Monday, June 17, 2013

Berry Blossoms: to be or not to be?

I have been struggling with my blackberry and raspberry bushes, and I'm not sure why.  Perhaps it's just my lack of knowledge of the subject. 

Last year, late in the season, my mom gave me four thornless blackberry and three raspberry bushes that had been sitting on her back porch in the bare-root pots they came in.  They were sad looking.  So I re-potted them, watered and fed them, and took care of them until the frost came, and then I let them sleep.  They were young last year, only in their second year, so I knew that they wouldn't produce anything, and they didn't. 

I expected a bumper crop this year.  They are large, and healthy and growing like crazy.  They have gorgeous blossoms and they are blooming and blooming.  The problem is, the blossoms bloom, and then they turn brown and dry out.  They've been doing this for months.   
I have been looking for information in books and on the internet (because that's how I solved the squash blossom mystery, after all), but I haven't been able to find anything.  Some people suggested that maybe I don't have enough bees and they aren't getting cross pollinated.  So I went out there with a soft paint brush yesterday and moved the pollen from blossom to blossom for about half an hour. 
Hey, I'm not above some manual labor here, if it results in berries!!!!  I just want berries!!!!  See how they start out green and then they just wither and dry out?  It's not lack of water, I promise you that.  It's not lack of fertilizer, because I fertilize them every 6 weeks with a time-release fruit and veggie mix.

In my travels along the plants I finally noticed the beginnings of some blackberries.  Has my problem been that I haven't been patient enough?  They started producing flowers two months ago!!!  My grandmother, who lives about an hour away but in a much more temperate climate than here, has had quarts and quarts of berries.  So many that she can't even pick or eat them fast enough.
So now I'm going to watch, and wait, and hope that whatever is growing is actually the start of something!!!  I'll update later. 
Has anyone experienced this?  Is it normal?  Should I consult a garden expert?  Anyone know one? 
I know you are out there, people!  I don't know who you are, but I see the visits on the blog dashboard!!! 
Green thumb out.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Friendly and helpful comments are always welcome. Negative or derogatory, combative or nasty comments will be deleted.