Better with Blackberries

Summer is synonymous with the sweet taste of blackberries. Blackberries make a delicious addition to most warm-weather desserts, from jams and jellies to bars and cobblers.

The thornless blackberries growing in the Kitchen Garden are ripening now, and you can enjoy their fun shapes and scarlet color.

Home gardeners should plant blackberry plants between December and February in full sun. The plants require well-drained, rich soil and extra irrigation. Limit the use of fertilizer to avoid burning tender leaves or potentially killing the plant.

Did you know several blackberry species are native to Florida? The native, wild plants produce a smaller berry with little flavor. Wild plants provide food for native birds and wildlife. Cultivated varieties have been developed to provide a larger and more flavorful berry. Some great growing varieties for Central Florida include Arapaho, Brazos, Cheyenne, Choctaw, Floridagrand, Navaho, Oklawaha, Roseborough, and Shawnee.

Blackberries typically ripen from May through July, but it is possible to enjoy some fruit through the late fall months. The plants are perennials and typically grow to 10′ high and 10′ wide.

Take a stroll through the Kitchen Garden to enjoy looking at our blackberries for inspiration, then stop by the Farmer’s Market for some ripe berries and savor all the delicious bounty summer offers.

Photos by Keith Novosel, Social Media Content Creator for Bok Tower Gardens.