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in Fruit & veg
I planted an oregon blackberry last year, for both fruit and the display of the attractive leaf. The very small specimen produced an unexpectedly surprising amount of fruit. The growth this year, against a wall, has been quite spectacular but not one flower appeared. Should I prune it before the winter sets in, and will this help produce fruit next year?
I'd cut it all back down to the base every year, anytime between now February, and give it a mulch with well rotted farmyard manure or compost, just as you would for autumn fruiting raspberries.
Blackberries, like raspberries, like plenty of water through the flowering and fruiting season, so don't forget to water, especially in dry summers like the one we've just had.
Are you absolutely sure you are pruning out the correct growth? Leave new shoots strictly alone or you are cutting off next years fruit. Cut out the branches which have fruited each Autumn.
So if you had no flowers, NO pruning this year unless you are absolutely sure you are doing the right thing..
I see Dove and I totally disagree about the pruning! I expect the new branches which grew this year to give me fruit next year.
Take your choice of methods!
As blackberries and autumn-fruiting raspberries produce about the same time of year I've always treated them the same and haven't had a problem with yield. However, I've not grown Oregon Thornless and I don't grow any blackberries at the moment.
Perhaps whichever you did last year 'do different' this year and see what happens
Haven't yet done any pruning - I only planted the very small bush last year. I watered it regularly, as I did the raspberries which have been fantastic. I think I'll definitely have to cut it back as it has grown like a triffid! Thanks for your suggestions Dove and Onion.
Hmm, I'm rethinking my advice - all this growth that you're describing - is it new growth from the base of the plant that hasn't produced any fruit or flowers ever before?
Yes, it's new growth on a very healthy plant and even more new growth looks ready to burst from almost every leaf /stem joint. As mentioned earlier, there was some fruit last year soon after it was bought, at less than 3'. I've had to train much of it sideways as it's grown so much.
Then I'd follow Welshonion's advice and cut out the shoots that fruited last year and tie in the new shoots that have grown this year, just as you would for summer fruiting raspberries, and see if they fruit next summer. That might suit your blackberries and their situation. Mulching is still a good idea.