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General Information

Plant Care Instructions By Steve Brigham

Blackberries are easy to grow in Southern California, but they do take some maintenance to keep plants under control and producing well. The main thing to remember is that each blackberry cane produces fruit in its second year, then should be removed after summer harvest to make room for the new canes to grow for next year. Buy your plants from a reputable local nursery so that you get varieties which do best in your area.

Is Indoor Plant?

No

These month by month plant care tasks are for plants in the following zones :
Sunset Zones : 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
USDA Zones :
Web Link - For more information

Plant Care Instruction

  • Scroll down or click on any month for plant care instructions
    • January
    • February
    • March
    • April
    • May
    • June
    • July
    • August
    • September
    • October
    • November
    • December
    January
    1. Buy

    Buy healthy, disease free bare-root plants from a reputable local nursery that stocks the best varieties for your area.
    2. Plant

    Plant plants in rich, well-drained soil in full sun or a little shade, using plenty of soil amendment (in hot-summer areas, plant in an area that is protected from strong afternoon sun and strong winds). Plant plants an inch deeper than they grew in the nursery, covering crowns with an inch of soil. Plants will be trained on a fence or wire trellis, and you should allow plenty of room for plants to grow.
    3. Water

    Water regularly during dry periods.
    February
    1. Buy

    Buy healthy, disease free bare-root plants from a reputable local nursery that stocks the best varieties for your area.
    2. Plant

    Plant plants in rich, well-drained soil in full sun or a little shade, using plenty of soil amendment (in hot-summer areas, plant in an area that is protected from strong afternoon sun and strong winds). Plant plants an inch deeper than they grew in the nursery, covering crowns with an inch of soil. Plants will be trained on a fence or wire trellis, and you should allow plenty of room for plants to grow.
    3. Fertilize

    Fertilize lightly with a 5-10-10 plant food.
    4. Water

    Water regularly during dry periods.
    5. Treat for Pest/Disease

    If insect pests were a problem last year, apply a dormant spray containing lime sulfur this month.
    March
    1. Buy

    Buy healthy, disease free bare-root plants from a reputable local nursery that stocks the best varieties for your area.
    2. Plant

    Plant plants in rich, well-drained soil in full sun or a little shade, using plenty of soil amendment (in hot-summer areas, plant in an area that is protected from strong afternoon sun and strong winds). Plant plants an inch deeper than they grew in the nursery, covering crowns with an inch of soil. Plants will be trained on a fence or wire trellis, and you should allow plenty of room for plants to grow.
    3. Water

    Water regularly and consistently.
    4. Prune

    Cut side branches on last year's canes back to 12" long to encourage bushy growth and more berry production this year.
    5. Mulch

    Maintain a generous mulch around the plants to keep roots cool and moist and to conserve water use.
    6. Propagate

    Propagate by digging new shoots and roots from the outside of clumps as they appear.
    April
    1. Buy

    Buy healthy, disease free bare-root plants from a reputable local nursery that stocks the best varieties for your area.
    2. Plant

    Plant plants in rich, well-drained soil in full sun or a little shade, using plenty of soil amendment (in hot-summer areas, plant in an area that is protected from strong afternoon sun and strong winds). Plant plants an inch deeper than they grew in the nursery, covering crowns with an inch of soil. Plants will be trained on a fence or wire trellis, and you should allow plenty of room for plants to grow.
    3. Fertilize

    Fertilize lightly with a 5-10-10 plant food.
    4. Water

    Water regularly and consistently.
    5. Mulch

    Maintain a generous mulch around the plants to keep roots cool and moist and to conserve water use.
    6. Propagate

    Propagate by digging new shoots and roots from the outside of clumps as they appear.
    May
    1. Water

    Water regularly and consistently.
    2. Mulch

    Maintain a generous mulch around the plants to keep roots cool and moist and to conserve water use.
    3. Propagate

    Propagate by digging new shoots and roots from the outside of clumps as they appear.
    June
    1. Water

