This section of the book is from the Guide To Hardy Fruits And Ornamentals book, by Thomas Joseph Dwyer, published in 1903.
The writer has cultivated this fruit in a large way for several years, harvesting many thousand quarts during the fruiting season. They have always sold to good advantage, the price ranging from ten to fifteen cents per quart for the different seasons' crop, thus making it, as all fruit growers know, one of the most profitable fruit crops to grow. The Blackberry Is one of our most reliable paying crops, and should be cultivated by all who grow fruit for a living, while no well-provided amateur fruit garden should be without this luscious, healthy berry.
Any good ordinary farm land that will produce a crop of grain or vegetables is admirably suited to the profitable cultivation of the Blackberry. It succeeds well in partial shade and can be grown successfully between the rows of young fruit trees. Prepare the ground the same as you would for Raspberries or Strawberries, using the same kind of manures and in the same quantities per acre as advised for Strawberries. It has been the practice quite generally with those who grow Blackberries in the home garden to plant them along the fence line. We do not recommend this way, as the plants are almost sure to be neglected and overgrown with wood; the bed soon becomes unmanageable and worthless. The better plan is to set your plants in a row in the garden where they will oblige you to keep them under control by pruning and removing of old and superfluous wood, and it must be remembered that this is not a very difficult or expensive work when attended to at the proper time. Blackberries can be grown successfully under the three systems previously mentioned for Raspberries, except that as they are more vigorous growers they should be planted a greater distance apart. They could not be laid down and covered with soil for Winter protection like the Raspberries sometimes are, the canes being too strong and stiff for this purpose; however, it is quite unnecessary to resort to this means with Blackberries as they are practically a hardy plant in all parts of the country. Rarely indeed do we hear of the plants being Winter harmed; when they are injured, it is on account of exceptionally unfavorable Winter weather, or perhaps a weakened condition of plants caused by injudicious late cultivation in the Autumn months, which produces an excessive wood growth that is insufficiently matured before cold weather arrives and destroys it as well as the entire plant for fruiting the coming season, it being necessarily of low vitality. Low growing vegetables can be planted to good advantage between the rows the first season they are cultivated; after that the Blackberries will need all the room and should produce a good crop of fruit the first year after being planted. After the plants have first been set out they should be cut back to within six inches of the surface of the ground.
* The Continuous Row System
-- We consider this the best and most profitable way to fruit the Blackberry. Set the plants eight feet apart between the rows, and two feet apart in the rows. Set posts in the row twenty feet apart, and run two wires on these posts. Run one wire three feet from the ground and the other wire five feet from the ground, and trail and tie your fruiting canes to these wires. It is best to use the two wires, as the plants when in fruit will be of considerable weight. The canes can be fully six feet in height and the lateral branches eighteen inches in length. With the bush system the plants should be eight feet apart between the rows and three feet apart in the row, pruned back to within four feet from the ground and the lateral branches fifteen to eighteen inches in length.
* The Hill System
-- The Hill System is to plant eight feet apart between the rows and four feet apart in the row, setting two plants in each hill; let them form into hills of five to six fruiting canes, drive down a good strong stake to each hill and tie all to them. Your plants can be five to six feet in height, but the lateral branches should be pruned back to ten inches in length.
The Blackberry is quite susceptible to the Anthracnoce. This should be treated in the same way as explained for the Raspberry. If the Rose scale appears on your Blackberries use the kerosene and water formula mentioned on page 12; using six parts of water to one part of kerosene. Just as soon as your canes show the least sign of rust cut it out at once and burn it, otherwise it will in time spread over the. entire plantation.
-- There are a few very good sorts that are valuable in Southern New Jersey and in other Southern States that are not hardy enough for the Northern climates; these will be especially mentioned in the descriptions that go with the variety.
