The Best Berries I Have Ever Grown

By Jannie Vaught

Last year I purchased 4, 2-year-old Arkansas Thornless blackberry plants. I prepared the bed and placed them in a fence line to use as a trellis. They arrived within 4 days and were fresh and undamaged. I planted them and placed a low fence around them to keep the chickens out when they free range. They are possibly the best berries I have ever grown. This year I wanted more so I decided to learn how to propagate them. I went to our local library and found a new book they had in” The Plant Propagators Bible “by Miranda Smith. This is one that will be bought and in my personal library. The front says A step-by-step guide to propagating every plant in your garden. What a treasure of how-to guidance. With sections on the materials, you will need and precise descriptions. Such as The propagator’s tool kit.

Starting from seed.

Dividing established plants.

Cuttings.

Layering.

Grafting and Plant Directory.

I was needing the layering for the blackberry. I will be doing Tip Layering. Tip layering is the easiest way to propagate raspberries and blackberries. This can be done 2 ways Place the tip of the berry cane into a pot filled with soil. The tip of the vine will begin to grow a root system. Within a few weeks, you will see it has roots, clip it off from the main plant, and transplant keeping as much soil as possible when you do. The next one is to dig a hole next to the vine tip of the mother plant. bury at least 1 inch of the tip and secure with a stake or a firm amount of soil. Monitor and when it has roots in a few weeks cut it free from the main mother this new plant is now ready to transplant.

The book says to do this in the early spring and use plants that are free of disease. I have had many trials and failures at propagation due to the fact that I didn’t have a clear and well-described guide with pictures about what I was attempting to do. Sometimes when you find that just right information you have been looking for your hesitancy to try again will melt away. Winter has settled in and every plant, tree, and bush is now sleeping, this is the time that finding and studying this book keeps me inside with a hot drink my seed catalogs, and the garden journal. Preparing for next spring has begun and this cold winter will pass. It is also a good time to begin sorting out the older seed packages, making a list of what you want, and then placing orders with the seed and orchards you want to buy from. As with last year I am finding some items already “Out of Stock”.

Time to get your old journal out and re-design for the new year.

Growing Green With Jannie

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