Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Caneberry Production Guide NEW

We are thrilled to share a revised Southeast Regional Caneberry Production Guide. Follow this link to the NC State Extension Rubus Portal for the complete guide. This version includes a new chapter on plant growth and an update on fertility. Links to each chapter are included below. A huge thanks to the co-authors  Drs. Amanda McWhirt, Christine Bradish,  Penelope Perkins-Veazie, and John Havlin. 

  1. Introduction
    • Types of Caneberries
    • Growth Habit
    • Fruiting Habit
    • Thorniness
    • Fruit Color (Raspberries)
  2. Cultivars
  3. Site Selection
    • General
    • Blackberry
    • Raspberry
    • Row Orientation
  4. Site Preparation, Planting, and Establishment
    • Site Preparation
    • Soil Tests
    • Nematode Tests
    • Planting
    • Establishment
      • Spacing – Blackberry
      • Spacing – Raspberry
      • Alleys
  5. Plant Growth
    • General
    • Floricane-Fruiting Blackberries and Raspberries
    • Primocane-Fruiting Raspberries and Blackberries
    • Lifecycle through the Seasons
  6. Pruning and Training
    • General
    • Erect Floricane-Fruiting Blackberries
    • Semi-Erect and Trailing Floricane-Fruiting Blackberries
    • Primocane-Fruiting Blackberries (Single or Double Cropped)
    • Floricane-Fruiting Raspberries
  7. Trellis Systems
    • I-Trellis (Hedgerow)
    • V-Trellis (with Metal T-Posts)
    • T-Trellis
    • Moveable Trellises
  8. Tunnel Production
  9. Water Management
    • General
    • Trickle/Drip Irrigation
    • Mulching
  10. Integrated Pest Management and Pollination
  11. Fertility Management
    • General
    • Blackberry Fertilization
    • Raspberry Fertilization
    • Leaf Analysis
  12. Fruit Development
    • General
    • Blackberry
    • Raspberry
  13. Harvesting and Postharvest Management
    • General
    • Blackberry
    • Raspberry
  14. Food Safety Considerations for Caneberry Production
  15. References
  16. Acknowledgements

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Black spots on rasberry fruit grown in tunnels

Black spots on ripe raspberry fruit

An agent recently sent me this image of raspberry fruit with black spots on them. The fruit was growing in a high tunnel. 

We have seen this type of thing in the past and this is what we have gleaned from discussions with other tunnel scientists and lab reports:

  • Past pathology reports from labs in NC and SC have identified botrytis and cladosoprium on fruit with similar symptoms.
  • One current theory is that tunnels have high relative humidity and lower air circulation. When the flowers begin to turn to fruit, the petals land on the developing fruit and create an ideal tiny spot for diseases to start. 
  • Suggestions for control would be to make sure there is good air circulation especially during petal fall.
  • Apply a fungicide during bloom/petal fall. Consult your state recommendations. 


Monday, February 14, 2022

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Fusarium Wilt, an emerging disease in southeastern NC blackberry fields

Bill Cline has recently posted a Plant Disease Factsheet on Fusarium Wilt in blackberry. This has so far only been seen in southeastern NC. 

 Here is the first paragraph, see link for more information. 

"Fusarium wilt is an emerging disease of blackberry in commercial plantings in southeastern North Carolina. Fungi in the genus Fusarium are known to cause wilt diseases on plant hosts worldwide. Fusarium species are often host-specific, attacking only a single host species or group. Examples in North Carolina include wilts of blackberry, tomato, eggplant, pepper, watermelon, soybean and ornamentals. The pathogen is soil borne and can survive for years in infested soils."


Friday, January 21, 2022

Blackberry Pruning Videos



It is that time of year, at least it will be once the cold weather leaves us in the SEUS. It is time to start pruning your blackberries. 

Here are links to some blackberry pruning videos.

