New Blackberries are Coming

Work in progress is always fun to report. We made a decision to expand our blackberry patch with 2,000 row feet of two different varieties of blackberries; both are thornless.

Navaho and Ouachita will be nice additions to the Apache and Chickasaw we already have. In addition to planting the new berries, we are infilling both Apache and Chickasaw where we had cane die off last summer. The University of Arkansas research team that came and evaluated our die off determined it may be an internal can fungus that might be controlled by organic sprays. A set was applied last fall and one will be applied in the next few weeks. The problem was common in all hybrid blackberry plants from Georgia west into our area.

Last spring and early summer we had the best vines we have ever had and a huge young berry crop. As the berries started to mature, they also started to dry up and the vines started to die back. We had half the coop we expected and berry picking ended sooner. We will probably have a reduced crop this year due to the limited number of canes that grew last summer versus other years.

The photos below are prior to planting (we have 300 plants in the ground now and 400 to go). After planting we will update this with other photos.

The field we will be planting the new blackberries in before work started.

Rows were laid out 250 feet long and 12 feet between rows.

We used a deep drill to break the sod and then
came back with many passes of a tiller.

The finished bed on left is ready to plant. Yes, there is a lot of grass
roots still in the rows, but over time this summer we will work on that.