June 7th 2020 I know that June in Texas is not the best time to plant Blackberries but I decided that now was better than waiting until next spring or even later this Fall. I just really wanted to get started and add to my blackberry row. I currently have 4 Natchez Blackberry plants that I bought thru Amazon and put in the ground back in April 2020. They are doing very well – check them out here. I did some more research and decided to try Prime Ark Freedom blackberries which I ordered from Pense Nursery. They arrived very small with a sturdy stalk and either a few green leaves or a new flexible shoot coming off the short sturdy stalk.
June 15th, 2020 All 10 Prime Ark Freedom plants look very similar to the above photo but plants #8 and #9 appear to be the weakest of the group. See photo below from June 15th, 2020.
July 1st, 2020
July 18th, 2020 What a difference a month can make! The two that appeared the weakest in the early stages are now two of the strongest a month later. I was surprised at how much growth happened in about a month! Same Prime Ark Freedom plants #8 and #9 above are shown below just over a month later!
August 1st, 2020
August 3rd, 2020 First flower on my Prime Ark Freedom blackberry plants – plant #3. Walked out this morning to look at the row and there was a flower less than 2 months after transplant!
September 1st, 2020
October 1st, 2020 My Prime Ark Freedom plants are getting taller so I needed to raise the trellis string.
My first attempt at growing food in my backyard. I started with watermelons and cantaloupes and that did very well. I began modestly with just a small section for a few watermelon plants and another small section for a few cantaloupe plants. I enjoyed it so much that I then got really into it and ended up using 4 cattle panels to build an arch trellis for each section to grow my food vertically. The main reason for this was to minimize space used so my kids could still play in the main middle part of the backyard but also grow as much as possible! Next was blackberries. As I wrote earlier, this was my very first time gardening and growing food and there are so many things I’ve learned along the way. I would do several things different if I could go back and I’ll most likely talk about those along the way. Now for the blackberries…
Just like with the watermelon and cantaloupes – I started modest because I really wasn’t sure how it was all going to go. What started as 4 small plants ended up being 14 blackberry plants both Natchez and Prime Ark Freedom.
April 16th, 2020 Here’s my start – put in a border down the fence line and added a mixture of garden bed soil, top soil and organic compost.
April 24th, 2020 Natchez blackberry plants arrived!
In the ground – rounded out the soil making them up on a hill in a row!
April 28th, 2020 Wind damage – it is surprisingly windy down the fence line and my small blackberry plants are being roughed up by the wind. Time to build a small temporary support trellis to keep them upright as they get established.
May 4th, 2020 Transplant shock? The blackberry plants might be experiencing some transplant shock. These pictures don’t show it very well because this was the day before and the edges got even darker. Purplish color around the edges of several leaves. Thankfully they made it thru and the leaves are all green again.
June 21st, 2020 Good growth and stronger stalks. Picture below is of plants 1, 2 and 3 from left to right. Plant number 2 is the largest of all 4.
July 18th, 2020 Doubling in size or more. It seemed like a bit of shaky start but now they are really taking off!
August 1st, 2020 Getting taller!
September 1st, 2020 New I-Trellis with T-posts as they are growing fast and starting to fall over.