Blackberries might be my favorite summer fruit of all time. I have many fond memories of eating them right off the vine or putting them on vanilla ice cream, or even trying to make my own blackberry jam.
I could reminisce on my childhood blackberry-filled snacks all day, but we’re here to talk about the best fertilizers for blackberry bushes!
There are tons of amazing options out there that I can’t wait to share with you, plus some of my tips and tricks on keeping your blackberries delicious all summer long.
Fertilizing your blackberry bush is the easiest way to get it to produce bigger and better fruit. Did you know that the fertilizer you apply to your plant directly impacts the taste of your berries? With the proper nutrition, you’ll have deliciously juicy fruit all season. Keep reading to learn how to properly fertilize your blackberries to maximize your harvest, and make them taste even sweeter!
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- Why you should fertilize your blackberries
- How to choose the right fertilizer for your blackberries
- How fertilizer will help to produce delicious fruit
- And much more!
Below is a quick list of my favorite fertilizers for blackberries. Keep scrolling to learn more of my top tips to choose and use the best fertilizer for your blackberry bush.
EcoScraps For Organic Gardening Berry Plant Food
|View on Amazon|
Dr. Earth Organic Fruit Tree Fertilizer
|View on Amazon|
Jobe's Organics Fruit&Citrus Fertilizer
|View on Amazon|
Berry-tone Fruit&Berry Food
|View on Amazon|
Miracle-Gro Performance Edibles Plant Nutrient Granules
|View on Amazon|
My Overall Top #1 Pick: EcoScraps for Organic Gardening Berry Plant Food
Although I love all of these awesome fertilizers, I couldn’t help but choose EcoScraps for Organic Gardening Berry Plant Food as my number one choice! There are tons of reasons why this fertilizer is my top pick—let’s jump right into them.
Okay, if you’ve read my Top 5 Best Organic Strawberry Fertilizers article, this product probably looks pretty familiar. And if you haven’t read it, then I’ll just tell you: this fertilizer is my top pick for strawberries, too!
There are a lot of reasons why this fertilizer is my top choice for both strawberries and blackberries. Objectively, it’s the best product for both types of berries. Here’s why:
Firstly, it’s organic. I love organic products for a whole bunch of reasons, especially for edible plants. Since the whole point of blackberries is to eat them, I prefer organic products. I’ll get into the specific differences between organic and inorganic products in just a bit, don’t worry.
Another huge perk about this fertilizer is that it’s made from recycled plant materials from all parts of the food life cycle. It helps to keep food waste out of landfills and nutrients in your garden. Of course, you could make your own compost, but this is a good time-saver.
It’s also formulated specifically for berries. The 4-5-4 nutrient composition is nice and gentle, but still strong enough to make an impact. That higher phosphorus number will also help promote fruiting. We’ll talk specifics later, but for now, just know that this nutrient composition is perfect for your blackberries.
The other great thing about this product (yes, there’s more) is that it isn’t too expensive. It comes in at about $4.35 per pound, which for a product this good, is pretty much nothing. Who doesn’t love helping the environment, saving a couple bucks, and fertilizing their garden with a high-quality product all at the same time?
I could go on and on about this product for ages, but I’ll spare you guys my rambling. Keep reading to learn more about the other awesome products on this list, and why choosing a high-quality fertilizer for your blackberries is so important!
Top 5 Best Fertilizers For Blackberries
In a hurry? Check out our top 5 picks below! Keep reading to learn more about these wonderful fertilizers for your blackberry bushes.
- EcoScraps for Organic Gardening Berry Plant Food (My Top Pick)
- Dr. Earth Organic Fruit Tree Fertilizer (Best High-End)
- Jobe’s Organics Fruit&Citrus Fertilizer (Best Pick For Mature Blackberry Bushes)
- Berry-tone Fruit&Berry Food (Best Pick For Young Blackberry Bushes)
- Miracle-Gro Performance Edibles Plant Nutrient Granules (Easy Application)
Why Should You Invest In A High-Quality Fertilizer For Your Blackberries?
Blackberries are a delicious and iconic summer fruit. When it’s harvest season, my whole world revolves around them—I don’t want to miss a single one! They’re absolutely divine, and investing in a high-quality fertilizer for them can strengthen every part of the plant.
Now, I won’t lie to you: blackberry bushes can be pricey. They aren’t $2 succulents you pick up at Lowe’s. They can be a bit of an investment depending on how many you get, so you want to ensure that they stay healthy and produce a good crop.
Fun fact about blackberries—did you know that blackberry canes are biennial, meaning they only produce fruit every other year? So your bush itself will produce fruit every summer, but each individual cane is biennial. And you can prune your blackberry bush to maximize your harvest:
By cutting away canes that have already borne fruit, you allow the plant to focus its energy on the new canes and producing fruit the following year. Talk about a life hack!
By investing in a high-quality fertilizer, you can double down on the benefits of pruning your blackberries. Say you invest in a fertilizer that promotes fruiting (like most of the ones on this list). By adding that to the soil, as well as pruning, you maximize the amount of fruit you’ll get the next season.
