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The village idiot needs help...again :(

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Post  middlemamma on 6/9/2010, 3:43 pm

Ok I have researched rasberries and blackberries, both cane varieties, and I am no more understanding what in the heck I am doing than I was before I started researching. Assume I am an idiot please, and try to explain to me what canes are and how I prune? I do not understand.

I have 4 rasberries, and 2 blackberries I planted approx 2 feet apart. the canes (the bare stick? I am assuming...) on the 4 rasberries are starting to bud little green buds, and i am seeing some leaves. Smile On the blackberries there is some green buds but MUCH less. Barely visable.

I knew I wouldnt get anything from these this year....but if someone could tell me what I do NEXT to make sure next year is good that would be great... Smile And please explain what a cane is and why I only have 1 whereas others speak of 5-7??

HELP! The village idiot needs help...again :( 601593
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Post  staciz on 6/9/2010, 6:27 pm

I really wish I could help you, but I know nothing. Your post title made me giggle though. The village idiot needs help...again :( Icon_lol
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Post  Retired Member 1 on 6/9/2010, 6:47 pm

Cane = branch. I can speak about blackberries, but I think what I say also applies to raspberries. Blackberries put up canes from their root, and sometimes they divide just like a regular branch. At first there will only be one or two. After a while you will notice others emerging from the root. Next year those that emerged this year will put on fruit. They only get one chance at this since after that cane finishes fruiting, you will cut it off. Why? Because it will never fruit again. This signals the root to send up more canes. You want to keep the healthiest, thickest 5 - 7 each year to fruit the next. Actually, I keep them all, but since I've never had more than 5 it's sort of academic.

Blackberries also like an acidic environment, so I keep a heavy mulch of pine needles and use an acidic compost (cotton burrs around here).

This is my first time planting blackberries and I was delighted to find they produced this first year -- not many but still a gift. They are now putting up new growth which will fruit next year.
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Post  middlemamma on 6/9/2010, 7:17 pm

The village idiot needs help...again :( 109486

Now why couldn't ONE of the resources I tried to figure this out on have just said THAT??? Seriously why do they have to make it so "technical"? The part of Mel's book where people kept telling him "because that's the way we have always done it" comes to mind. THANK YOU BELFRY BAT!
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Post  Icemaiden on 6/9/2010, 7:38 pm

Belfrybat is Good!

Only want to add that normal raspberries are pruned as stated like the blackberries but autumn fruiting varieties are cut right down in late winter and then fruit in the autumn on the new growth.

I think the single cane thing is just the way they sell the plants. Perhaps the idea is that with only one year-old cane available the plant will not have to put energy into flowering and fruiting so instead it will have more energy for establishing roots and growing canes which will fruit next year.
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Post  nancy on 6/9/2010, 7:40 pm

Ms. Bat - that is an absolutely awesome explanation!! I'm beginning to toy with the idea of raspberries and this info helps so much!! Thanks bunches!!
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Post  Wyldflower on 6/9/2010, 9:06 pm

Smile Thank you BelfryBat and IceMaiden

I wasn't 100% sure how to take care of my new raspberries, either, and your explanation is MUCH clearer than what I found online.

And thank YOU for asking, MiddleMamma!
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Post  Chopper on 6/9/2010, 11:14 pm

I understand you confusion about pruning canes. When I start to hyperventilate about it I just remember all of the healthy wild blackberries I have seen growing in less than perfect environments (in shade, on the side of an ocean bluff, etc) and decide that they will be fine despite my efforts to neuter them.
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Post  boffer on 6/9/2010, 11:28 pm

@Chopper wrote:I understand you confusion about pruning canes. When I start to hyperventilate about it I just remember all of the healthy wild blackberries I have seen growing in less than perfect environments (in shade, on the side of an ocean bluff, etc) and decide that they will be fine despite my efforts to neuter them.

+1 Why anybody in their right mind would intentionally plant blackberries on their own property is beyond me! crazy!
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Post  middlemamma on 6/10/2010, 1:07 am

[quote="boffer"]
@Chopper wrote:
+1 Why anybody in their right mind would intentionally plant blackberries on their own property is beyond me! crazy!

ummmmm....cause I saw them in the store??? The village idiot needs help...again :( Icon_redface This isn't normal? To plant blackberries? (this is where the village idiot comment came in...LOL) They sounded good... (digs in the dirt with her pointed toe of her shoe, hands behind her back, eyes on the ground...VERY EMBARRASSED...) The village idiot needs help...again :( Icon_redface City girl here...never seen a wild blackberry...or any wild ANYTHING...


Last edited by middlemamma on 6/10/2010, 1:10 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : wasn't finished....)
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Post  Chopper on 6/10/2010, 1:17 am

They are a laugh riot, but the idea of picking my own berries is too much to resist. I decided to simply keep them out of the main part of the yard because of their brambly nature, but I can't wait to pick some.
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Post  boffer on 6/10/2010, 1:54 am

It's just a matter of experience and perspective. Every year of my adult life I've had to spend time trying to get rid of wild blackberries. They show up uninvited, and I can't say for sure I've ever gotten rid of them any place I've lived. Gasoline, diesel, and nasty chemicals only slow them down for a little while. The cobblers and pies just aren't worth the effort to keep them beat back.

