Where I live, blackberries abound. For some people, the darn things are a pain in the neck and, if left unchecked, can take over a property. I love them, however, and because they grow so easily in any green space, choose not to include them in my landscape but rather go picking them in the surrounding country. I guess I’m afraid they will be a little too enthusiastic in the garden, and maybe you are too, but a great way to coral them is by growing blackberries in containers. Keep reading to find out how to grow blackberries in a container.
How to Grow Blackberries in a Container
Blackberries are quite easy to grow in USDA zones 6-8 but, as mentioned, once established can grow out of hand. A great way to contain their rather rabid growth is by growing blackberries in containers. Blackberries grown in a pot cannot escape into surrounding garden spaces.
First things first, selecting the right cultivar for container grown blackberries. Really, any variety of blackberries can be grown in a pot, but thornless varieties are especially suited for small spaces and patios. Some of these include:
- “Triple Crown”
Also, the erect varieties of berry that do not require trellising are ideal for container grown blackberries. Amongst these are:
Next, you need to select your container. For blackberries grown in a pot, choose containers that are 5 gallons (19 l.) or larger with room for at least 6 inches (15 cm.) of soil. Blackberry roots spread out rather than down, so you can get away with a shallow container as long as you have room for the plant to develop canes.
Plant your blackberry in either potting soil or a topsoil blend. Check to see what variety you purchased and whether it needs a trellis or not. If so, at planting attach the structure to a wall or fence to allow the plant to clamber up.
Caring for Blackberries in Pots
Keep in mind that with blackberries in pots, anything in pots for that matter, require more water than if they were planted in the garden. Water the plants when the top inch of soil is dry, which might even be daily.
Use a complete balanced fertilizer to the feed the berries to promote fruiting. A slow release fertilizer should be applied once in the spring, or a regular balanced fertilizer for fruiting trees and shrubs can be used each month during the growing season.
Otherwise, caring for blackberries in pots is more a matter of maintenance. Blackberries yield their best crops on 1-year-old canes, so as soon as you have harvested, cut down the old canes to ground level. Tie up new canes that have grown during the summer.
If the plants appear to be outgrowing the container, divide them every 2-4 years during winter when they are dormant. Also, in the winter, container grown blackberries need some protection. Mulch around the base of the plants or heel the pots into the soil and then mulch over top.
A little TLC and your container grown blackberries will give you years of blackberry pies and crumbles, all the jam you can eat and smoothies galore.