For the past few years I have been growing a berry garden in the back yard. Each year I add a new variety that my family likes. This year I have been searching high and low for a blackberry bush. My husband and daughter love to eat these and I thought it would be fun to have them available whenever they want. Over time, there is also a huge cost benefit to growing your own berries.
After striking out at a few large nurseries in the area I started to doubt if one could even grow blackberries in Minnesota. Just to be sure, I went online and checked which zone I was in. There is a really helpful website run by the USDA. You merely have to put in your zip code and it will let you know which hardiness zone you are located in. If you are unsure of which zone you are in be sure to check www.planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/.
Once I found out my zone I was able to search online to see if any blackberries can be grown in zone 4b. Sure enough they can! On a whim I decided to search for these elusive blackberries online. It seemed really strange to purchase the plants without seeing them first, but I was out of options. Low and behold, sites like eBay and Amazon are loaded with plants for sale.
I took my time to read about each blackberry bush for sale. I wanted to make sure that it was suitable for zone 4, that the plant was already started (wasn’t in the market for seeds), and that it was from a garden in the United States. There were several options of where you can purchase your plants from on eBay, but I didn’t want to get into any customs issues ordering plants from overseas.
I found a great deal on two blackberry bushes from a gardener in Arkansas. They were shipped extremely quickly, each in it’s own container of dirt. I was a bit unsure how they would survive a couple days without water, but the seller smartly wet the soil and wrapped it in a plastic bag. Upon arriving at our house, the soil was still damp and the plant was alive.
As a bonus, one of the plants I bought had some insect damage on the leaf so the seller sent me an extra one for free!
The plants were $3.95 each and only cost $5.50 to ship. They came in great condition and I was able to plant them in my garden right away.
Next time you are searching for a specific plant, try online – if you buy from someone who is splitting their current crop, the prices should be cheaper than at a local nursery.