Hamilton College Community Farm

Plant: Black Raspberries

Planting Needs:

Transplant full root-balls during the late summer or early fall. Be sure to water in very well, as it is easy for the roots to dry out.

Plant Needs:

Mulch around the plants with leaves or straw to keep the weeds down. Despite their thorns, berries are an attractive meal for deer and the fence around them needs to be maintained.

Cultivation Techniques:

Blackberries are biennial plants, producing a stalk and foliage the first season and fruit the next. Following their second season, blackberries will continue to produce fruit every two years, but far fewer than the first time. To achieve the most efficient production, top the stalks at about 5ft during their first season to promote bushiness, and cut stalks at the ground in the fall the season after they have produced fruit.

Pests and Pest Control:

Japanese beetles can be trouble and hand picking is the best solution. Traps, similar to those placed around campus, will only attract beetles to the area.

Harvest Techniques:

Harvest by hand, keep an eye on the bushes in July to check for readiness. As soon as they begin to ripen, harvest at the least every other day until the season has passed. Pick directly into the containers for sale.


Berries store poorly and should be harvested no earlier than a day before use. For long-term storage freezing is the best option.


Sold at a minimum of $4.00 per pint. Match up whatever the price is at the farmer’s market (even if it seems just far too high).