In 2004 we decided to put in a 50' row of thornless blackberry plants, the fruit could be taken to market for sale... or not. Blackberries are my absolute favorite fruit, so having a lot of them fresh, frozen and preserved works well in my life. We started out with 3 plants and every year we would propagate a few more plants from the new growth until we finally had two 50' row... yep, that's twice the amount of row footage I intended to originally give them. The flavor of these blackberries did not disappoint, a deep earthy blackberry flavor with just the right amount of sweetness, plus a hint of spice, and they were a bit hit at the Farmers' Market, so we doubled our production to have plenty left for all our home use.
Last week was my first picking of this season in a 50' row of Triple Crown thronless blackberry. The yield was a single one gallon bucket full of berries. Today's picking yielded
two and a half gallon buckets of berries. Next week the yield will be three and half to four gallons and then the yield will peak the following week at five gallons. After that the yield will start to taper off for a couple
of weeks before the fruiting season is over.
When it is over, I'll prune out all the canes that fruited this year and feed them to goats. I'll tie up the new canes that the plants are producing now to the trellis, and those canes will fruit next summer.
In October, I'll heavily mulch this row of berries with the straw bedding from the rabbit hutches, which is wonderfully infused with their manure/urine/hair. The winter rains will help release all the nutrients from the manure into the soil, while the dense mulch will suppress weed growth and reduce watering needs during the hot months of the year. If we have a long, wet winter I'll mulch again in the spring.
This row of thornless blackberries produces lots of food for the bees in our hives, other insects, our milking goats and our kitchen... with little effort on my part and zero waste.