-- Medium size, jet black, sweet and tender, hardy and productive. Very desirable for family use; one of the best flavored Blackberries we have ever eaten; ripens early
* Ancient Britton
-- One of the best varieties. Very vigorous, healthy and hardy, producing large fruit stems, loaded with good-sized berries of fine quality that carry well; a valuable market variety and one grown quite extensively for that purpose; ripens late in the season.
* Early Harvest
-- A strong, healthy grower, very early and productive; good quality. A desirable home berry and profitable for market in the Southern States; not hardy enough for the Northern Winters.
-- In flavor it is one of the most delicious berries we have eaten. It has never winter killed with us or failed to produce a full crop of the finest fruit, while it is of superior flavor and very large. The fruit has no hard core, but when placed in the mouth melts away, being most pleasing to the taste and very sweet. The fruit is jet black, in large clusters, ripening well together. Its keeping quality is unsurpassed; exceptionally hardy canes; good for all purposes; ripens second early.
-- It is the best hardy variety yet introduced, very productive, foliage clean and healthy, free from rust; fruit large, about the size of Lawton; ripens early; a valuable and profitable standard variety and largely grown for commercial purposes. This is one if not the leading berry, and is more largely fruited than any other variety we know of; ripens quite late in the season and continues in bearing a long time.
-- The fruit is not only white but so transparent that the seeds, which are usually small, can be seen in the ripe berries. This is called the White Blackberry, and is more or less of a plaything in the garden; quality not up to the standard; ripens in mid-season; canes hardy.
-- A popular home variety of great value; quite susceptible to rust; fruit, large, long, and ripe as soon as black.
-- An old favorite, esteemed for its productiveness and large size. Like Kittatinny, it is of strong, erect growth, but much more free from rust. The berries are large and delicious when fully ripe. It succeeds over a wide range of country, and is one of the best standard sorts, but has now been superseded by Erie, which is hardier. Mid-season to late.
* Lovett's Best Blackberry
-- It has now been fruited in almost every State in the Union, and its hardiness and other valuable properties conclusively proved by practical field tests. We have found this to be a good grower. The fruit is very large, handsome and of excellent flavor; canes hardy; valuable for all purposes; ripens in mid-season.
-- This variety originated in Western New York, where the mercury falls below zero each winter. The plants have never yet been injured in the least during the winter months. It remains in bearing as late as September 1 to 10, the fruit selling for two or three cents higher per quart than other varieties. Its extreme hardiness, large size, great productiveness and delicious quality makes it a valuable acquisition; valuable for market and home use; canes hardy; ripens in mid-season.
-- A valuable variety for home use and grown largely and profitably for market by many fruit growers. Canes hardy, very productive, strong-growing, free from disease; fruit large, early, of good quality; a good reliable hardy variety; ripens second early.
-- Five points which recommend this berry: hardy, late, large, productive and of the finest flavor. As large as the largest, as hardy as any good berry; very productive, strong grower, finest quality and late; grown largely for market.
-- A new Blackberry that proved to be entirely hardy, having withstood a temperature of fifteen degree below zero uninjured. The berries are large, with large pips and small seeds. They have no hard core, in fact no core is perceived in eating them; all is soft, sweet, luscious, with a high flavor; canes very hardy; good for commercial purposes; ripens rather late in the season.
* Stone's Hardy
-- Very good for a cold climate. Perfectly hardy, strong grower; requires thorough pruning, as it sets more fruit than it can mature under ordinary cultivation. A good family berry; ripens in mid-season.
* Taylor's Prolific
-- Where hardiness is of importance this is an excellent variety. Canes of strong growth and very prolific; berries larger than Snyder, sweet and rich; ripens late, after main crop of other kinds are gone. One of our best market varieties and extensively grown.
* Wilson, Jr
-- An early variety of large size and handsome appearance, productive, of splendid color, and an excellent shipper, becoming more popular each year. One of the finest market berries we have, but a little tender for our Northern latitude, where it occasionally winter kills; exceptionally valuable for all purposes where it can be grown.