Monday, May 7, 2012

Blackberry Heaven

The first thing to move in after we did was the blackberries.   Our place had been grazed by cattle for over a century.   We did not have a single blooming dogwood or redbud on this place.   We did not have a tractor either, so the big mowing stopped when we moved here.

And the blackberries moved right on in.  These are the classic 'brambles'.   The berries are good, but smaller than commercial blackberries.  The seeds are bitter, so it's best to make jelly and syrup with it and take the seeds out.

I mow around the big patches as closely as I can so that they're easier to get to to pick.   That also helps control them - a bit.

We have a tractor now and as soon as it's up and running and we learn how to drive it, then we have plans for maintaining the blackberries in a more reasonable way.

Here's a pic of some of the berries on the big hill.  Blow it up for a better view.   They're blooming now and the whole hill looks and smells wonderful. 

Here's a pic of just one of the patches.  The canes at the center are around 8 feet tall.   We have other patches where the canes are taller. 


We've got those scheduled for 'maintenance' first. 

Maintenance will consist of mowing off 4' rows. in three sections.  One section will be path [grass].  One section will be mowed right away to let grow up over the year so that we can harvest next year [2013].    In the fall after harvest, we'll mow off what we picked on this year and let it get started growing for the following year [2014].  Then it's just a matter of keeping the paths always mowed and then mowing this year's berries after harvest so they can get going again.

Why 4'?   Because that's what I can lean into to pick through.    And if we lose a year for some reason, a 4' row would be easier for me to take out with the little riding mower.  


  1. ...But the Bramble replied, “Ah, that’s all very well: but you wait till they come with axes and saws to cut you down, and then you’ll wish you were a Bramble and not a Fir.” Aesop rocks. Many fairy tales involve brambles. Thanks for this golden opportunity to use one of my favorite words, bramble, a lot.

  2. 4" is a very smart size to keep it to. Our blackberries haven't gone nuts yet...thankfully.


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