Free Blackberry Plants – Tip Layering

Back in April 2020 I received 4 Natchez blackberry plants and built a small raised row down my fence line and planted them. They have done very well since then. Growing from only 4-6 inch small plants to today being over 6 feet tall!

Natchez Blackberry plants in the soil
4 Natchez Blackberry plants in the soil

They have side shoots and other canes that are reaching over down to the ground and ready for propagation by tip layering. If the tip of the cane touches the ground they will start growing roots and you will have a new blackberry plant that you can then separate from the vine and transplant someplace else or give to a neighbor. September 29th, 2020 here they are bending side to side but 2 are still over 6 feet tall and the other 2 are over 5 feet high.

Natchez Blackberry Plants 6 feet tall
Natchez Blackberry Plants 6 feet tall

Start by selecting a shoot or cane that can easily be brought to ground level and into a pot. Fill the pot 1/2 full with good quality soil and then take the cane and trim off the leaves near the end.

Tip layering trim leaves
Tip layering trim leaves


Place the tip into the pot.

Tip layering place in pot
Tip layering place in pot


Back fill the pot with more soil to hold in place.

Tip layering back fill dirt
Tip layering back fill dirt

I had several canes that were good candidates for tip layering so I ended up doing 7 pots that I will replant and share a few with friends.

7 tip layered blackberry plants
7 tip layered blackberry plants

Simple I-Trellis for Blackberry Plants

My 4 Natchez Blackberry plants have grown considerably since being planted on April 24th, 2020. After about 4 months of growth – some are up to 48 inches tall and they are folding over and getting close to the ground. I had built a very simple short I-Trellis with garden twine that is no longer enough for them. You can see that trellis video here. To see my 4 Natchez Blackberry plants from the start with video and timeline pictures click here. It was time for an upgrade. Here’s how I made a very simple I-Trellis for my Blackberry plants.

What started out as 4-6 inch plugs have now after about 4 months grown up to 48 inches tall!

Natchez Blackberry Plants April 24th 2020
Natchez Blackberry plants 3 and 4 on April 24th 2020
Natchez Blackberry plants 3 and 4 on Sept 1st, 2020
Natchez Blackberry plants 3 and 4 on Sept 1st, 2020

How To Make Compost Bins Using Free Pallets

I went to Tractor Supply Company and asked the manager if they had any pallets I could have to do a garden project. They asked me how many I needed and not wanting to ask for too many I said only 4. At the time I was thinking I’d make a single composting bin but later realized that a 3 bin composting setup would be better. Now with 4 pallets from TSC – I needed to get some more. So I called HEB and spoke to a manager. This ended up being even easier as they were willing to give me some pallets and even offered to leave them on the loading dock for me to just drive over and pick up!

I already had some leftover 16 gauge wire along with some extra exterior wood screws and now with my free pallets I was ready to build a simple 3 section composting bin.

Grow Cantaloupe Vertically Along Privacy Fence

I started growing cantaloupes, honeydew and watermelon in my back and knew I’d need a trellis if I didn’t want them to just grow all over the place! So I sectioned them off with a slightly raised bed and made a cattle panel arch trellis which worked well! You can see the video here. I have a 6′ tall privacy fence around my backyard and decided to experiment with using that unused space and the fence as a trellis. I had some cantaloupe seeds and grew them in small cups and once they were large enough I put them in a small garden bed along the fence line.

How I grow melons vertically along my fence

June 15th, 2020
They are growing fast. The middle plant is cantaloupe.

Cantaloupe at the base of the fence June 15th 2020

June 26th, 2020
Cantaloupe vines expanding fast – almost time to string them up.

Vines expanding fast
Vines expanding fast June 26th 2020

July 12th, 2020
Vines have been lifted and tied up with garden twine up on the fence and they have taken off growing rapidly.

Cantaloupe growing up fence
Cantaloupe growing up fence July 12th 2020

July 18th, 2020
Found a cantaloupe growing hidden in the space between the post and the fence picket! Going to have to move it before it is completely stuck!

Cantaloupe growing hidden
Hidden cantaloupe growing between fence post and picket July 18th 2020

July 27th, 2020
Pulled the vine back a little so it had more room to grow in front of the fence post and supporting the fruit with hose tied to the bolts.

Cantaloupe support
Cantaloupe support using hose tied to the fence bolts July 27th, 2020
Wider view
View of my cantaloupe on the right growing up by the steel fence post 7-27-2020

August 11th, 2020
Color change – and time to harvest!

Cantaloupe color change 8-11-2020
Cantaloupe color change 8-11-2020
cantaloupe harvested 8-11-2020
Cantaloupe harvested 8-11-2020

August 12th, 2020
Clean cut and eat! The lighting in my kitchen area is not the best for a photo but we sure enjoyed this cantaloupe.

Cantaloupe washed and cut 8-12-2020
Cantaloupe washed and cut 8-12-2020