Boysenberries like a rich, free draining soil with lots of organic material in it. Boysenberries are harvested in the morning when they are fully ripe (dark purple) - if not sure, taste them. The mulching materials will do little to change the soil pH. To grow boysenberries at home, gardeners should find a patch of land that receives full sun and minimal wind. Commonly used materials in Michigan are sawdust, bark mulch, wood chips (often from grinding up trees and shrubs). Boysenberries are sweet, tart and nutrient-dense. Generally we mulch with whatever we can lay our hands on. Remember to till in the fertilizer and then re-mulch the soil each time. How to Grow Boysenberries in Zone 9. Untie and train along the support system in the spring. Depending on the location and variety, harvest time is generally in July and August. Fertilize the boysenberries with a 20-20-20 mix (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) at the beginning of spring and then every 4 weeks after that. Soil should be slightly acidic – so look for lots of organic material as an indicator. Harvesting the Boysenberries. If you have used a container to plant your boysenberry plant, you will need to water and fertilize it more often as most containers have limited volume. Growing boysenberries this way uses less space and makes it easier to pick the fruit. Boysenberries can be mixed with strawberries, raspberries and blackberries for a delicious mixed berry jam. Boysenberries don’t keep well so eat them quickly or freeze them in old ice cream containers, then they’ll last for months. Packed with vitamins C, E, B3, B5 and B6, boysenberries taste great raw, juiced, frozen or made into jam. Growing Boysenberries. Because they can spread as brambles, boysenberries can be grown on trellises. Pruning Cut out old canes following fruiting and leave new canes tied together with soft string over winter. The soil should be tilled thoroughly, working in plenty of compost and mulch. Mulch with well-rotted compost or manure Propagation Propagate by tip layering or from cuttings Suggested planting locations and garden types Banks and Slopes Hedging & Screens Cottage & Informal Garden How to care. If your soil is sandy or slightly sticky then you’ll need to add peat and well-rotted compost at the time of planting and continue to mulch with rich compost as your plants get established. Berries also preserve well using the “Hot Bath” method with Vacola or larger recycled jars. Boysenberries are actually a variety of blackberry. Avoid black walnut if you can. Vines should be planted about 3 feet (0.9 m) apart in the late spring colder climates or the late fall in warmer climates. Also, as the mulch slowly decompose, it also feeds the plants and keep the soil slightly acidic. I like to remove the seeds using a sieve after cooking them up when making jam, which makes a great Christmas gift that’s absolutely delicious. Sawdust should be aged a year before it is used. 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