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Growing Blackberries in Phoenix Arizona
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phoenixtropicals
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Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 1031
Location: Mesa Arizona

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:20 pm    Post subject: Growing Blackberries in Phoenix Arizona Reply with quote

I had a very good crop of blackberries this year. I took this photo in early June just as they were starting to get ripe. The first couple of berries I ate were a bit sour at first but as they stayed black on the bush for a while they became really sweet and nice. I just finished eating the last of them yesterday about a month later.

This variety of black berry is called Black Satin, a thornless variety, and I ordered it by mail a couple of years ago. The first couple of years I had this bush on the west side of a wall, and the Phoenix heat was too much for it there, because every year I would get berries but they would dry out before becoming ripe. I replanted that bush to a corner where it is north and east of two walls and now I have great results.

I water this black berry bush on a grass schedule, which means during summer it gets watered every other day.



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Growing Blackberries in Phoenix Arizona


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psimitry



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 75
Location: maricopa

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm curious about blackberries myself - I'm prepping an area of my backyard for berries and was hoping for advice. I have been reading that they should be planted in fall to give them enough root development for summer.

Additionally, I've been reading that soil prep is pretty much essential. So it was my intention this year to try and do some sort of soil transformation project in an area of my house that I think the berries would do well. I'll try to elaborate - I have a south facing house. The area I'm planning is along a east facing wall on the western side of the house. This area is on the western side of the house with about 8 feet of clearance between the house and the wall.

This might be a good thing or bad. The amount of direct sun exposure over there is about 2-3 hours as the sun passes directly overhead. This is in the summer only. During other months the is minimal, if any, direct exposure.

Does this strike as a good area to plant them? Am I going to have enough time to transform the soil before planting this year or should I wait until next year?

As always, help is appreciated!
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phoenixtropicals
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Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 1031
Location: Mesa Arizona

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just planted those berries in the same soil that I dug out, so it was just the native soil. In fact I think its better to use native soil to backfill but then mulch on the surface. I have found that black berries do very well with northern exposure but your eastern exposure sounds like its worth a try. You really want to avoid western or southern exposure because it is too hot for them. If your berries don't get enough sun there they won't flower but you won't know until you try it.

Also, I don't think its too late to plant them. Yes, the dead of winter is the best time, but there is still plenty of time for them to develop roots before it gets really hot.

I think with blackberries one of the most critical things is the variety you get. Black Satin is my star performer. I ordered mine on the web from these guys.

http://www.willisorchards.com/product/Black+Satin+Blackberry+Plant?category=263
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psimitry



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 75
Location: maricopa

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there any sort of pest that will attack these plants? And if so, is there a (hopefully natural) solution to them? (for example I was recently told to try planting marigolds near my melons to repel aphids and such from them - we'll see if it works)
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phoenixtropicals
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Location: Mesa Arizona

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't had any pest problems with them.
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psimitry



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 75
Location: maricopa

PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was getting ready to order some of those plants. Was going to order a ten pack of 2 year bushes and splitting them with a friend. At that point, I'll plant them in a couple different spots with different sun exposure. Whichever one does best, I'll plant more there next fall. Think its too late at this point?
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phoenixtropicals
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Joined: 06 May 2008
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Location: Mesa Arizona

PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I don't think its too late. Mine are just starting to grow now.
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psimitry



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
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Location: maricopa

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I had ordered some plants on the 13th, paid by Google checkout the same day, order has not shipped as of yet (nor have I heard anything from the seller). I'm assuming their google checkout integration isn't very good is the reason I have yet to receive them.

I sent an email today asking what the heck was going on, but at this point, should I just request a refund? (or alternatively a delay asking for them to ship them in the fall?)
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phoenixtropicals
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you still have time. If all else fails you could over summer them in a pot and bring them in when it gets really hot and put them out in the fall. You'd be further ahead that way. However, they would still do fine in the ground I think. You could put some in the ground and some in a pot as a fall back measure.
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psimitry



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 75
Location: maricopa

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can they be propagated via cuttings? I have had decent success hydroponically cloning basil in spaghetti sauce jars...
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phoenixtropicals
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Location: Mesa Arizona

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think they will survive as cuttings, but they are very easy to propagate by separating away a branch with part of the root. You have to let them get established and start spreading out before doing this though. I'm guessing the nursery will send you a number of offsets similar to what I am describing.
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psimitry



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 75
Location: maricopa

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh. Not really sure what I was expecting, but this wasn't it. My plants arrived today, and where I think I was expecting 13 individual 16 oz pots with some sort of dome over them, what arrived was 13 8" long individual canes with a bit of root attached to it, all bound up with some potting gel inside a bag.

Separating them out for planting was a pain Razz

The other problem is that they arrived today and I expected them Monday. Time to run off to Home Depot from some trellises.
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psimitry



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
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Location: maricopa

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welp. Here's hoping I got enough trellis for the plants. I figure I'll plant two each trellis and I got 4' x 4' trellises. Might have to pull them and re-tie them later, but for now this should be a decent start.
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phoenixtropicals
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Joined: 06 May 2008
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Location: Mesa Arizona

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you get the Black Satin variety. It's a semi upright cane. Kind of grows like a droopy bush. I don't think a trellis is essential.
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psimitry



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 75
Location: maricopa

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did indeed get the Black Satin variety.

However, on the site you linked it specifically recommends trellising, as well as several other sites I looked up said that, basically, trellising leads to bigger harvests of better quality fruit.
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