Blackberries are a fruit suited for Texas landscapes. Not only are blackberries a southern staple for our favorite summertime desserts, but blackberries are also easy to grow in Texas gardens because they tolerate the hot summer months and bear fruit throughout the spring and early summer. Some new varieties may even bear fruit in the fall, but these have not been thoroughly tested in Texas. Blackberries grow best when planted in well-drained soil. If you are planting blackberries in soil drains slowly, plant the blackberries on raised beds or berms (mounded planting rows), which will enable the soil to dry faster. Harvesting blackberries is unique from other fruits, in that blackberries are harvested by hand rather than by machine in commercial production settings. Blackberries are ready to be harvested when the berries turn from a bright red to a dull dark black color. Blackberries do not continue to ripen after being picked; their flavor is at its peak when harvested at the right time. Blackberries should be refrigerated after harvest to prevent softening.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offers more information on everything from planting and trellising blackberry plants, to fertilizing and marketing blackberries. Find more information at https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/library/farming/texas-fruit-and-nut-production-blackberries/
Blackberries are a rich source of fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C and manganese, along with many other vitamins and minerals. Because of their high levels of antioxidants, blackberries may aid boosting brain health, and can help control blood sugar because of their low glycemic index. Try to add blackberries to your plate this summer! Blackberries are a sweet addition to a breakfast yogurt parfait or oatmeal bowl, they are great as a snack with a handful of nuts or seeds and can be an exciting addition to anything from jams and jellies to salads and sauces!
AgriLife Extension’s Dinner Tonight has great recipes using blackberries, like Blackberry Chipotle Chicken and Fruit Clafoutis. For more recipes using blackberries and other wholesome ingredients, visit dinnertonight.tamu.edu/.
Contact: Dr. Larry Stein