NCSU Pruning blackberries video

University of Arkansas blackberry pruning video

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Winter caneberry checklist/chores


This checklist was originally developed for blackberry growers in North Carolina. You may have to adjust your work activities either earlier or later depending on your location. For more detailed information, check the Southern Region Integrated Bramble Management Guide and the Southeast Regional Bramble Production Guide at: Link to SRSFC Caneberry IPM and Production Guides.


This list is intended as a general guide. However, it can be used to guide you to think about what types of activities occur at various times of the year. Check the items off as they get done. If you would like other items to be added to this list, send them to me and I will add them next time.



Plant growth and development

  • Plant is not visibly growing during the winter months although many blackberries will retain their leaves through the winter
  • Some floral differentiation is occurring in the flower buds (i.e. they are forming flowers)
  • Low chilling cultivars can break bud in January after adequate winter chilling.  See previous blog post for more information.

Developmental stages at this time of year as mentioned in the 2021 Southeast Regional Caneberries Integrated Management Guide are : 1. Dormant 2. Delayed dormant (swollen bud) to green tip.


Pruning and trellising

  • Pruning should occur in late winter. However, in some areas winter ice storms can do tremendous damage to plants and trellis systems. If you produce blackberries in one of these areas, pruning can take place early winter to help avoid severe damage.
  • Pruning and training videos can be found at:
  • Make trellis repairs after plants have defoliated but before pruning and training.
  • If you have a Rotating Arm Trellis, lay the canes to the ground. If you are in a colder region, have row covers available for protection from cold temperatures.
  • Erect types
    • Prune out the spent floricanes
    • Cut lateral branches back to 12-18”
    • Tie or weave canes to lower and upper wires
    • Thin canes to 4-8 canes/ hill (4 ft spacing)
  • Trailing types
    • Prune out spent floricanes
    • Tie or weave canes to wire so that they do not overlap
    • Prune side laterals to 12-18”
    • Thin canes to 6-8 hill (6-8 ft spacing)
  • Primocane fruiting raspberries and blackberries
    • Prune (mow) primocane fruiting types to ground level


Weed control

Check the 2022 Southeast Regional Caneberries Integrated Management Guide

for recommendations.

  • Many summer weed problems can be best managed in the fall and winter using preemergent herbicides. Determine what weeds have been or could be a problem in your area. Check with local extension agent for cultural or chemical means to control these weeds. 

Insect and disease scouting

Check the 2022 Southeast Regional Caneberries Integrated Management Guide

 for recommendations.

·      Scout fields for insect and disease damage and remove those canes

  • Remove wild blackberries and raspberries by the roots if they are within 600 ft of your planting during the winter 

Winter injury from cold

·      Injury from cold temperatures can occur to the canes and buds throughout the winter. Most often the damage occurs in the spring after the winter chilling hours have accumulated.

·      Review types of injury that can occur to the canes and buds. One site for cold injury information is the Team Rubus Blog.



  • Take soil tests to determine fertility needs for spring plantings. 
  • There are new raspberry and blackberry cultivars available each year. If you have not tried them or it is not known how they will do in your region, it is best to order a small quantity to see how well they will perform in your area
  • For larger growers, prepare list of cultivars for 2023 plantings and order now. Smaller quantities of plants can be ordered in early 2022 for spring planting.
  • Nursery lists can be found at:


Water management

  • Make repairs to irrigation system (check pumps, lines, etc)
  • Plants generally do not need supplemental water in winter 


Marketing and miscellaneous

  • Order containers for next season
  • Make contacts for selling fruit next season


Attend grower meetings

North American Raspberry and Blackberry Association is hybrid this year. For more information check here their link. Here is a brief summary of the meeting.

This virtual conference February 21-24, 2022.

A special seven-session virtual short course, “Getting Started in Raspberries & Blackberries,” will be offered. It starts Jan 31. See link above.

North Carolina Commercial Blackberry and Raspberry Association will be holding a meeting on Feb 4, 2022.

Contact Daniel_Shires@ncsu.edu or Karen_Blaedow@ncsu.edu


Please check with your local Extension service to learn of meetings in your state.