For the last three or four years, I've let the blackberry bushes grow up and down my driveway or anywhere in my yard until they produce. Then I'll cut them back and dispose of the foliage.
In 2009, the yield was good and Deberah (the true chef in my family) made the most delicious cobbler that only my mother could have topped when I was younger. But for the last couple of years (2010, 2011) due to a drier spring and hungrier birds, we didn't bake a pie.
But due to the blooms seen above and the moisture we received this spring, I'm looking forward to a bigger piece of the pie than 2009, maybe two or three pies and pieces, 2012. I'm not sure what the blackberry winter adds to the blackberry crop, maybe it's just a coincidence, maybe not, but I do know it happens every year around the Easter Holiday weekend.
For me, the plus to regular old wild blackberries compared to varieties you buy are definitely awesome, no planting, zero maintenance, except for trimming, but you must do that with varieties you plant, they are native, birds and insects are drawn to the blooms and fruit, the seeds are smaller, the fruit is more tart for making pies and jellies.
Happy Gardening 2012!
posted by Wilma Smith