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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Impulse Buy Time

Last week I was in one of the home improvement stores and started wandering the gardening shelves...always a dangerous thing! I looked around at all the packaged plants which in most cases are way too early to plant out and got sucked in by the displays. I ended up coming home with one Arapaha thornless blackberry plant. I love blackberry jam and of course fruit right off the vine is pretty good too.  Since I have kids I figured the thornless would be the best choice. I only bought the one since blackberries are so easy to propagate and I figured I could easily have several by the end of the season.



The problem with the plant racks this time of year is that they are all kept indoors and the plants begin sprouting in the nice warm indoor store temperatures. It's not a big deal unless the temperatures outside are freezing! Once the dormancy is broken you risk damaging the plant in a freeze outdoors so you have to keep it protected. When I picked my blackberry plant from the mass of blackberries I made sure that it wasn't growing and still had tight buds so that I could place it in the garage until the weather warms. I probably could plant it out right now in the garden but I haven't found just the right place yet. That's another problem with impulse buys - you don't always have a location planned for that new plant - but you can always find one!

As for propagation blackberries can be easily propagated through stem tips, division of the suckers, tip layering, serpentine layering, and trench layering.

10 comments :

  1. Dave,

    We have wild blackberries getting into our garden beds all the time. So are you actually buying blackberries. One year we did make 2-3 cobblers.

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  2. Randy,

    Yep! we have them all over too but the fruit is usually small and of course covered with the thorns. I figured these would be safer for young hands to pick from.

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  3. I bought a Navajo Thornless Blackberry on sale last year. Blackberries are so good of the plant! I agree. I can't wait to see if it grows larger this year.

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  4. Can't you pot it up for 4 - 6 weeks, give it a head start and then move it to the gardens? I for one HATE blackberries....:). Our neighbor's blackberries are as big as your thumb and he has to pick them everyday....that's a good thing if you LIKE them..

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  5. Blackberries freshly warmed from the sun will be SO good this summer!

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  6. Dang it~Now I must find a way to slide down the driveway to visit the closet bbs! I love Blackberry jam if you chance to make any! gail

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  7. I just saw those at my local garden center and thought to myself "Who buys blackberries in February?" I never thought of putting them in the garage! I think I'll be picking some up on my next trip into town.

    I've wanted to get blackberries and raspberries for awhile, but by the time spring rolls around the plants at the nursery have been sitting in their bags indoors too long and are mostly dead. Great tip, Thanks!

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  8. Meemsnyc - They are delicious! Easy to grow and give something nice in return!

    Darla - I'm surprised anyone doesn't like them. I have great memories of playing in the fields when I was a kid and munching on the brambles! I could pot them up but it should be fine in its little package for a while until I get around to planting it.

    Tina - definitely!

    Gail - careful on that driveway! As soon as I get some jam I'll get you one - although it may not be this year since it's the second year canes that produce the fruit.

    Shannon - I thought the same thing about some of the other plants. It really is too early for the stores to stock live plants like this. You're right though that they won't be worth buying later in the season as they will most likely have dried out and died.

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  9. Great Dave. I have 2 thorn-less on a pergola. Sadly they don't like to climb. They prefer to go sideways. And the birds seem to know when they are just right. Maybe I need to try a bird net.

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