If blackberries are not cut properly, they can quickly get out of hand. Find out when and how to properly cut blackberries.
Blackberries ( Rubus sect. Rubus ) are known for their red to black fruits and their long, prickly tendrils. Many hobby gardeners know that blackberries should be cut every year for a good yield. In addition, cutting back the blackberry avoids excessive growth in the rose family (Rosaceae). We’ll show you when and how to properly cut blackberries.
Cutting blackberries: when is the right time?
Blackberries are very fast-growing plants – so cut the plant several times a year. For a good harvest, it is important to know that blackberries only produce their fruits on the new shoots from the previous year. The top rule is, therefore: When tying on the trellis, make sure that the old and new shoots are properly separated! When the fruit sets in early summer at the latest, you will know which are the new and which are the old shoots.
Cut blackberries at the following times:
- Cutting blackberries from autumn to early winter: radically cut down the old, two-year-old shoots that have already borne berries in summer. As a result, the plant has more energy in spring to produce the fruits and the risk of disease is reduced. As a result, blackberry mites also have no winter opportunities.
- Cutting blackberries in summer: Cut back strong main shoots if they become very sprawling. This measure stimulates the plant to develop side shoots and fruit.
How do you cut blackberries? Instructions in 5 steps
A systematic approach to pruning blackberries is important so that they do not become too big and still develop many of the tasty fruits at the same time. Proceed as follows:
- After the harvest from autumn to spring, look for the old, biennial shoots. If you have fixed the plant on a trellis, it is definitely worth separating the old and new shoots to the left and right.
- Cut back the old, two-year-old shoots. This gives the annual and fruit-bearing tendrils enough light and energy. If you are unsure which are the right tendrils, it is better to wait until the fruit sets as a precaution. Only last year’s rods form a fruit set in summer.
- In summer, cut the longest shoots back to a length of 2.5 m.
- In late winter or early spring, cut back the side shoots of this year’s (in the spring of the previous year) branches to 2-3 eyes (buds). This avoids the risk of freezing off in severe winters.
- Check the plant for diseases all year round. If you discover diseased parts of the plant, you should remove them immediately and dispose of them at a safe distance or burn them.
Cut side shoots
By cutting off strongly climbing shoots in summer, blackberries develop more fruit-bearing side shoots. Basically, it is also advisable to use the scissors here to increase the yield. Cut the side shoots back to 2 to 3 eyes (buds) so that the blackberry can invest enough energy in the development of the remaining berries.