How to Revive a Large Blackberry Patch
I live on a farm in Central Illinois. My father planted a large (10 feet by 50 feet) blackberry patch (flouricane, stands upright, with thorns) about 15 years ago. He has since passed away, and the care of this patch is now my husband and my responsibility. For the last 10 years, we have done nothing but pick the berries. The patch is now filled with dead canes and trees are beginning to grow up into it. We still get berries, but we need to get rid of the dead growth and trees. I think my father used to push the canes down with the tractor bucket and then burn them. The new canes would grow back and we would get berries the following year. I'm afraid to do this for fear of losing the whole patch, however, without consulting someone beforehand. Any thoughts on this plan?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
What your father did makes sense. Blackberries only produce fruit on 2 year old canes. Older than this and they will not make fruit. Removing the canes that are there will force the plants to regrow their canes and you should see a good crop next year.