How to Transplant Thornless Blackberries

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Transplanting thornless blackberries is a project that begins in the fall and is finished in the spring. It is a bad idea to simply dig up a cane for transplanting. Doing so can damage the root system, and the canes can develop thorns. To ensure your transplant remains thornless, you must begin your project in September and finish it in March.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Knife
  • Trellis
  • Bury the tip of new blackberry canes in the soil near the mother plant. This should be done in early September. Take care not to break the canes when bending them.

  • Make sure the soil is tamped down tightly over the tips of the canes. It needs to be tight enough to hold all winter.

  • In the spring, dig up the rooted cane tips. This should be done in mid-March if the soil is not frozen or waterlogged.

  • Cut the rooted canes from the mother plant.

  • Prune the canes so that only two or three buds remain.

  • Place each thornless blackberry cane's roots in the soil, tap the earth down firmly around the roots and water thoroughly. When planting, the crown of the roots should be level with the soil surface.

  • Trim each cane so that it is about 10 inches high.

  • Water the new plants with one inch of water each week during the growing season.

  • Provide a trellis for your growing blackberry plant as it gets taller.

  • Harvest your first blackberries during the transplant's second summer of growth. Pick the berries every few days. You may have to harvest more often if birds start to take in your crop before you do.

Tips & Warnings

  • When planting your blackberry transplant, keep in mind that blackberries do best in full sun and in well-drained soil.
  • A blackberry plant can produce for 15 to 20 years. Think carefully about where you want to set your transplant.
  • Your transplant will produce no berries during its first year. Berries are produced from the previous season's growth.
  • Do not plant blackberries where peppers, eggplants, potatoes, tomatoes or strawberries are growing or have grown in the past few years. There are pests that can be spread among these plants.

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