High-quality fertilizer can also help to prevent common diseases that can impact the health of your blackberries. Blackberries are pretty hardy plants, but they can catch a cold, too. It’s important to keep them healthy and happy so that you get the delicious fruit you deserve.
And since blackberries are perennials, meaning they come back every year, you want a fertilizer that will encourage strong root growth. You want to invest in a bush once and never have to replace it if you can help it, and strong roots are essential for weathering rough storms.
High-quality fertilizer can help your blackberries grow strong from their roots to the actual fruit they produce. The health of your plant impacts the taste of your fruit, so investing in a high quality fertilizer will literally give you a high quality product.
A high-quality fertilizer will have a balanced and specifically formulated ratio of nutrients made just for your berries. I try to stay away from generic, all-in-one fertilizers, especially when taste is involved. Like I said, a high-quality fertilizer means a high-quality berry, so you want a product that will really help you maximize their flavor.
Lucky for you, none of these fertilizers are generic—hooray! Keep reading to learn more about the specifics of choosing the right fertilizer for your blackberries to produce a delicious harvest.
How to Pick the Best Fertilizer For Your Blackberries?
An in-depth knowledge of fertilizer composition is vital for healthy growth for your blackberries, as the nutrients in your fertilizer have a direct correlation to the quality of your fruit.
Fertilizer is composed of three main ingredients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Any fertilizer you buy should have three numbers representing these three ingredients (they look like this: 10-10-10).
A good fertilizer for your blackberries will have a higher phosphorus content, and will also have generally low numbers. For example, my top pick has a nutrient formula of 4-5-4, which is nice and gentle, but still has that higher phosphorus number. Phosphorus is the nutrient that promotes fruiting, which is exactly what you want when growing berries.
There’s no need to stress over the numbers on your fertilizer, though. A little more nitrogen won’t hurt your blackberries. Phosphorus is simply the element that blackberries need more of to produce quality fruit, so as long as there’s a higher concentration of it, you’re good to go.
Any of the fertilizers in this article are great for your blackberries and are designed specifically for them. I wouldn’t steer you wrong! It’s always good to understand what the big three nutrients in fertilizer do for your plants, though.
Organic Versus Inorganic
In my experience, organic fertilizer is almost always better than inorganic, regardless of the type of plant. I definitely stick to organic fertilizers when dealing with two types of plants—ones that I eat, and ones that my pet could potentially eat.
All of the products on this list are organic, but that was not done on purpose. I chose the products that are objectively the best for your blackberries, and they all happen to be organic. For good measure, though, let’s get into the specific differences between organic and inorganic fertilizers.
Organic fertilizers are, obviously, all-natural. It doesn’t mean they’re safe to eat like a bowl of cereal, but they are safe to apply to the plants you eat. They’re also mostly non-toxic to animals, so if your dog gets into it, they might have an upset stomach, but it won’t be life-threatening.
Organic fertilizers are also less likely to crust on the soil or burn your plant, but when used properly, inorganic fertilizer shouldn’t do those things, either.
The hot summer sun can react with the added chemicals in an inorganic fertilizer and burn your plant, or the fertilizer won’t release the nutrients your plant needs at the roots. Again, when used properly, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Inorganic fertilizers typically have pesticides or some kind of additive in them to keep away bugs or other critters that could harm your blackberries. Despite some of the other problems they can cause, this is a huge perk!
Even though all the fertilizers on this list are organic, this is good knowledge to have as a gardener. Thanks for letting me share it with you! Now let’s get into the specific products on this list.
My Reviews of the Best Fertilizers For Blackberries
1. EcoScraps for Organic Gardening Berry Plant Food (My Top Pick)
This fantastic fertilizer has now been at the top of not one, but two of my lists!
The 4-5-4 nutrient composition is gentle enough to nurture even young plants, but strong enough to promote fruiting. You’ll be harvesting basketfuls of blackberries before you know it!
I love ecoscraps’ mission of “doing something good with the leftovers,” too. They help to keep food waste out of landfills but using it in fertilizer instead. It’s good for the environment and your wallet, and who doesn’t love that?
It’s also organic, which means it’s safe to use on plants you eat (aka blackberries) and it’s non-toxic in case your furry friend gets in there. It’ll definitely give them an upset stomach for a little while, but there aren’t any chemicals that can cause life-threatening damage.
The only downside is that even though it is non-toxic, it smells pretty good to dogs. Keep an eye on your pet to make sure they don’t go digging around your bushes after application.
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ Made just for berries|
+ Keeps waste out of landfills
+ Increases crop yield
|– Smells really good to dogs|
– Best for mature plants since it promotes fruiting
2. Dr. Earth Organic Fruit Tree Fertilizer (Best High-End)
This product is my high-end pick, but in my opinion, it’s worth the money for your blackberries!
