Once the beds were prepped, and planted I needed to provide support for the growing baby bushes that with any luck would one day be 6′ tall.
Cue- Jim and Larry for the manual labor. I watched, photographed and gave opinions where needed.
Because Blackberries have stiffly erect, semierect, or trailing stems, depending on the type and since I planted semierect thornless varieties I needed to set up a supporting and training method.
I like the Parallel Wire Method. It gives the canes more room to grow without having to spend much time training them.
The Parallel Wire Method requires two rows of posts running along each side of the planting bed. We spaced the poles 2′x 8′ apart along the edge of the bed using 4 x 4 x 12′ poles. Jim had the lumberyard cut each pole down to 6′ (they cut them for free) this saved time and money.
They then dug the holes for the poles using a gas-powered post hole digger. (why do we own a gas-powered post hole digger you ask? I was told we use it all the time…. yeah, sure we do). Anyway a manual post hole digger would work fine as well.
They dug the holes 30″ deep, which is the frost line around here. They dug the holes for the poles on the end of the bed first. Larry mixed the Quikrete in the wheel barrel and then back filled enough concrete into each hole to set poles.
They set the poles at each end of the bed first as a guide. Jim tied a string to the poles and used a level to make sure that the string was straight. He then set the remaining poles to the height of the string.
pretty smart, huh! That’s my guy!
Once the cement is poured you should wait at least 24 hours before attaching wire.
In keeping with our home and grounds we painted the poles white with an exterior house paint. After the paint had a chance to dry, Jim screwed in 1 1/2″ long Hook & Eye bolts 30″ from the ground to the middle of each pole on both sides, except the end poles only receive hooks on the inside.
Jim then connected the wire to the hooks by twisting the wire around itself to make a tight straight line. He is using wire cutters to twist and then cut the wire.
He ran the wire ‘pole to pole’ in a rectangular shape first and then he ran an ‘X’ in the middle to offer additional support.
Eventually we will run a second set of wires about 1′ above the current to offer additional support when the bushes get taller.
For an added architectural detail, we topped each pole with a little copper top.
Here is the list of supplies we used. We picked up everything at Home Depot, except that post hole digger that we use all the time. I’m not sure where that came from.
- 4 x 4 x 12 poles
- 1-80 pound bag of Quikrete Cement for every three poles
- 20 gauge Wire
- Hooks & Eye Bolts
- Copper tops
- Post hole digger (we used gas powered )
- White Exterior Paint
- Copper pole tops