Blackberries are a very easy fruit to grow. However tempting, do not grow plants unless you are certain they are virus-free since viruses are a widespread problem with blackberries. Select high quality plants from a nursery with a good reputation.
Types of Blackberries
(Credit to Colorado State University Extension for the detail on specific types of blackberries.)
Training blackberries produce vigorous primocanes (first-year vegetative cane) from the crown of the plant rather than roots. Second year floricanes produce long shaped fruit with relatively small seeds and a highly aromatic, intense flavor. They are not hardy in northern climates, experiencing damage at temperatures of 13°F in mid winter, and in the 20s°F in late winter/early spring.
Erect blackberries have stiff arching canes that are somewhat self-supporting. However, they are much easier to handle when trellised and pruned. Summer prune or tip primocanes to encourage branching and increase fruit production on the second-year floricanes. Plants can become invasive to an area as it can produce new primocanes (suckers) from the roots.
Erect blackberries which produce fruit with relatively large seeds. Flavor and aroma are not considered as intense as in the training blackberry cultivars. They are semi-hardy in climates with rapid springtime temperature shifts, like Colorado.
Primocane-fruiting cultivars of erect blackberries produce fruit on the new canes. This make management easier as the canes can be cut to the ground each winter.
Semi-erect blackberry plants are thornless and produce vigorous, thick, erect canes from the crown. No primocanes are produced from the roots (suckering). Prune primocanes in the summer to encourage branching and increase fruit production on floricanes. A trellis is required to support the canes. Semi-erect blackberries generally produce a higher yield than trailing or erect types. Fruit quality is similar to that of the erect blackberries.
Blackberry/red raspberry hybrids are generally natural crosses between blackberries and raspberries. Because the receptacle (white core) comes off with the fruit, they are generally considered a type of blackberry. Popular cultivars include Boysen (Boysenberry), Logan (Loganberry), and Tay (Tayberry).