Growing Blackberries in Arizona
Every May, I always look forward to one of the most successful crops in my backyard. Amazingly enough, the blackberry thrives well here. Of course, you have to give it proper soil, nutrients, and plenty of water. But in the end, it’s all worth the effort and investment.
I have tried several varieties of blackberries, including Apache, Brazos, Black Satin, and Roseborough. Out of those, the Roseborough does the best, growing canes 6-8′ tall and producing tons of huge 1+” fruits. Some are almost as big as a golf ball! The only drawback is the numerous thorns that get in the way during maintenance and harvesting tasks. So, in exchange for some sweat and blood (literally), I get rewarded with this:
I should also mention that I have a small row of boysenberries that also thrive very well in this hot weather. The fruit is not as large as the blackberry, but the flavor is much more complex. These also ripen during the same time as the blackberry:
The funny thing is most people have heard of the boysenberry, but have you actually ever seen fresh boysenberries at your local supermarket? Probably not. In fact, i’ll bet you a large sum of money you have never seen them before. Why? These are extremely fragile when picked off the plant. In fact, I usually end up accidentally squeezing about 25% of them during harvest time. Can you imagine a farmer trying to pick hundreds of acres of these by hand and spending extra care in not damaging them? Good luck. If you’re interested in trying a fresh boysenberry, drop me a line during the month of May and i’ll be happy to share. I have plenty to go around!