I have a bit of a love hate relationship with blackberries a. because they’re incredibly numerous and seem to pop up everywhere, but b. because they seem to produce such wonderful fruits, which are great to use in a blackberry smoothie or in an apple and blackberry crumble.
Wild blackberries grow at the back of the plot and so I’ve tried to train them along some wire. Pruning and training blackberries is a great thing to learn and is really easy to do, all you need to have is an idea of which direction you want it to grow in, how high you want it to grow and how far you want it to grow.
Blackberries are genuinely a low maintenance plant and can with stand quite a harsh prune if you so desire. I hadn’t pruned the blackberries since the summer, so there was quite a bit of dead wood to get rid of. At this time of year, new shoots are poking through, so the idea of a prune is to focus the plants’ energy into those new shoots.
When the new shoots are long enough, I’ll look to train these across the length the wire to produce a nice arc of fruit in the summer – at the end of the summer, once the plant stops producing fruit, I’ll look to do another prune.
Pruning blackberries and fruit plants is not that technical – remember to cut at angle to allow rain water to run off the exposed branch, be aware of where you’re cutting with regards to new shoots and try not to leave a plant that’s less than around 3 to 4 inches high
Pruning can be quite a daunting task, but practice on wild blackberries because they’re so resilient.