The ‘Darrow’ Blackberries are fantastic, with large berries that are firm and juicy, and with a honey sweet, true blackberry flavor. This berry has proven to be the most reliable producer of large crops of top quality fruit grown successfully North into Canada. The berries measure 1″” long and 3/4″” wide. The bushes grow 4-5 ft. tall. This blackberry is cold hardy, super-vigorous and self-pollinating.
Plants are hardy, rust resistant and produce well at an early age. To maintain plants, be sure to water in dry weather and use mulch to conserve soil moisture and control weeds. Pruning on a regular schedule is also beneficial to the growth and health of the plant. Blackberries are a delicious gourmet treat that may be eaten fresh or used in cobbler, cake, sauce, jam, jelly or syrup.
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Choose a well-drained site in full sun at least 300 feet from any wild blackberries. Construct trellises for trailing varieties before planting.
Plant in early spring in most areas; in mild-winter areas of the south and Pacific Coast, plant in fall or winter. Space upright varieties at 3-foot intervals in rows 8 feet apart. Set trailing varieties 5 to 8 feet apart in rows 6 to 10 feet apart. Set plants 1 inch deeper than they were grown in the nursery.
Cultivate shallowly; the roots are near the surface. Mulch with a thick layer of shredded bark, wood chips, leaves, or hay. Plants usually don’t require pruning the first year. Prune out fruiting canes as soon as berries are harvested each summer, and select replacement canes for the following year. To prevent chilling injury in the winter, lay the canes of trailing types on the ground in winter and cover with a thick layer of mulch. Blackberries are subject to a number of different disease and insect pests, depending on region. Contact your cooperative extension office for information on managing pests in your area.
Blackberries fruit the first year after planting. The fruit’s green receptacle separates from the plant when the fruit is picked. The core should be small and soft.
Pick in the morning when fruits and plants are dry and cool. Watch out for bees before you reach in. Carry the berries in shallow trays because they are easily crushed. They also are highly perishable, so keep picked berries in the shade and move them to a cool location as soon as possible.