Actually, I seem to be the only one that doesn't like blackberry plants. Several folks on the forum, at different times, have asked about the planting and care of blackberries, and they've gotten positive feedback. You came across them in the store, so there must be some demand for them.

I don't know...maybe the blackberry plants from the store are domesticated, tamed, and well-behaved! Smile Go for it!
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Post  LaFee on 6/10/2010, 4:54 am

No worries, middlemamma -- there are places where berries grow wild, and places where they don't. In my experience, the cultivated ones tend to be a little less seedy, and the thorns a little less thorny (I'm sure it's filed somewhere under "survival of the fittest") There's no shame in buying a plant if that's what you want to have.

I have raspberries exploding around the walls about halfway around my yard...I'm perfectly happy with that, because I grew up snarfing wild raspberries, so I'm looking forward to jam and cobbler again. (I'll supplement any shortages by driving out into the countryside and picking some out in the middle of nowhere!)
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Post  PB on 6/10/2010, 9:48 am

Bought blackberries are tame. Not so brambly or thorny. The berry tends to be bigger too. We had them when I was growing up. The funny thing is that being so used to picking wild blackberries and wincing at the thorns. When I would pick the tame berries I would very carefully pick them expecting to be pricked.
Have fun with your berries. I am keeping an eye on the wild ones around here. I love blackberry jam!!!!
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Post  Retired Member 1 on 6/10/2010, 10:04 am

@boffer wrote:It's just a matter of experience and perspective. Every year of my adult life I've had to spend time trying to get rid of wild blackberries....
I don't know...maybe the blackberry plants from the store are domesticated, tamed, and well-behaved! Smile Go for it!

Boffer, you obviously don't live in an arid area where blackberries DO NOT grow without a lot of tending. The village idiot needs help...again :( Icon_rolleyes I planted thornless this year in raised beds and am tending the heck out of them. I love blackberries. The only time I ever got enough was the year I lived in southern England and blackberries were used as fences. For the first time ever in my life I could eat as many as I wanted -- I had them everyday from May to November. I was in heaven! The village idiot needs help...again :( Icon_smile
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Post  Retired Member 1 on 6/10/2010, 10:06 am

@middlemamma wrote:
ummmmm....cause I saw them in the store??? The village idiot needs help...again :( Icon_redface This isn't normal? To plant blackberries? (this is where the village idiot comment came in...LOL) They sounded good... (digs in the dirt with her pointed toe of her shoe, hands behind her back, eyes on the ground...VERY EMBARRASSED...) The village idiot needs help...again :( Icon_redface City girl here...never seen a wild blackberry...or any wild ANYTHING...

Ignore Boffer (this post only) he is being grumpy. The village idiot needs help...again :( Icon_smile Just because he lives in an area where blackberries grow wild, doesn't mean the rest of us do. I'd be in heaven if I had to weed out wild backberries. The village idiot needs help...again :( Lol (Sorry, Boffer -- but you do know I love you, right?)
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Post  boffer on 6/10/2010, 10:38 am

How I Really Feel:
The village idiot needs help...again :( Blackb10 get that pesky wabbi
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Post  Little Thumb on 6/10/2010, 10:40 am

now really Boffer, they are just berries. They can't be THAT bad.
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Post  Wyldflower on 6/10/2010, 11:22 am

I'm obviously in the pro-blackberry camp (I bought one, along with two raspberries, and acquired six more raspberries from someone on Craigslist).

Boffer - I'm sure there are things YOU like that I would never plant... so fair's fair - when I see you post about one of those things, I'll harass you mercilessly!

Wyld - who wishes she knew where the nearest wild berry bramble is
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Post  Icemaiden on 6/10/2010, 11:56 am

belfrybat wrote: For the first time ever in my life I could eat as many as I wanted -- I had them everyday from May to November. I was in heaven! The village idiot needs help...again :( Icon_smile

Now I am shocked The village idiot needs help...again :( Icon_eek
Everyone should know that the Devil spits on blackberries on Michaelmas (September 29th) and they must never be picked and eaten after that date. You had a lucky escape, that's all I can say The village idiot needs help...again :( Icon_biggrin
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Post  Retired Member 1 on 6/10/2010, 12:33 pm

@Icemaiden wrote:
belfrybat wrote: For the first time ever in my life I could eat as many as I wanted -- I had them everyday from May to November. I was in heaven! The village idiot needs help...again :( Icon_smile

Now I am shocked The village idiot needs help...again :( Icon_eek
Everyone should know that the Devil spits on blackberries on Michaelmas (September 29th) and they must never be picked and eaten after that date. You had a lucky escape, that's all I can say The village idiot needs help...again :( Icon_biggrin

Ah, yes -- that is what the Sisters at the convent told me as well, but since I knew I was leaving in early November, I wanted to get my daily fix in. But I did notice that most of the shepherds and farmers whacked the brambles down in early October -- but thankfully I had a hidden patch that no one seemed to know about, so I doubt the devil found it either! The village idiot needs help...again :( Icon_rolleyes
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