Sunday, February 21, 2016

Planting Blackberry Starts. 2.21.16

Prime-Ark Blackberry Starts.  2.21.16
The irony is not lost on me.  I'm still in the process of clearing massive blackberry bramble thickets.  After several hours of clearing them yesterday, I'm so sore I can barely move.

Then I buy blackberry plants.

The difference is, these are a compact growing variety, developing into a bush about 5 feet tall  and similar or less width.  Prime-Ark Blackberry, is a new hybrid from Arkansas, which I have not tried before.  They are a thornless variety.  So, I don't need to climb into 12 to 20 foot tall thickets, and come back bloodied, for the delicious blackberries.

I don't know if deer will eat them, not being deterred by thorns.  But the leaves seem coarse and unappetizing, so maybe not.

These are small plants.  They are going into the garden beds South of the house, for full sun.

I also bought 3 Ebony King Blackberry starts at Lowes, for variety.  Almost thornless.  I am hoping the timing will be a little different, for a longer blackberry season.  I love these fruits, and they also make an easy and delicious jam. Ebony King is almost thornless - at leas from the stems of these starts, no where near as vicious as the wild Himalayan Blackberries that I am striving to clear.

I read Prime-Ark needs to be 3-4 feet apart, or 5 feet apart, depending on who I read.  Mine are at the close end of that.   Some may need transplanting later.


  1. Yes, Daniel, I have to laugh at the logic. But, over the years , while foraging for blackberries, I have discovered there are many varieties in the wild. I think I'd like thornless! Good luck with your new plantings.

  2. Wow, you always surprise me. After your battle with the thorny blackberry you went back for more. Its not a bad idea because you know you got the right soil for growing it. I grow Ebony also and they are very easy to propagate from tip rooting. Its about 10 ft tall and you can tie it down so it will be low enough for you to harvest without a ladder. I harvest wild and thornless every yr to make big batches of jam. The thornless variety fruits almost all yr round and the thorny only during late summer. But the wild ones seems to have more flavor by far. The starter plant you got may not fruit this yr. My propagated cutting fruits only after 2.5 yrs later.

  3. So far the plants don't look like much, but probably early to say. The leaves had darkened to a dark red shade. Maybe from the chilly weather compared to their source? Now they have a thick grass clipping mulch on the area to enrich the soil and keep weeds down, with a mulch-free circle around each plant. We'll see.

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