Prune and train blackberries

Now's the time to prune blackberries

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Blackberries and other hybrid berries such as tayberries and loganberries are ideal soft fruits to grow against a wall or fence where you can train the long, new growth.

They produce juicy fruits from mid to late summer and most of the modern hybrid berries, unlike the wild bramble, are thornless, which makes it easier to train and prune and, of course, to pick the fruits.

Flowers and fruit are always produced on the previous season’s growth, so at the end of the growing season, it’s important to carry out an annual prune to remove older stems that fruited this year and train in the new growth that will bear fruit next summer.

It’s simply a case of out with the old and in with the new!

If you don’t carry out this pruning, the plant will simply get larger and larger and create a tangle mass of old, woody stems.

As blackberries and other hybrid berries are naturally vigorous, to maintain some control grow them on a trellis or horizontal wires so that you have a structure to tie the new growth to.

After pruning, it’s also a good idea to apply a mulch of garden compost around the base of the plant to improve the growing conditions and raise the organic matter content in the soil.

How to prune

  1. Start by identifying what needs cutting out. Old stems will have the remains of fruit stalks along their lengths.
  1. Once you’ve worked out which is the old wood, trace it down to ground level and cut out with pruners.
  1. The long new stems that grew this summer need spreading out and tying to wires to hold them in place.
  1. The long new stems that grew this summer need spreading out and tying to wires to hold them in place.
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