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The Country Enterprise Handbook
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Growing soft fruits
...- Protection
...- Selling
...- Beds

Blackberries are another fruit that can fight back.

With some varieties the thorns are bred out, but somehow some of the flavour seems to be lost, too. Blackberries are excellent to grow up fences and walls. Even one plant will produce excellent fruit as blackberries are self-fertile. They are best planted in November but can take being moved as late as March.

Cut the plant down to nine inches above the ground and arrange whatever form of support you prefer. You can train pairs of fruit to grow over trellis over a garden path. The thornless varieties are certainly worth considering for this type of location. You can, of course, use the thorns to your advantage by planting them to cut off a route for marauding cats or similar nuisances.

Blackberries are very attractive plants to watch growing. They always seem to have first flowers, then tiny green berries, followed by larger green berries and then varying sizes of black ones this progression starts in late August and goes through well into October.

This obliging plant will happily produce more of itself if you poke the end of a growing shoot into the ground. Do this in late summer and by November you can sever the new plant from its parent and move it.

The biggest berries can be sold as dessert fruit. The rest of the crop can be processed into jams, pies, chutneys and wines. You can even dry the young leaves of the blackberry to make a sort of tea.