FERTILIZING BLACKBERRIES: AN OVERVIEW

in HortScience
Author: John R. Clark1
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701

Fertility and soil preparation practices for blackberries from numerous states were reviewed to determine common recommendations. Soil pH was uniformly suggested to be 6.0–6.5, with the use of dolomitic lime commonly preferred for pH adjustment. Organic matter additions were often recommended, using cover crops or animal manures the year before planting. Additionally, the incorporation of P and K the fall before planting was commonly suggested, with rates of application dependent on soil test levels. Nitrogen applications were recommended each year, with rates increasing to the maximum suggested in years 2 or 3. Ammonium nitrate was always the preferred N source. Rates ranged from 28 to 56 kg N/ha for the first year to 67 to 90 kg N/ha for mature plantings, with rates largely dependent on soil type, with sandy soils receiving the higher rates. Application of K was usually recommended for every other year, based on soil test levels.

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