It’s people and pet safe, which is good if you have a nosy dog around, and the 5-5-2 nutrient composition promotes both healthy leaf growth and delicious berries. This fertilizer is also designed to strengthen your blackberry bush’s roots, keeping it strong and healthy from head to toe (or… leaf to roots?)
The only downside is that it’s pretty stinky. Best to keep this one in the shed, not in your house!
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ Encourages strong root growth|
+ Equally promotes leaf and berry growth
|– Has a strong and unpleasant odor|
– Dogs (somehow) like the smell and may try to get into it
3. Jobe’s Organics Fruit&Citrus Fertilizer (Best Pick For Mature Blackberry Bushes)
This granular plant food is perfect if you’re gardening on a budget, but still want to give your blackberries some high-quality nutrients.
This is another awesome organic product (yay!) and it’s made with Biozome, which is a healthy mix of bacteria designed to encourage strong growth. You’ll be seeing stronger roots and fuller foliage in no time, not to mention abundant harvests!
The 3-5-5 nutrient composition is also nice and gentle, but still strong enough to produce results. It’s best for mature bushes since it promotes fruiting. Young blackberry bushes should focus their energy on leaf growth, so I recommend this for fruiting plants.
This is a slow-releasing product, so you only need to apply every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. Of course, you can apply more infrequently if you don’t think your bushes need it, but I recommend following the packaging!
The only downside I could find with this product is that, like a lot of organic products, it smells great to dogs. Again, it’s non-toxic, but it can cause some unsavory stomach problems and no one wants that. Keep away from curious pets!
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
+ Made just for fruit
+ Improves overall soil structure and quality
+ Increases crop yield
|– Can upset a dog’s stomach|
– Not great for young blackberry bushes
4. Berry-tone Fruit&Berry Food (Best Pick For Young Blackberry Bushes)
This fertilizer is another excellent option for your blackberries! It is also organic and also granular.
This fertilizer is designed to help your blackberry bushes produce more delicious fruit. It’s also slow-releasing, which again, is great for forgetful gardeners like myself!
Although it doesn’t say it’s made for blackberries, this fertilizer is still great for them. The 4-3-4 nutrient composition isn’t too harsh, and like I said, it’s organic.
However, it’s best for younger blackberry bushes, in my opinion. While it does help produce tastier fruit, the higher nitrogen content promotes green leafy growth rather than fruiting. I find it best to use this product on younger plants, then switch to a product with a higher phosphorus content for fruiting.
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
+ Produces tasty fruit
+ Great for younger plants
+ Won’t burn your bushes
|– Tends to promote leaf growth rather than fruiting|
5. Miracle-Gro Performance Edibles Plant Nutrient Granules (Easiest Application)
And last but certainly not least, we have this slow-releasing granular fertilizer from Miracle-Gro.
Unless you’ve been living off the grid your whole life (in which case, welcome to the Internet), you’ve heard of Miracle-Gro. They’re the biggest name in gardening, and I’m so happy they’re introducing organic products.
The 7-6-9 nutrient composition is stronger than the others on this list and in my opinion, is best for well-established blackberries.
This product is by far the easiest to use thanks to the design—the lid actually opens up so you can sprinkle it right onto your soil. Super convenient for when it’s July and 110 degrees and you really, really want to run back inside.
The only reason this fertilizer is not higher on my list is actually the nutrient content. The lower phosphorus content in comparison to the nitrogen content means more leaf growth than fruit growth. However, the stronger concentration of potassium could help you out. Regardless, there will be growth!
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ Trusted brand|
+ Will encourage rapid growth
+ Easy application
|– Lower phosphorus content|
– Convenient application makes it easy to be heavy-handed
My Top Pick: EcoScraps for Organic Gardening Berry Plant Food
In my opinion, you can’t find a better fertilizer for your blackberries than EcoScraps for Organic Gardening Berry Plant Food!
This fertilizer is designed specifically for berries, so your blackberry bushes will get all the nutrients they need and nothing that they don’t. It’s organic, and I love the way that this company uses food waste to create its fertilizers. It’s like I’m helping the environment as a whole, and my own garden, at the same time!
And if you’re not too keen on granular fertilizer, why not simply transform it into liquid for easier application? It takes all of 5-minutes’ work, and you still get all the benefits of the product with the convenience of a liquid. Win-win!
The 4-5-4 nutrient composition is gentle enough for young plants, but there’s still that extra boost of phosphorus to promote fruiting. You’ll be enjoying delicious blackberries all summer long thanks to this awesome fertilizer.
Final Thoughts On The Best Fertilizers For Blackberries
I’m making myself miss summer just by thinking about blackberries! They’re definitely my favorite fruit (mangoes are a close second though) and nothing beats popping one off the vine and right into your mouth. Like I said before, a high-quality fertilizer will help you harvest high-quality berries.
With the right fertilizer (aka just about any of the ones on this list), you’ll be enjoying delicious blackberries and abundant harvests before you know it. I hope you have your canning jars out to make some homemade jam!