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Blackberry, Ouachita PP17162

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Short Description

A rich harvest of sweet, juicy, glossy black berries.

Full Description

Large, firm, sweet berries are bursting with flavor. Thornlesss, sturdy canes produce 2-4 quarts of glossy, juicy black berries. Vigorous, easy to manage plants are garlanded with lovely large white flowers. Fully erect 4-6 ft. tall canes allow for denser planting, increasing potential yield; fruiting extends for five weeks. Self-pollinating, highly disease resistant plants. Another berry breakthrough from the University of Arkansas, the Harvard of berries. Mid-season. Full sun.
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Item#: 21485
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Product properties

Zone This refers to the USDA hardiness zone assigned to each part of the country, based on the minimum winter temperature that a region typically experiences. Hardiness zone ranges are provided for all perennial plants and you should always choose plants that fall within your range.


Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

48-72 inches

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

36 inches

Life Cycle This refers to whether a plant is an annual, biennial or perennial. Annuals complete their life cycles in one year; biennials produce foliage the first year and bloom and go to seed the second year; perennials can live for more than two years.


Growth Habit The genetic tendency of a plant to grow in a certain shape, such as vining or bush like.


Plant Shipping Information

Plants begin shipping on:

Sep 12, 2016

(Click here for fall shipping schedule)


Item 21485 cannot ship to: AA, AE, AK, AP, AS, CN, FM, GU, HI, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI
See all Burpee plant shipping restrictions for your state

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Fall Planted Fruits
Fall is an ideal time to plant fruit plants. Plants will establish strong root systems and get a jump on spring growth.
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  • Blackberries may be planted as bare root or potted plants.
  • Choose a well-drained, sunny location with no standing water. Prepare the soil before planting by mixing compost or other organic matter in with the soil. Work the soil deeply.
  • Space canes 3 feet apart in rows 6 feet apart. Dig each hole to twice the size of the root mass.
  • Plant blackberries 100 feet away from red raspberries.

Planting Bare Root Plants:

  • Before planting, trim very long or broken roots.
  • Cut back top growth to 6 inches.
  • Set roots 1-2 inches deeper than formerly grown.
  • Back fill with loose soil. Gently press soil in around the root ball. Transplants need good root-to-soil contact. Do not press too hard because that can cause soil compaction and root damage.
  • Gently water around the root ball to settle the soil and drive out air pockets.
  • After planting be sure to mark the plants with plant labels so you know where they are and what varieties they are.
  • Mulch with 2-3 inches of compost of pine needles to retain moisture and prohibit weed growth.

Planting Potted Plants:

  • Set the plant in the hole at the same depth as it was growing in the pot.
  • Backfill the hole and press firmly around the base of the planting.
  • Water deeply. The water will seal off any air pockets around the root ball.
  • After planting be sure to mark the plants with plant labels so you know where they are and what varieties they are. 
  • Mulch with 2-3 inches of compost of pine needles to retain moisture and prohibit weed growth.
  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients. Control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
  • Add mulch each year as needed.
  • Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2 inches of rain per week during the growing season. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • In the spring, before leaves sprout, apply a granular fertilizer such as Garden-tone following the instructions on the label. Most new growth will come from the plant’s crown under the soil. Plants use a lot of energy in spring when growth begins, so do not let plants dry out.
  • Remove all wild brambles near cultivated varieties to prevent virus diseases.
  • Each year cut to the ground all but 5 or 6 of the most vigorous canes of each plant about 6 inches apart to improve fruit production. Prune these to about 30 inches to encourage lateral branches. They will bear fruit the following year, and should be cut to the ground after harvest.
  • Repeat these steps each year:
    • Select the most vigorous canes
    • Cut them back to 30 inches
    • Prune back the previous year’s laterals
    • Remove canes after laterals have borne fruit
  • NOTE: For Primocane Bearing Blackberries: These bear fruit twice on the same cane. Prune new shoots each year as for standard blackberries. New shoots bear fruit at the tips in fall, and further down on the cane the following spring. Cut back old canes after the second crop is harvested.
  • Remove and destroy old canes immediately; rake up and remove fallen leaves and fruit to help prevent fungus diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
  • Blackberries may not need support when they are properly pruned. To prevent wind damage and to make harvesting easier, canes may be individually tied to two parallel wires strung between posts at either end of the row. 
  • Fruiting season is in summer: July, August or September. Fruit will not continue to ripen after picking so be sure to wait until fruit is ripe before picking. The fruit will ripen from red to black, but do not pick them as soon as they turn black, wait 3-4 days and pick when the color has a dull appearance. These will be the sweetest fruit. Pick in the morning or evening, when temperatures are coolest.
  • Expect to harvest at least twice a week for several weeks.
  • Fruit damages easily so handle with care. Store in a shallow container in the fridge as soon as possible after picking.
  • Wash blackberries and allow them to dry on a clean paper towel for 10-20 minutes before storing.
  • Fresh blackberries last a day or so, but can be frozen or used for preserves.
Full Sun
48-72 inches
36 inches
Life Cycle
Growth Habit
Food Use
Edible Fruit, Pie, Sauce
Ornamental Use
Beds, Borders
Planting Time
Fall, Spring
Blackberry, Ouachita PP17162 is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 1.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Started small, but wow! We have awful soil - well, it's not soil, it's clay and rocks...and the berries did fine. Tiny plants to start, but have grown to good canes and even had berries the first year. Now we need to take down a dead tree and my husband says we need to move the berries or they will get squished. (sigh)
Date published: 2016-09-15
  • 2016-10-24T07:22CST
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