Site and Soil Preparation

Brambles grow best on a sunny site in sandy loam soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. While they tolerate a broad range of soil types, the soil must be well drained. Phytophthora root rot is a common cause of death in sites where there is excessive water, either on the soil surface or below. Excessive water also can be troublesome during the winter when alternate freezing and thawing can heave plants from the soil.

For these reasons, do not plant brambles on sites where water accumulates after rainfall. If this is not possible, plant them on raised beds at least 10 inches tall. Select a site somewhat higher than nearby land. This improves drainage and reduces the danger of cold injury and late spring frosts.

Adequate moisture during the growing season is essential for good cane growth and fruit production, particularly during drought, so be sure to locate plantings near a water source for irrigation.

Begin soil preparation at least a year before planting, especially if the pH needs to be adjusted.

Wild brambles are the principal source of diseases, so choose a site as far as possible from woodlots and old fields where wild brambles grow. If possible, destroy any brambles growing nearby. A previously cultivated site is best, but only if crops susceptible to verticillium wilt have not been grown

Brambles tolerate a wide range of soils but not poor drainage.

there before. These include brambles, strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplants. If you choose a new site, till the sod under and plant a cover crop one year before planting.

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