Choosing The Best Varieties
There are many varieties of Blackberries and Raspberries to choose from. Since not all of them do well in our climate, here are some recommendations on varieties that work well in Tennessee:
Cheyenne, Shawnee, Choctaw
Chester, Hull, Navaho
Cumberland (aka Blackcap), Bristol, Jewel
Heritage, Ruby, Autumn Bliss
For more details on any of these varieties (i.e. fruit size, maturity date, disease resistance), check out this UT Extension Publication: SP284
Selecting a Planting Site
Almost any soil type (except sandy, poorly drained, or drought-prone ones) will work. If possible, plant blackberries and raspberries a minimum of 300 feet away from wild or existing brambles, to reduce the potential for disease problems. Avoid areas where tomatoes, potatoes or eggplants have recently been grown, to reduce the potential for verticillium wilt. Also, keep in mind the space these type of plants need:
Either root cuttings or root suckers can be planted. If root cuttings are used, plant them about 3 to 4 inches deep. If root suckers are used, make holes large enough and deep enough to completely spread the roots. Once planting is done, firm the soil around the plant and water well. For a fall planting, consider adding mulch at the base of the plant to help reduce winter injury.
For more information on small fruit, come see us for the upcoming FREE Fall Gardening Workshop: 'Easy to Grow Small Backyard Fruit: Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Figs, and Muscadines' at the Farmers’ Market (September 7, 9:30 am), visit our UT Extension Office, or Ask a Master Gardener.
Happy Fall Gardening!
Blog by: Sabine Ehlers, CMG