Saturday, January 09, 2010
We love blackberries - in jam, in pies and cobblers and just to eat. Well, four years ago this coming spring I decided to purchase some blackberry plants and put them along the north fence in our smallish backyard. I selected a thornless variety called Triple Crown from Gurneys and ordered six plants. Well, the day before we were to leave for California on vacation, they arrived. I stuck them in the ground and left town for two weeks.
Only one survived. But it grew. It shot up quickly to the fence, where I attached it with plastic ties screwed to the wooden fence. Then it grew some more - this time along the ground where it took root...and took root, and took root. So I cut the little plants free from the original and spread them along the fence. By the end of the first summer I had eight plants - spread along the fence. The plant had actually bloomed, but I pinched the blooms so the energy to go toward growing the plant.
By the end of the next summer it had spread to cover twenty-four feet of six foot tall fence. I got enough blackberries to can four PINTS of jam. To keep the birds from eating the berries I purchased green nylon net from JoAnn's to cover the vines and attached it with twisty-ties.
By last summer it had covered forty-eight feet of fence and was moving into the front yard as well as the neighbor's. Once again we covered the vines with nylon netting. As the berries ripened we picked them and put them in zip top bags and froze them. By the time I made jam I had enough for 14 pints plus two gallon bags of berries left. I used one bag to make a large cobbler when the (adult) kids came over and the other bag is still in the freezer.
I sure hope this nasty winter weather doesn't hurt the vines. We've had over a foot of snow and it has been below 10 degrees for the last week.
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