Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

Enjoying tasty berries straight from hand to mouth in summer is what every hobby gardener with their own garden dreams of. Blackberries are not only suitable for direct consumption, they can also be processed if necessary, for example to make blackberry jam or blackberry juice. However, the shrubs are very fast-growing and must therefore be pruned every year in order to enjoy a bountiful harvest again the following summer.

growing blackberries

If you replant a blackberry hedge, you should raise it right from the start, which will also make annual pruning easier later on. Because this is a trellis pulled, to which the later main shoots are attached. When cutting Rubus sectio Rubus later, it is always easy to distinguish between the main and side shoots. When educating, the following should be done:

  • Set up a trellis of three horizontal tension wires
  • look for four strongest shoots of a bush
  • drag left and right
  • tie to the upper tension wires
  • leave the lower tension wire free

In the next few years, the respective harvested and new shoots will be rearranged on the trellis during pruning.

build trellis

Blackberries always need a trellis to train them on. This also makes it easier to trim a shrub or an entire hedge. Because if no trellis is used, it becomes confusing in the blackberry bush, old and new shoots then grow wildly mixed up and can no longer be distinguished from each other. This makes pruning for a high-yield harvest almost impossible. The trellis is therefore created as follows:

  • Height about 1.80 meters
  • use wooden poles
  • hit the ground about a meter apart
  • Pull wires horizontally between the wooden posts
  • fix a first wire at a height of 50 cm from the ground
  • further wires always at least 40 cm above the lower one
  • span at least three wires

Cut blackberries - instructions

The right moment

When the right time to cut the blackberries is decided primarily by the prevailing climate weather, so that the bush or hedge is not damaged. It doesn't matter whether you prune in spring or autumn, because blackberries can be pruned all year round, except during the frosty winter months, if necessary. If there are too many new long rods from the rootstock on the Rubus sectio Rubus, you can remove them in summer or autumn as well as in the main cutting time in spring. The following describes when the right time is and what the day on which cutting should look like:

  • no expected frost or night frost
  • Frost penetration into the interface can damage the shrub
  • overcast and dry
  • The sun could burn the interfaces
  • when it rains, too much moisture penetrates
  • mushrooms form
  • Bacteria and viruses penetrate more easily

right tool

In order to cut the blackberry bush, you also need the right tool. Secateurs have proven their worth here, as the shoots of the shrub do not grow very thick and can be severed easily. It is important to wear gloves and long clothing when cutting because of the many thorns. Because otherwise there is a great risk of injury, there can be many small cuts on the skin. Otherwise, the tool used is prepared as follows:

  • check for sharpness
  • possibly switch to new scissors
  • or sharpen old secateurs
  • clean and disinfect
  • with pure alcohol from the pharmacy
  • alternatively disinfectant from the garden trade

If the scissors are not sharp, cracks will appear at the cutting point. This becomes larger and bacteria, viruses and fungi have an easier time penetrating the blackberry bush via the larger interface. Bacteria or viruses that can penetrate directly when cutting also adhere to uncleaned pruning shears.

spring pruning

So that the blackberries bear a lot of fruit in summer, they should be pruned in spring. Because from the previous year there are many side shoots on the bush that have grown from the main shoots. However, if these are not cut off in part or removed entirely, then fruits will form later, but they are very small and are reminiscent of the fruits that often grow in the wild along roadsides. Therefore, when cutting the side shoots in spring, proceed as follows:

  • Cut back all side shoots in March
  • leave only one or two buds
  • the fruit wood develops from the buds
  • the resulting shoots show flowers and fruits
  • Completely remove any disturbing side shoots

The rule says that the fewer new fruit shoots the bush has, the better the quality of the fruit.

cut rootstock

If the shrub was cultivated and raised in the previous year, new shoots from the rootstock, the so-called long rods. With these, the four strongest rods are also selected, which are now attached to the lower tension wire of the trellis. All other rods from the rootstock are then periodically removed. Cutting can be done from spring to autumn.

Annual cut

If the blackberry bush was raised on a trellis, the further annual cut is easy. Because this is how it is done:

  • Cut the harvested shoots next spring
  • work close to the ground
  • Remove shoots from the trellis and discard
  • tie the new shoots from the previous year upwards
  • Cut back the resulting side shoots
  • this is where new buds, flowers and fruits form
  • select four new long rods from the rootstock throughout the year
  • "park" them again on the lower tension wire for the next year

Mutual education

To make it easier for the hobby gardener to distinguish between old and new shoots, the blackberries can also be cultivated alternately. That means nothing else than that all the shoots of a year to one side to be pulled. In this way, the other side remains empty in the harvest year, but it makes it easier to cut the old, harvested shoots. The advantage here is also that the new rods do not have to be repositioned for the harvest in the same year. This is done as follows:

  • Shoots of one generation are only tied up on one side
  • this year's shoots are on one side
  • on the other side the previous year's shoots
  • cutting is now shifted laterally from year to year
  • pull up new shoots from the same year on the free side

This method of growing the blackberries is easier and the pruning is faster because the new shoots do not have to be transferred from the lower wire to the upper tension wires. Only the pruning and the removal of the harvested previous year's shoots take place.

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!