Blackberry Plants No Longer Producing Fruit
The first year I planted blackberry bushes, they produced lots of fruit. Then I planted raspberries right next to them, and they've never been the same. Since then, they bloom beautifully and the first bit of berries produce well. But then the other berries dry up. I have been told that you shouldn't plant raspberries near blackberries. Is that true?
No problem growing blackberries and raspberries in the same garden as long as they are properly pruned and have plenty of room to grow. Overcrowded plantings of either or both can result in anthracnose. This fungal disease causes purplish lesions on the stems and crumbly dry fruit. Reduce the problem with proper pruning and regular thinning to allow the sunshine and air to reach all parts of the plant. Better circulation helps leaves dry quickly reducing the risk of disease. For both raspberries and blackberries remove summer bearing canes to ground level right after harvest. These canes are done producing fruit and their presence only increases the risk of disease. In late winter, thin raspberries canes to 3 or 4 canes per foot removing no more than ¼ the tip growth on the remaining stems. At the same time, remove any dead canes on blackberries and cut back the remaining stems to about 15 inches. This will reduce disease problems and increase the harvest.