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Blackberry help Please.....

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
by 4Ruddy on September 19, 2004 03:59 PM
I planted a blackbery (thornless)summer before last. I know NOTHING about them..but was told that it wouldn't have berries for a couple of years. The first summmer...it looked good...this summer it grew a BUNCH, but then started getting red dots on the leaves. A "friend" told me it was a fungus and to pick the leaves off...I did...it looks naked. It continues to grow and the branches are very long with just a few leaves left on the ends. What do I do to prepare it for winter...do I need to cut it back...mulch or not???? I haven't a clue what I am doing.

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Happiness, like a dessert so sweet.
May life give you more than you can ever eat...
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by weezie13 on September 20, 2004 01:11 PM
Hi [wayey] 4Ruddy,
I don't grow cultivated berries, all mine here are wild ones, but I kinda would be inclined to think if it's got those markings on the leaves, to rake up around the leaves that have fallen around the canes, to keep the area clean of the fallen leaves sick with something, and it won't lay on the ground and over winter again...

Can you tell us a bit more about the soil and the conditions your canes are in..???
Like what type of soil did you plant them in?
How did you ammend the soil, if at all???
How do you have them planted? In rows, and staked or just left natural?
How your water *rain* is and your watering practices are?
How and if you fertilized them and those answers may be able to stear you into a better direction of what to do????

Weezie

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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by 4Ruddy on September 21, 2004 12:52 AM
Weezie, Please don't hurt yourself from the laughter that may result in my "attempt" to answer your questions.
First of all I planted one little start of the blackberry last summer. There is only one cane but it is now approx 9 feet high and has 7 branches. I didn't prune/cut back or do anything to winterize it last winter because I didn'tknow what to do...I just mulched it fairly heavy. It is just in the it is in the back corner of a zinnia/mixed flower bed. The soil is...well, back yard stuff, have never had it tested. I did mix some sand and manure in the bed at the time of planting. I do know that there is a hard plate under the ground and it holds moisture really well, but the bed is in a very sunny spot so it doesn't stay mushy or anything. I only water if we have had a long spell of no rain...we have had an above average amount of rain this year. I did spray it with malithion plus earlier thinking that bugs were causing the rust colored spots...and remember...I pulled all of the spotted leaves off. I sprayed Miracle grow on it one time in the spring. Am I suppose to prune/cut back or anything like that for winter? And, I was also told that I need to treat it with a fungaside???? Thanks so much for your help...I promise, I will catch on! [dunno]

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Happiness, like a dessert so sweet.
May life give you more than you can ever eat...
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by obywan59 on September 21, 2004 09:51 PM
I noticed rust on my blackberries last year and went to look up what to do about it. All the information I had said that it was incurable and you should just rip out the plants. I wasn't ready to do that, so I pulled off all the infected leaves and started spraying with my organic fungide mix, but it came back again this year.
The new stems look perfectly healthy until the new growth begins in the spring but then they go into slow decline and don't produce much of a crop if at all.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by 4Ruddy on September 22, 2004 08:03 AM
Oh my gosh! [thinker] That is AWFUL...rip up the PLANT? So is it the plant or actually the soil? If I DO pull up the plant...can I re-plant in the same area? I have invested 2 summers to find out he is going to blackberry Heaven! [thinker]

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Happiness, like a dessert so sweet.
May life give you more than you can ever eat...
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by obywan59 on September 22, 2004 04:38 PM
It's in the plants. They to say to remove the entire affected plants including the roots and burn them.
Also, remove any wild blackberries growing nearby.
If I decide to replant mine, I'll probably try to plant them in a different spot as I imagine it would be pretty difficult to get all the roots out.
Prevention is the key here. Plant resistant varieties and keep fallen leaves and berries cleaned up. Also, make sure all berries are picked from the canes, even if they are dry and shriveled. Mulch heavily with straw and leaf mold and, when the season is over, a heavy dressing of compost with extra potash and potassium added as fungal diseases are often encouraged by malnutrition.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by 4Ruddy on September 22, 2004 10:01 PM
Terry, Thanks so much for your help. There are no wild berries around the area and this plant has never produces any berries with the exception of 1 berry that was on the plant when I bought it. I was under the impression that it wouldn't produce berries for a couple of years after planting...thus my discouragement because it would now be time for it to start! I think I might be better off going out in the woods and transplanting some wild berries! thanks again for your help...I am learning so much from all of you and it is pretty exciting... [wayey]

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Happiness, like a dessert so sweet.
May life give you more than you can ever eat...
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