How Often Should I Water Blackberries? How Much Water?

Blackberries, close up.

Blackberries are widely regarded as one of the most straightforward fruits to cultivate at home. They are tiny shrubs or trailing vines that are native to the United States. This plant’s fruits can be used to make syrup, jams, and jellies.

Blackberries, whether trailing, semi-trailing, or erect, all require a considerable quantity of water to thrive. Keep the roots moist but not submerged in water, or they may rot. Additionally, to avoid mold, mildew, or root rot, plants should be watered at the base and early in the day.

Blackberries that have been properly watered will produce the largest, juiciest fruit. So, how much water do blackberries require when it comes to irrigation?

Planting Blackberries

Keep the roots moist while transplanting blackberry canes into a designated spot with well-draining soil. Do not allow the plant to dry out before planting it. To encourage root establishment, thoroughly moisten the soil around the cane once it has been planted. To keep the moisture in the soil, add several inches of organic mulch all around the base of each plant.

When to Water Blackberry Vines?

If you reside in a location with typical rainfall, you won’t need to water blackberries after the first growing season if they’ve established themselves. The first year of growth, on the other hand, is a different story.

To reduce the risk of fungal illness, water blackberries during the day and at the base of the plants. From mid-May through October, blackberry plants should be kept constantly moist during the growing season.

Planting for the First Three Weeks

Keep the soil surrounding the blackberries moist for the first three weeks after planting, watering only in the morning. This may necessitate a daily water application in hotter areas. Check for dryness by poking your finger into the soil. The top 1 inch of soil should be moist, but no water should pool around the plant’s base or on top of the surrounding dirt.

First Year

Once the blackberries have established themselves, reduce the amount of watering. During the summer, plants will still require 1 to 2 inches of water per week. If there has been no rain, give the plants a regular, shallow watering several times a week to keep the roots close to the surface. If the weather is particularly hot, the plants may need to be watered every day or every other day.

Subsequent Years

During the growing season, feed the blackberry plants 1–2 inches of water every week, on average. Increase watering as blossoms appear; keep the soil moist and keep organic mulch at the base of each plant moist to retain moisture. As they grow, plump, juicy blackberries demand a lot of moisture.

How Much Water Do blackberries Need?

Blackberries require regular irrigation during the growing season to keep them wet. From mid-May to mid-October, blackberry plants require 1–2 inches of water per week. It’s preferable to keep the plants moist all of the time without soaking the ground and rotting the roots.

Irrigate twice a week in general, making sure to wet the whole root system with each irrigation. During the fruiting stage, particularly when the weather is hot and windy, however, more water should be supplied in larger amounts and more frequently.

Overhead watering encourages fruit rot and foliage diseases; therefore, it’s not a good idea to use it on blackberries. Blackberries should be irrigated each day for 1 to 2 hours with drip irrigation, longer in warmer weather or when the fruit is ripening.

Fertilization

For excellent development and fruit production, blackberries need yearly applications of a nitrogen-containing fertilizer. Per 100 feet of row, apply 5 to 6 pounds of 20-20-20 or ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) fertilizer. Apply 1 pound of ammonium nitrate (34-0-0) per 100 feet of row or 1.5 pounds of ammonium sulfate per 100 feet of row during bloom or midsummer, just prior to watering, if plants are lacking in vigor. Apply manure or compost in the late fall or early winter to let the rain wash away excess salts.

Site Selection for Blackberry Bushes

Light: Full sun

Soil: Blackberries like acidic to slightly basic (6.0-7.0) organic soil. Except for alkaline and moist soils, they can adapt to almost every type of soil. If your soil is clay, you’ll need to add organic matter to help it break down. Add organic mulch, such as moist peat moss, well-aged sawdust, straw, or leaf litter, to boost the organic content of the soil.

Pollination: Blackberries are self-pollinating.

Hardiness Zone: 4-9

Minimum Chill Hours Needed: 400-500

Where to Plant: Blackberries grow in thickets and have a deep root system. Find the plants over which you have control over “volunteers.” Blackberries have deep roots and send up suckers that can reach a distance of several feet from the parent plant. Make sure there’s enough space around the beds to mow.

Do Not Plant: In established areas where vegetables or fruit plants have previously been planted. Plant blackberries at a distance of 300 feet from raspberries.

How to Pick Blackberries

A complete crop of berries takes around three years to produce. Allow a few days for the berries to soften and lose their glow after they have turned lustrous black. They will be at their sweetest point for selecting now, and when fully ripe, the fruit will readily detach.

Harvesting early in the morning on chilly, dry days extends the shelf life. To avoid crushing, place in shallow pots and move out of the sun. If blackberries are exposed to too much sunlight in highly hot climates, they will become red and bitter.

Refrigerate the berries to avoid excessive handling. Wash the berries just when you’re ready to utilize them. Blackberries have a longer shelf life (approximately 4-5 days) than raspberries. When harvesting blackberries, use old or dark clothing to avoid staining.

Final Verdict

Blackberries are an underappreciated berry. They grow uninvited and weed-like in various parts of the country. The sweet nectar of the berry is sought after, grown, and the fruit is anxiously anticipated in other locations. While blackberry vines are simple to grow, the succulent properties of the berries are dependent on understanding when to water them.

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