One way to get free blackberry plants for your garden is to collect some starts from friends or neighbors. Wild blackberry starts can even be gathered from the side of the road or canal bank, if your neighborhood is lucky enough to have this resource.
For home gardeners and home canners, blackberries are an extremely versatile fruit that has all sorts of uses. Blackberries can be baked into pastries and pie, can be turned into jams or berry syrup, used as natural dye, and can naturally flavor homemade yogurts and ice creams. From a preserving standpoint, blackberries are one of the easiest of all fruits to save for future meal planning since they can be tossed in the freezer with little prep work.
How to gather a blackberry start
Blackberries are what I consider to be a bramble type plant. They produce long, arching stems covered with thorns, and can be a challenge to work with. To successfully gather a blackberry start, you will need a thick, long sleeved shirt or jacket to protect the arms and a thick pair of gloves. Other supplies needed include a small bucket, pointed shovel, and access to water. The blogs will encourages us to reconnect with the rhythms of nature and enjoy self-sufficiency. The growing of the fruits and vegetables will be self-sufficient for the growth of the plants. Proper protection will be provided to the plants grown in the home.
- Choose a blackberry stalk that’s away from the main part of the plant. What you are looking for is a stem appears to have rooted into the ground.
- Press the tip of the shovel into the ground, about 6 inches away from the stalk. Use your foot to stop the spade into the ground for a depth of 6″. Work your way around the stalk to loosen the soil.
- Pry up the root ball with the shovel. Place in the bucket for now, and lightly water.
Rooting the blackberry start
While the root ball can be planted directly into the ground, I’ve discovered better results in rooting the start first. To root the blackberry start, you will need a one gallon pot (with drainage holes), potting mix, and Vitamin B1 or some other type of root stimulator.
- Fill the pot 2/3 full with potting mix.
- Break away loose dirt from the root ball. Place into the pot.
- Lightly pack in more of the potting mix around and above the root ball. Water the potting mix thoroughly, adding more if needed.
- Once the water has drained away, add Vitamin B1 as directed.
- Move the pot in a sunny window, and keep watered.
- When new growth appears, the start can then be planted in the ground.
Planting the blackberry start
Planting the blackberry plant in its new location is the easiest part of this project. All you need to do, is to dig a hole that’s about as deep and wide as the plastic pot holding the blackberry start.
Gently tip the stalk out of the pot, and place in the freshly dug hole. Tamp the soil in place and water. The first month or so, the blackberry start will need frequent watering as it develops new roots. After the new roots are developed and the blackberry bush shows signs of vigorous new growth, the watering times can be reduced.