How to Train & Prune Blackberry Bushes
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Blackberries are a really easy plant to grow. You can let them grow freely as a bush, but the easy way to get the most fruit is called the weaving system. This helps keep the plants healthy and makes an unruly plant neat and tidy.
The weaving system uses four wires to separates the one year old, fruiting stems from the current year's new growth, which bears no fruit.
- Bottom wire: 3 feet / 1 metre above the ground.
- Top 3 wires: 1 foot / 30 cms between each wire.
First Year: Your plants will send up vigorous new shoots. As these grow, train them up over the 3rd wire, down under the bottom wire, back over the 3rd, back under the bottom in a wave shape. In the second year, these will be the ones that bear fruit.
- All the new stems should be taken straight up the middle to the top wire and tied normally along it.
- After the harvest in autumn, cut all of the old stems from the lower 3 wires down to just above the ground.
- Take down the new stems from the top wire and weave them onto the bottom 3 wires. Snip off the last inch of each stem.
Third Year & The Future: Repeat the step above each year.
Tip: When removing the old stems, it is easier to chop them into smaller pieces while they are still sitting on the wires, then untie and remove them.