    Water regularly and consistently.
    2. Mulch

    Maintain a generous mulch around the plants to keep roots cool and moist and to conserve water use.
    3. Protect

    Protect ripening berries from birds. In hot-summer areas, protect plants from hot summer sun while berries are ripening.
    4. Harvest

    Harvest berries when they are fully ripe and come off the plants easily.
    July
    1. Fertilize

    Fertilize lightly with a 5-10-10 plant food.
    2. Water

    Water regularly and consistently.
    3. Prune

    After harvest, cut all canes that have fruited back to the ground. For each plant, choose 12 new canes from this year's growth to replace the old canes (and remove others). Cut these new canes back to to 6 feet tall, and train onto the trellis.
    4. Mulch

    Maintain a generous mulch around the plants to keep roots cool and moist and to conserve water use.
    5. Protect

    Protect ripening berries from birds. In hot-summer areas, protect plants from hot summer sun while berries are ripening.
    6. Harvest

    Harvest berries when they are fully ripe and come off the plants easily.
    August
    1. Water

    Water regularly and consistently.
    2. Prune

    After harvest, cut all canes that have fruited back to the ground. For each plant, choose 12 new canes from this year's growth to replace the old canes (and remove others). Cut these new canes back to to 6 feet tall, and train onto the trellis.
    3. Mulch

    Maintain a generous mulch around the plants to keep roots cool and moist and to conserve water use.
    4. Protect

    Protect ripening berries from birds. In hot-summer areas, protect plants from hot summer sun while berries are ripening.
    5. Harvest

    Harvest berries when they are fully ripe and come off the plants easily.
    September
    1. Water

    Water regularly and consistently.
    2. Mulch

    Maintain a generous mulch around the plants to keep roots cool and moist and to conserve water use.
    October
    1. Water

    Water regularly and consistently.
    2. Mulch

    Maintain a generous mulch around the plants to keep roots cool and moist and to conserve water use.
    November
    1. Water

    Water regularly during dry periods.
    December
    1. Water

    Water regularly during dry periods.
  • Buy

    When's the best time to buy this plant? When can you buy these from seed (if you can)? When is it usually available? What are things to look for when you're buying it? Or anything other tidbit of information you can share!

    January

    Buy healthy, disease free bare-root plants from a reputable local nursery that stocks the best varieties for your area.

    February

    Buy healthy, disease free bare-root plants from a reputable local nursery that stocks the best varieties for your area.

    March

    Buy healthy, disease free bare-root plants from a reputable local nursery that stocks the best varieties for your area.

    April

    Buy healthy, disease free bare-root plants from a reputable local nursery that stocks the best varieties for your area.

    Plant

    When's a good time to plant this plant or bulb? Any special planting instructions?

    January

    Plant plants in rich, well-drained soil in full sun or a little shade, using plenty of soil amendment (in hot-summer areas, plant in an area that is protected from strong afternoon sun and strong winds). Plant plants an inch deeper than they grew in the nursery, covering crowns with an inch of soil. Plants will be trained on a fence or wire trellis, and you should allow plenty of room for plants to grow.

    February

    Plant plants in rich, well-drained soil in full sun or a little shade, using plenty of soil amendment (in hot-summer areas, plant in an area that is protected from strong afternoon sun and strong winds). Plant plants an inch deeper than they grew in the nursery, covering crowns with an inch of soil. Plants will be trained on a fence or wire trellis, and you should allow plenty of room for plants to grow.

    March

    Plant plants in rich, well-drained soil in full sun or a little shade, using plenty of soil amendment (in hot-summer areas, plant in an area that is protected from strong afternoon sun and strong winds). Plant plants an inch deeper than they grew in the nursery, covering crowns with an inch of soil. Plants will be trained on a fence or wire trellis, and you should allow plenty of room for plants to grow.

