i guess im worried about the blackberries overwhelming the blueberry bushes because theyre just so prolific. also blackberries root wherever the cane touches the ground. i suppose i should look at how the roots of each plant grow. i should also consider what time of year they fruit so they're not robbing nutrients from each other at the wrong time. they both tolerate the same acid soil.
the area i would be planting is relatively small on the scale you folks seem to work on... 3.5' x 18'.
any ideas, considerations, warnings?
blackberries are too aggressive to have with blueberries, the blueberries would be too congested very quickly..and it would be hard to remove the blackberry canes when they are spent.
i have been thinking on companions for both for a while.
my raspberry/blackberry hedge is along a picket fence..i have them separated into groups by type..i have first got red rasp, then golden, then black raspberry and then blackberry, with the final two being the most aggressive.
between i have chestnut tree seedlings , a large fruited hawthorn seedling and a bearberry seedling..and at the far ends of each i have (south) at a right angle to the hedge, a hedge of blueberries with service berries spaced behind them..and at the (north) at right angle to the blackberries i have wild plum and then east of that dwarf hazelnuts and mulberries behind them.
so this forms 3 side of a box..with the berry hedge on the west side..the far side of the box is a mixed bed which started out as asparagus and rhubarb but also now has dwarf cherry trees and a mtn ash and a small paw paw at one end
I'm also planning to try growing groundnuts (Apios americana) in the same area. it's a root crop, so there may be some risk of disturbing shallow blueberry roots, but I'm counting on being able to pull them out of the moist dirt without too much trouble. fixes nitrogen and does well in moist conditions.
ACK! terrifying thought: will they eat the blackberries they can reach and then poop the seeds out all over the place? the horror....
edit: upon further research is seems that chickens are very good at digesting blackberry seeds.
I ask this because my raspberries are still in planter boxes, I haven't figured out how to manage them exactly.
Any insights on management of these spreading berry plants would be appreciated.
I have a rhizome blockage around my raspberries but my aunt simply uses the lawn mower to keep them in check. My raspberries don't grow surrounded by lawn so that option doesn't work for me.
I used high bush blueberries, low bush bluberries and cranberries as a guild. Seems to be working...
how old is that guild? I'm a few years into something similar with no problems, but I could see things going wrong in a few more years.
Our dewberries bear in early summer, this is Nova Scotia, zone 5b, so probably not relevant to Texas. The berries are delicious, not as reliably sweet as blackberries but larger and maybe juicier. I'm not sure whether they fruit only on new runners or old ones as well. They have very few prickles and are definitely not as vicious as blackberries. They do form a pretty thick groundcover but low grass grows between them as do other taller flowering herbs that are able to grow up above the mat. The soil where they are growing is dry, sandy loam. I couldn't tell you the pH but lowbush blueberries (V. angustifolium) are growing right next to them so it must be pretty acid. They grow in another place as well, under some semi-wild apple trees where the soil is moister and they receive a bit more shade. They don't seem to be doing as well there but do produce fruit quite reliably.
The one thing that I would watch when cultivating them is containing the runners. They have been gaining ground quite quickly in our field. I'm not particularly worried about it because our field is too big anyway but it would be something to watch. If you can deal with that somehow, by planting them as a fenced island in a pasture or chicken run, or maybe surrounding them with a physical barrier to prevent spreading, then I would definitely consider cultivating them.
perennial weeds had encroached
on plantings, serious
economic impact on yield
resulted. One interesting weed
was found in two Eastern NY
plantings. It was groundnut,
Apios americana, a perennial
vine which grows from edible
tubers (Iungerman 200 (Figure
I've decided that groundnuts are definitely going in with the blueberries.
I suppose I'll have to make sure the blueberries dont get overgrown ... hopefully not a bit deal.
Blueberries need much more water and are thus not well suited for this guild because blackberries grow too much if watered a lot and I need to mosquito net blueberries which would snag in thorns of blackberries. I am experimenting with kiwis in the paths near the blueberries but don't have any Houston plants yet that benefit from them that I can benefit from too.