6 thoughts on “Black raspberry season”

  1. We live in So. Calif. and last year I decided to put in a blackberry
    patch along our back fence. Although I wanted the delicious berries, I did not want the horrible thorns. So, I bought 3 nice big plants at Costco, thorn-less ! But during the time it took for me to dig up the area and add amendment, all 3 plants dropped all their leaves and the plants died. But I plugged away, and this last spring I planted 3 blackberry plants, again from Costco, 4 different blueberry plants and strawberries too! I’m still learning
    what makes these plants tick, it may have been he shock of transplanting, but the BB plants seemed to dry up. I would water every other day – in our 90 degree heat, and I cut them back, so now they look ok. It is all in an area about 12’x3′.
    Do you find that if you wait too long to pick the blackberry it tastes bitter? If waiting too long is not the answer, what causes that bitterness? Thanks and good luck.

    1. Hi Kim – Thanks for reading! Blackberries are native to more northern, temperate climates. I’m wondering if, despite your watering, they’re just getting too hot. You said that you planted them next to a fence? If it’s the south side, that creates an exceptionally hot area for them. Blackberries can tolerate shade and in S. California, they may need some. They could also be affected by the type of soil you have. A lot of S. California is sandy soil, which wouldn’t necessarily hold water for long. Something like peat moss or vermiculite in the soil can help with water retention.
      I find that we tend to pick blackberries too soon, rather than too late. My blackberries need to ripen for many weeks before they are ready. They’ll be green for at least a month. Then they’ll start to take on a red hue, before eventually going black. Even once they are black though, they aren’t ready to pick until the berries bulge up with their sweet juice. Until then, I can well imagine that they are tasting bitter! Of course, once they start to fatten up, that’s when everything else in the yard wants to eat them too, so it becomes a race. I often end up picking just a little earlier that I’d prefer, just so I don’t lose them to the bugs and squirrels.

  2. May I please have the problem of too many berries! This year, I got 2 good pickings of blueberries. There were not enough to freeze. My raspberries & black raspberries were too young. I dream of an abundance of berries!
    Thanks for the specific varietal recommendations.

    1. It seems pretty hit or miss, what we get an abundance of versus what doesn’t really come in at all. Last year, our pear tree was loaded. This year, we got one pear. So far, the black raspberries have been by far the most consistent producer. I’m wondering if it’s a water issue. They’re in a spot where they get extra water from roof runoff. Could be coincidence, but…

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