Wow- I am so behind. I think I have just let my brain go to mush in every department except “baby prep.” But you know what? ALL THE BABY PREP IS DONE! So now I have to get posts scheduled and get back to my writing, which I do so love!
The last few weeks on the farm and homestead have been SO pleasant. Why? RAIN! June was hot, and dry but July started off with rain on the 1st, and we have had rain several days a week since.
Have you ever heard that if it rains on the first day of the month, you get at least 15 days of rain that month? Maybe I am making that up … I should google it. 😉
The rain means our blackberries are going crazy! We just realized we are supposed to be trimming back the runners after they hit about 3 feet long, which makes sense because the berries on the very ends of the super long runners usually are small and dry up. So we are going to trim those back and enjoy the literal fruit of our labors. =) They are so juicy and plump-just full of deliciousness!
So, here are a few things we have learned about blackberries
- Mulching- we really worked on the blackberry beds this last fall. After growing season we covered their entire bed in cardboard, and then layered LOTS of mulch on top.
- Prune #1- in the fall blackberries need to be pruned back. You prune the adult canes (branches/runners), not the new baby ones, at that time. You know they are adult/second year canes because those are the ones that produced fruit for you. Once the berries are all done, just cut the canes back. =)
- Water- during growing season they needs LOTS and LOTS of water. This includes before and after they start putting on berries. We have been very blessed with a mostly rainy spring and summer here, but we also water them if it hasn’t rained in 3 days.
- Prune #2- in the summer, when the canes are really growing long, prune them once they are about 36″ long. This helps the plants put on lateral runners and which means more places for berries to grow!
- Patience- We have learned this year (we didn’t actually live on the farm this time last year, just took care of it) that the berries are 100% ready a day after they are completely black. Don’t pick when they are even slightly red, and wait a day after they turn black- TRUST ME! They will be plump, fat, sweet blackberries if you hold off just one more day.
The kids’ favorite thing to do in the evenings after dinner is go out and pick blackberries with their daddy. We will all head out to the blackberry row and go on our treasure hunt for the fruit. It is fun and a special after dinner treat- everyone usually gets 2-3 each and we put the rest in jars to freeze for jam later. J.Tom’s favorite part is watching them gobble the berries up and smack with satisfaction- it is the funniest thing ever!
So, that’s it! Blackberries are easy to care for a grow and so much joy!
What is happening around your home and homestead this summer?
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