Even though blackberries might just seem like the most common weed around, there’s no denying that their fruits are delicious. So here's how to prune them correctly.
Whether you’re making jam, indulging in blackberry and apple crumble, or simply wanting to eat the fruit with a sprinkle of sugar, being able to pick blackberries in your own garden is wonderful. However, these thorny individuals can be quite troublesome and like nothing more than to rampage through your flowerbeds, so pruning them correctly is a good idea.
Prune blackberries in late summer or early autumn
Blackberries produce their fruit on two-year-old canes, so it’s important to prune the right sections each and every year. As soon as fruit have been picked it’s time to cut back the old plant material, and this means that you should prune in the late summer and early autumn.
- Take stems in your hand, and follow back to ground level.
- Use a pair of secateurs, or loppers if the branch is thick, and remove the entire stem.
- Blackberry stems can take a while to decompose, so cut into small segments before composting.
In early summer tie new canes together
It’s a good idea to tie new canes together in a bundle whilst last year's canes are allowed to fruit. You can then cut the fruited stems right back to the ground, before untying the new shoots and training them along your wires.
Winter frosts can damage tender new shoots, so if branches have been blackened over the colder parts of the year, simply snip this off when spring arrives.