Growing Berries in Your Backyard
Blackberries are well adapted to California, as most perform well both in hot inland areas and along the coast. They require full sun for best growth and fruit production. Although blackberries do well in a variety of soil types, they perform best well-drained, sandy loam or loam soils with a pH of 5.5 to 7.0. The soil should be well-drained to at least 2 feet deep. If the soil surface is compacted, or if hardpan is present in the top 2 feet of soil, the soil must be broken up or else roots will not grow and water will not drain properly. If your soil is poorly drained, plant on a small mound or berm (raised bed). Raised beds are generally about 8 to 10 inches high, about 3 feet wide and as long as you wish. All soils benefit by the thorough incorporation of well decomposed organic matter, such as a finished compost. Most berries are shallow rooted, and the roots occupy a space about 3 feet wide.