I would like to know how far I can cut my blackberries back without hurting them and to make sure they produce next summer.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Sharon: Pruning blackberries depends on what kind you are growing. The two most common kinds of blackberries are semi-erect and semi-trailing; both are thornless. Semi-erect cultivars should be pruned during the winter while they are dormant. They should be cut back where the canes start bending over. They can also be pinched back during the summer months if at any time the canes have put on more than one foot of new growth. This will encourage larger fruit. If you are growing semi-trailing blackberries, the best time to prune them would be early next spring. Choose a few of the most vigorous canes and remove the rest at ground level. For more detailed ipictures and more nformation on growing/pruning blackberries, visit www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/ho/ho15/ho15.pdf. Good sanitation is always important in maintaining a healthy crop. Remove dead or diseased canes at any time of the year.