The North American native fruit, blackberries, are eaten fresh.
They are shrubs that bear fruit and are members of the Rubus genus in the Rosaceae family of plants. Blackberries are the fruits that blackberry bushes produce.
They are loaded with antioxidants, including vitamin C, K, potassium, and dietary fiber. They also have no saturated fats and very little total fat content. They have some protein, but most of their calories come from carbs.
They have three different stem types: trailing, arching, and erect. Although some varieties are thornless, they frequently contain thorns. The leaves are serrated around the margins, brilliant green, and spiky. Blackberry bushes may live up to ten years, although they often only survive that long, growing as high as ten feet.
Why Does Blackberry Need Companion Plants?
The finest plants to grow with blackberries ward off pests, draw helpful insects and prosper in similar environments. Alliums, herbs, tansy, and borage are beneficial Blackberry allies. Avoid planting heavy-feeding plants close to blackberries. In addition to making your blackberry patch more attractive, adding companion plants may help the bushes in various ways.
Let’s first discuss how companion planting can help Blackberry needs before moving on to the list of the best Blackberry partners.
The soil health is improved by the presence of other plants, which provides the blackberry plant with additional food. Plant debris that has decomposed breaks down in the soil and provides food for the microbes, which produce nutrients that the roots may absorb.
The advantages of companion planting for gardens are as follows:
- Hinder Weed growth
- Nitrogen fixer
- Soil regaining
- Ward off Pests
- Protecting the Soil
- Create a Living Trellis
- Increase in Pollination
- Limit evaporation
- Increase Spacing
6 Best Blackberry Companion Plants
Some of the listed companion plants for blackberry are as follows:
Blackberries and strawberries go together well. The tiny white blooms on the blackberry shrub will draw pollinators as long as it is budding. To stop the illness from spreading among the plants, ensure plenty of air movement below the blackberry bush. Since strawberries have weak roots, they won’t compete with blackberries for nutrition.
To stop the strawberry plants’ fruit from decaying, scatter some straw or pine needles around them. Growing chives or garlic close by will help deter bugs.
Perennial alliums have a more pungent scent than most other plants, probably because sulfur occurs naturally in them. Sulfur is a fantastic insect deterrent and is a natural anti-bacterial and fungicide. Put garlic, chives, and onions nearby to deter pests like aphids, mites, and larvae from your blackberry bushes. Birds are drawn to the low-maintenance allium plant. They offer solutions for deer resistance and drought tolerance.
Mint is a perennial active growing plant. Loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients and contains vitamin A, vitamin C, and B-complex, phosphorous, and calcium. It also has antibacterial properties. They like organically rich, well-draining, slightly acidic to neutral soil. Mint encourages pollinators. They are used in gardens, where the strong scent of mint repels pests such as aphids, ants, cabbage moths, and mice.
Thyme is an aromatic perennial evergreen herb. It is also a drought-tolerant plant.
The flowers and their aroma are beneficial at attracting pollinators, notably honey bees, which directly increases the blackberry’s productivity. Thyme is pest-resistant, including cabbage worms, weevils, and cabbage loopers.
It’s also said that thyme also reduces aphid populations by attracting ladybugs.
Tansy is a perennial, herbaceous easy-grown wildflower. It has a strong odor that naturally repels the most disruptive pests, such as cucumber beetles, squash bugs, Japanese beetles, aphids, and even ants. Further, tansy flowers attract honeybees, other essential pollinators, and pest predators like ladybugs, who love laying their eggs on tansy. They benefit the soil where they are grown, making them friendly companion plants for blackberries.
Traditional uses of hyssop include both culinary and medical purposes. Hyssop’s lavender blossoms have a powerful ability to draw pollinators and other helpful insects. The potent mint flavor will repel certain pests, like aphids, Japanese beetles, and whiteflies. Hyssop is simple to cultivate and resistant to drought. Blackberries thrive in acidic soil. Planting hyssop close to the blackberry plant is suitable for maintaining good bonding.
4 Worst Companion Plants For Blackberry
Plants that are not considerable planting with blackberry are:
Raspberries are edible fruit with woody stems; these are perennial plants. One such similarity is that they share the same diseases that can transmit quickly to one another. When placed with blackberries, raspberries compete for sunlight, water, and nutrients, leading to stunt issues.
2. Nightshade Vegetables
Blackberries are not suggestable for planting near nightshades. Nightshade consists of edible vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, etc., which will transmit deadly diseases and insects to Blackberries. Pairing them increases the chances of serious pests such as aphids, spider mites, etc., Moreover, Nightshades are heavy feeders that consume lots of soil nutrients and will compete, leading to growth issues.
Asparagus are a herbaceous perennial flowering plant species. They contain a good source of antioxidants like vitamins A and vitamin E. Asparagus are slow-growing plants with higher nutrient demands. They are heavy feeders, and their roots are deep-rooted, depleting the soil of too many nutrients that even blackberries require. Avoid planting asparagus near blackberries, as their roots will tend to compete with one another.
Carrots are root vegetables rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Carrots have a higher demand for nutrients and will be competitive if grown with blackberries. Blackberries shouldn’t be produced with carrots; they are deep-rooted vegetables that crowd blackberries, competing for nutritional demands.
What Are Blackberry’s Growing Requirements?
The Growing Requirements for blackberries are listed below:
- Season: Plant blackberries in the early spring.
- Sun: They thrive in direct sunlight to produce new growth.
- Soil: Provide slightly acidic loamy soil with good drainage.
- Water: Blackberries need regular watering, and it’s imperative to supply ground-level irrigation during drought.
- Weeding: Remove all weeds that may eradicate all the essential nutrients necessary for blackberry.
- Fertilize: Using 10-10-10 fertilizer for blackberry plants in the spring and during fall, an organic compost keeps weeds at bay, providing more soil nutrients.
- Mulch: Layer mulch under the blackberry plants to eliminate weeds and water retention.
- Pruning: First-year primocanes in late winter and spring promote healthy plant growth and fruiting. Fall trimming second-year floricanes cleaning the garden, and promoting new shoots to grow.
- Harvest: Observe your blackberry plants throughout the summer, ensuring the proper harvest of the fruits.
Grass Diseases And Pests
Blackberries are exposed to a lot of various diseases and a few infections. Below are listed some of the ones:
1. Fungal Diseases
- Orange Rust
- Botrytis fruit rot
- Crown Gall
- Cane and Leaf Rust
- Blackberry Rosette
Measures to be Taken
If a plant gets fully infected, uproot it promptly. You should remove and destroy the infected segment immediately if you find any weird growth in plants. Avoid over-fertilizing (nitrogen) and over-irrigation of the plants. Promote favorable air circulation by structuring the plant. Use protective fungicides to control diseases. Areas affected by Rhizobium radiobacter further produce swollen galls for a triennium. A biological disease control agent Galltron is used in blackberries containing nonpathogenic strains.
2. Pests / Insects
- Japanese Beetles
- Rednecked cane borer
Measures to be Taken
Use sprays such as kaolin clay and soap water to remove pests. Hand plucking is also needed if you find adult beetles. The use of neem oil is an organic way of treating any pests. Parasitic nematodes are even valuable for reducing grubs numbers.
Blackberry bushes not only provide some of delicious summer fruits but also enhance your garden’s health. Most plants make comfortable garden neighbors right next door, but they do need trellis support and well-marginalized planting distance!
We have listed a few supporting plants that go well with Blackberries. However, you may have considered planting Blackberries in your garden. In that case, you can refer to some of the above recommended supporting plants.