Hints For cultivating Wild Blackberries
Blackberries are produced on new growth, so cutting back your berry bushes each year will result in a better crop the following year.
There's no point in letting blackberry bushes grow thicker than you can reach into for picking. If your patch is large, try pruning in "fingers" instead of a solid circle. This will let you get right into the middle for picking and gives the plants more room and light to produce more berries.
Watch the weather. In areas of high humidity, any rain can cause the ripe berries to mold in just a day or two. If it starts to rain, pick everything that's turned black, even if they aren't quite ripe. It's better than losing them to the elements.
Blackberries can be trained to an arbor like grapes. The thorns make it a challenge, but the results are terrific.
Hints For Picking Blackberries
look where you can't reach! You'll drive yourself crazy trying to get
to berries that looker bigger and better than the ones
Only pick the berries that are all black with a nice shine. If they're dull, they're past their prime.
Pick gently. If the berry puts up a fight, it's not ready. Don't pull--you might bruise the berry and get juice all over your fingers. Bend the berry, gently, back against the stem. A ripe berry will pop off, cleanly.
If the berry falls off in your hand as soon as you touch it, and it's a nice glossy black, it's ready to eat and should be sweet. If you don't like seeds in your teeth, squeeze the berry between your tongue and the roof of your mouth, swallow the good stuff and spit out the rest. YUM! Don't feel guilty about eating the super ripe ones. They won't hold up to washing and draining, so they'll just end up going down the drain, anyway.
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