Horse Nettle and Blackberries

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Dahc, May 11, 2006.

  1. Dahc

    Dahc Don't Tase me, bro!?!

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    I have got horse nettle coming up in my blackberry rows and in some places where the nettle is touching the blackberry stems, the stems have died. They are thornless Navaho blackberries.

    It started out that a few (3) portions of the stems had turned brown in an area about 3 or 4" long, then everything past that died. Does anyone think this may have to do with the horse nettle or should I look for something else? This seems to have only happened where the nettle was touching the stem.

    I have never sprayed my blackberries with any fungicide or insecticide and they never had a problem in the three years they have been in this spot. I have also heard warnings against having raspberries too close. There are raspberries within 20' of the plants. I had not heard anything about not planting them together before I did it. Could it be the raspberries?
     
  2. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    Black raspberries shouldn't be planted within 700 feet of red raspberries. Blackberries aren't an issue with that particular virus that is spread by aphids. Blackberries are propagated by putting the tips of the canes into the ground and digging them up in the spring after cutting them off the parent plant. Raspberries suckers are dug up as they develop in the early summer and then planted in another spot. Brambles can benefit from a heavy layer of manure put down around the fourth of July as a mulch. It is possible that the thorns are causing physical mechanical damage to the stems from the horse nettle, allowing pathogens to enter the canes. It is also possible that verticillium wilt in the soil could be causing the dieback. You need to remove all the horse nettle and keep a watchful eye on the berries to rule out v.wilt.
     

  3. Dahc

    Dahc Don't Tase me, bro!?!

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    Thank you woodspirit. I'll try and search out some info and pics of the damage caused by this verticillium wilt. I'm in the process of removing all the nettle. I wasn't sure of what could cause the problem because I did a couple of things I haven't done in the past with them. They were established plants so I put about an inch of seasoned chicken manure/straw mix on the beds and then mulched them with pine needles. I'm seeing growth I never saw before with chemical fertilizers and I have twice the berries coming on than I had last year even though last years crop was very pleasing. I wouldn't want to lose any before I see how well they will actually do.

    I thought these primocanes only had one main trunk and that's what I had until I used the manure. Now I have two more huge trunks coming up on each of the established plants and some of the new leaves are around 5" long. The new trunks are only about 1.5' tall but are about an inch in diameter. It really surpised me what natural fertilizer has done for them. If the chicken manure isn't part of the problem, I can't see myself ever returning to chemical fertilizers. Any losses now would be a bummer.
     
  4. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    I had the same results using chicken manure in my vegetable garden last year and also when I get composted cow from farmers nearby. My soil used to be the worst type of clay. The really great part is that you're improving your soil, and it is getting healthier.