4 cm (always make the cut above the eye of a shoot)
- remove diseased and excess canes and shoots
- summer pruning prevents wild growth and improves the harvest.
- shorten approx. 40 cm long side shoots of this year’s young canes to about 2 – 4 buds or leaves
In regions with mild winters, the harvested biennial canes can be cut off in the fall immediately after harvest instead of in the spring. In severe winters, on the other hand, pruning should be done in the spring, otherwise the blackberry plants will suffer frost damage.
beerstrauch to cut it, it is often not so easy to keep apart in the tangle of branches, which are the new and old rods. Usually, the two-year-old canes can be identified by the fact that parts of last year’s fruiting canes are still hanging from them. These old canes must then be removed. However, it is much easier if the blackberries grow on the trellis from the beginning. In this way, all the young canes can be attached to one side of the trellis and the older canes to the other. Growing blackberries on a trellis has several advantages. The clear separation of the canes makes pruning and harvesting easier. The young canes and fruits get more light, which allows them to grow and ripen better.