Posts Tagged ‘Blackberry’

Plants That Will Grow Under Black Walnut Trees

June 3rd, 2013

Looking for plants that will grow under the Black Walnut trees on your property?

Black walnut trees can be a tricky plant for gardeners, as this species of plant produces a toxic substance called juglone via its root system. Other trees that emit this toxic substance include butternut and Persian walnut trees that are grafted with black walnut. (Notably, persian walnut seedlings that are grafted onto persian walnut rootstocks do not produce deadly toxins that kill other plants.)

The black walnut secretes a chemical from its ...

The black walnut secretes a chemical from its roots that harms neighboring plants, an example of amensalism. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The juglone leaches out into the surrounding soil and it can kill nearby plants within a period of just 30 to 60 days. Some of the most susceptible plants include: Tomato plants; Blackberry bushes; Azalea; Mountain laurel; Apple trees; Blueberry bushes; Potato plants; Rhododendron bushes.

The toxic zone can extend up to 80 feet from the trunk of a large mature black walnut tree, though the typical no-grow zone usually extends 50 to 60 feet. This tree’s tendency to kill off nearby plants is enough to leave many gardeners scratching their heads, wondering “what can I plant that will grow under a black walnut tree?”

Not to fear! Not all plants are sensitive to the juglone that’s produced by the black walnut tree. There are a number of trees, annuals, perennials, shrubs, vines and ground-cover plants that are resistant to juglone.

Some of the most popular plants that are often planted near a black walnut tree include:





Eastern Redbud

Creeping Phlox

Creeping Sedum

Coral Bells



Japanese Maple


Lamb’s Ear

Tartan Honeysuckle

Virginia Creeper



It appears that the black walnut tree actually enhances and promotes growth in a limited number of plant species, especially grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass.

Despite the fact that the black walnut tree’s toxins can kill many nearby plants, they are still favoured by many for their beautiful appearance and their ability to prevent soil erosion and offer shade, particularly on pastures. They are especially popular in pastures.

It’s important to note, though, that juglone is present in the black walnut tree’s wood, bark and leaves. The wood chips can cause problems in some animals, particularly horses.

Composting black walnut leaves will result in the degradation of the juglone toxin, which breaks down in 2 to 4 weeks when the leaves are composted alone, or up to 2 months if they’re mixed with soil and other compost matter. So it’s generally safe to use fully-composted leaves on juglone-sensitive plants.

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Planting Blackberry Plants in Your Garden

March 31st, 2013

Blackberry plants are a delightful bramble fruit that bring a deep and luscious flavor to any summer treat. Planting blackberries is reasonably easy, and the plants are hardy and fairly easy to keep. With a little care and preparation you can bring this wonderful fruiting plant to your garden with ease.

English: Blackberries (Rubus), ripe and unripe...

English: Blackberries (Rubus), ripe and unripe on a bush. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where to plant blackberries

Blackberries are hardy in zones 5 through 10. To start a blackberry plant, find a sunny to partially shaded area in your garden. You’ll want well drained soil with a ph of between 6 and 7. All blackberry plantings will benefit from some sort of a trellis, with the trailing species of the plant very nearly requiring one.

Keep the roots of your blackberry plants moist until planting. And place the plants two feet apart with the crown of the roots no more than one half inch below the dirt’s surface.  It’s best to work plenty of organic matter into the soil and mulch to keep out weeds.

Blackberries will do well in full sun to partial shade.

Soil for the blackberry plant

The plant prefers well drained sandy, loamy, or clay soils. The plant will do well in nutritionally poor soils and that makes it a great plant for troubled soil areas. The plant is fairly well drought tolerant.

Fast growing and invasive

Blackberry plants are not considered good companion plants and should not be planted near other species. The blackberry is a fast growing species and will take over an area. So be sure that you have plenty of space around your plantings in order to avoid the blackberry plant from taking over your other garden items.

Erect and trailing

There are two types of blackberry plant species: erect and trailing. The erect plants will grow canes that will usually support themselves, however they can benefit from a trellis system. The trailing species of the plant requires a trellis system for support. Both species of the plant will tend to bunch together producing a thicket of foliage and fruit that is known for its thorny flowering buds.

Care and growing

Plant when the soil has warmed. When planting, dig a hole deep enough as to not bend the roots. Place the plants in the hole as described earlier, and be sure to keep the plantings set apart two feet in rows seven feet apart.  Blackberries produce fruits on their second year canes, and the canes will then die off. You should trim back the dead canes at the end of the season.


Pick the berries as soon as they have matured into very dark purple or deep red appearance.


Visit for a great selection of every gardener’s favorite blackberry plants!



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Growing Blackberries and Raspberries

May 17th, 2010

Our erect or upright blackberry plants are the Apache (which is probably the
sweetest in flavor), Arapaho and Ouachita
while our erect or upright
raspberry plants are Anne, Heritage (an ever bearing) and Nova Summer Red.
The Triple Crown and Cumberland are trailing varieties.

Without knowing which plant variety has been planted, it is often difficult
to tell raspberry and blackberry plants apart until harvest time. When ripe,
raspberries come off with the core remaining on the plant. This leaves a
hole in the top of the berry making it hollow and quite perishable. This is
why raspberries are pricey at the market.

Don’t plant raspberry, blackberry or strawberry plants where potatoes,
tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, or other berry plants (including other
strawberry, raspberry or blackberry) have grown in the past 3 years. Fungus
disease and insect pests may still be in the soil in those areas.

Here is a quick link to our planting and care information for blackberry and
raspberry plants as well as links to recipes for the fruits, including wines
and jellies:

Growing Blackberry and Raspberry Plants

Be sure to visit us at Greenwood Nursery. We’re here. Just let us know if you need any help.

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