Transplanting berries in January? Am I absolutely Crazy?
Let me explain a Texas winter first, one day it could be 20 degrees and the next 60. With temperatures all over the place I implement my projects to complement our weather patterns and when those temperatures rise I get outside and tend to the garden.
This year I’m starting from scratch and the big question is, “Can I get it all done before Spring?” I want to accomplish a lot and my berry cuttings from the farm are first on the list because they need to get in the ground now. 90% took root and they’re ready to bust free from their containers.
In all honesty they should have been transplanted in November.
Thankfully blackberry plants are very forgiving and can handle a healthy transplant this time of year. The first step was to come up with a new raised bed design that incorporates a trellis. This was fun!
The New Blackberry Raised Bed and Trellis
These 2 x 8 ft. raised beds are the best ever and they’re so easy to build. I went with all wood because it works fantastic with everything else I’m doing. Since I need to make 4 more beds by the end of February I’ll share the “How to” tutorial in a few more weeks.
Stay tuned berry growers this is your new go to raised bed design.
The trellis is made from simple 2 x 4’s attached to the interior of the bed and another center bar will be included once the vines begin to grow. We’ll revisit this set up in the late spring so you can see the process and how it works, I’m telling you it’s going to be amazing because I took what I learned from the farm and made improvements. In the meantime, enjoy my berry success from the farm here.
Once the temperatures rise I’ll stain the berry beds the same color as my Startle Garden.
It’s possible I may just end up with a u – pick berry garden because these beds will eventually go down the length of the fence line. That’s right I have big plans and they require my complete focus. But you know what? I absolutely love it all.
Establishing the Beds is Easy
Once the beds are built the next step is to prepare this space with all-natural materials. This my friends are my favorite part of gardening and if you missed it before then let me share what I did.
Take note -blackberries are the easiest of all berries to grow and they just don’t need much to be successful. Bright sunlight, fertilized soil with good drainage is really all that’s required.
This is what I used to establish this bed and everything was incorporated in layers. This was so much fun!
- Lots of Dried leaves from the land.
- Sticks came from the land.
- Clay soil – that’s right! Amend Clay Soil Here…
- Soil from the pot which came from the farm
- Llama droppings from Gypsy… I miss her… Details here
Amazing Root System
Propagating is such fun and these berry plants were cut from the farm last summer from July – August. This root is 4 months of growth isn’t it fantastic? Get my rooting tips here or purchase our blackberry magazine article here. You will enjoy – promise!
Correct Spacing is a Struggle
4 to 5 ft. spacing is really best for blackberries because they have this tendency to explode with growth. In the past I’ve gone 2 ft. and this time I went between 2 and 3 ft.
Since I’m on a time crunch my plan is to plant 5 per each raised bed and let them settle. When Fall arrives, I’ll spread out some of those canes into additional beds and any that don’t make it will be removed and used for compost.
So far, the root systems are pretty amazing but some were wimpy so it’s possible those will just dry up. Let’s hope I’m wrong!
Covering with Mulch
Remember that beautiful mulch we made last month? I incorporated a nice layer on top and once all this natural matter settles I’ll probably need to add additional soil and natural matter. Not probably I will and that’s a great thing because it means the soil is amending.
The correct garden set up is the key to your success and if you’re struggling then make sure you check out my book Startle Garden. Get it here! This book will get you started correctly from the ground up.
If transplanting berries is in your future but the weather isn’t cooperating then first check out where you want to plant and in the meantime, get that space cleaned up so you’re ready to move forward when temperatures rise.
Letting nature work for you is always the best way to garden and its less work long term. The focus now is to get the rest of those berry buckets in new raised beds before the end of February. Do you think I can get it done?