    April

    Plant plants in rich, well-drained soil in full sun or a little shade, using plenty of soil amendment (in hot-summer areas, plant in an area that is protected from strong afternoon sun and strong winds). Plant plants an inch deeper than they grew in the nursery, covering crowns with an inch of soil. Plants will be trained on a fence or wire trellis, and you should allow plenty of room for plants to grow.

    Fertilize

    When should you fertilize this plant? Which kind of fertilizer do you recommend? Should you use different fertilizers at different times of year?

    February

    Fertilize lightly with a 5-10-10 plant food.

    April

    Fertilize lightly with a 5-10-10 plant food.

    July

    Fertilize lightly with a 5-10-10 plant food.

    Water

    Is there a time to reduce or increase watering? Any special requirements? Things to avoid during certain times of the year?

    January

    Water regularly during dry periods.

    February

    Water regularly during dry periods.

    March

    Water regularly and consistently.

    April

    Water regularly and consistently.

    May

    Water regularly and consistently.

    June

    Water regularly and consistently.

    July

    Water regularly and consistently.

    August

    Water regularly and consistently.

    September

    Water regularly and consistently.

    October

    Water regularly and consistently.

    November

    Water regularly during dry periods.

    December

    Water regularly during dry periods.

    Prune

    When's a good time to prune this plant? How about deadheading, pinching back, trimming or any other grooming? Any special requirements?

    February

    Cut

    March

    Cut side branches on last year's canes back to 12" long to encourage bushy growth and more berry production this year.

    July

    After harvest, cut all canes that have fruited back to the ground. For each plant, choose 12 new canes from this year's growth to replace the old canes (and remove others). Cut these new canes back to to 6 feet tall, and train onto the trellis.

    August

    After harvest, cut all canes that have fruited back to the ground. For each plant, choose 12 new canes from this year's growth to replace the old canes (and remove others). Cut these new canes back to to 6 feet tall, and train onto the trellis.

    Mulch

    Does this plant need to be mulched? Are there specific types of Mulch which are better for this plant? How much?

    March

    Maintain a generous mulch around the plants to keep roots cool and moist and to conserve water use.

    April

    Maintain a generous mulch around the plants to keep roots cool and moist and to conserve water use.

    May

    Maintain a generous mulch around the plants to keep roots cool and moist and to conserve water use.

    June

    Maintain a generous mulch around the plants to keep roots cool and moist and to conserve water use.

    July

    Maintain a generous mulch around the plants to keep roots cool and moist and to conserve water use.

    August

    Maintain a generous mulch around the plants to keep roots cool and moist and to conserve water use.

    September

    Maintain a generous mulch around the plants to keep roots cool and moist and to conserve water use.

    October

    Maintain a generous mulch around the plants to keep roots cool and moist and to conserve water use.

    Protect

    When and how should you protect this plant from birds, deer, rabbits? Does this plant need be covered, or wrapped or painted or moved?

    June

    Protect ripening berries from birds. In hot-summer areas, protect plants from hot summer sun while berries are ripening.

    July

    Protect ripening berries from birds. In hot-summer areas, protect plants from hot summer sun while berries are ripening.

    August

    Protect ripening berries from birds. In hot-summer areas, protect plants from hot summer sun while berries are ripening.

    Treat for Pest/Disease

    How do you treat the common problems for this plant? What products or concoctions or natural means do you use? Any special requirements?

    February

    If insect pests were a problem last year, apply a dormant spray containing lime sulfur this month.

    Propagate

    When's a good time to divide, take cuttings, layer or propagate this plant. Any special requirements?

    March

    Propagate by digging new shoots and roots from the outside of clumps as they appear.

    April

    Propagate by digging new shoots and roots from the outside of clumps as they appear.

    May

    Propagate by digging new shoots and roots from the outside of clumps as they appear.

    Harvest

    When's a good time to harvest this plant? What's the best way to harvest? Are there special requirements or features?

    June

    Harvest berries when they are fully ripe and come off the plants easily.

    July

    Harvest berries when they are fully ripe and come off the plants easily.

    August

    Harvest berries when they are fully ripe and come off the plants easily.

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