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THE BLACKBERRY







The large-growing sorts are set as much as six by eight feet apart, though with careful staking and pruning they may be comfortably handled in less space. The smaller sorts need about four by six. When growth starts, thin out to four or five canes and pinch these off at about three feet; or, if they are to be put on wires or trellis, they may be cut when tied up the following spring. Cultivate, mulch and prune as suggested above. Blackberries will do well on a soil a little dry for raspberries and they do not need it quite so rich, as in this case the canes do not ripen up sufficiently by fall, which is essential for good crops. If growing rank they should be pinched back in late August. When tying up in the spring, the canes should be cut back to four or five feet and the laterals to not more than eighteen inches. Blackberry enemies do not do extensive injury, as a rule, in well- cared-for beds. The most serious are: (1) the rust or blight, for which there is no cure but carefully pulling and burning the plants as fast as infested; (2) the blackberry-bush borer, for which burn infested canes; and (3) the recently introduced bramble flea-louse, which resembles the green plant-louse or aphis except that it is a brisk jumper, like the flea-beetle. The leaves twist and curl up in summer and do not drop off in the fall. On cold early mornings, or wet weather, while the insects are sluggish, cut all infested shoots, collecting them in a tight box, and burn.





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