My family's farm (we grow...oh, dirt and coyotebrush and invasive species and such) is composed mostly of clay soil and tends to have a spazzy low --- or not so low -- wind. We get a decent amount of rain each year, but no-one could mistake us for the British Isles. Growing stuff seems to be hard.
I am interested in putting in some blackberry rows, but they seem to be rather thirsty plants and there is no way that I am going to put irrigation out for these guys. I want to make a water solution that will ensure moisture throughout the year.
I have a sheltered watershed that is slightly damper throughout the year than the rest of the property, and the coyotebrush is up to ten feet tall there, providing a windbreak of sorts.
Hugulkutur is new to me, but the principle seems sound. However, since I am going to be staking and training these berries, the use of 'hug' seems inadvisable -- the ground would settle and throw everything off. Plus, I'm not convinced that the berry roots would penetrate deep enough.
Would the use of 'hug' just uphill of the berries provide sufficient moisture?
What solutions have other people found for similar problems?
The ground will settle, and this can be a problem depending on how you stake/train the berries, however the roots will reach the water. If you aren't watering them the roots will grow quite substantial and when they find the water they will know what to do with it.
i would try the blackberries on a hugel bed, sometimes they can be kinda slow to start but eventually they'll take off..they also can be tip rooted to increase their number so you can start them farther apart and tip root between plants to get double your number of plants..
they prefer a tiny bit of shade and some wind protection if you can provide it..and like to be wired up along a row of post and wire system..easier to work with them that way
It makes sense that blackberries would prefer a little shade...they are climbing plants, and they would tend to climb on trees. I wonder how many other plants we grow in the wrong environment just because of monoculture habits? Not everything belongs in full sun.
I want to plant the rows far enough apart to plant annuals (or maybe small perennials) between them. Any suggestions for good guilds? Rubarb, carrots, potatoes, what should I look for in a guild?
I should probably have a more permanent shade/windbreak provider than coyotebrush, so that should be considered...hmm...think think think. Avocados? Oranges?