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Old 12-06-2018, 01:59 AM
 
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I may want to grow various berries in SW Washington or NW Oregon. Wild blackberries grow all over the area.
Would 60 inches of rain per year be enough so I can forgo watering? Half that rain is from mid Nov- mid Feb but every month has some even if only 2" during mid summer months.


I ask because I wont be living there year-round.
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:31 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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The wild blackberries are well established and are growing naturally in areas like the side of the road, where water runs off. Chances are good that once we’ll established they will do OK without being watered, but until the roots get deep, 2-3 years, they will need watering in July and August. We get 60” here, and I still have to water the apple trees, roses, and other younger trees in August.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
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Depends on the type of berry.

But it isn't just the annual amount of rain that counts, it's when the rain occurs, how much moisture the soil retains, and also what you expect as a crop. Most berries are perennial plants, and they also increase vegetatively. Berries that grow wild in the PNW are adapted to summer drought, and don't "need" to produce fruit/seeds every year in order to maintain their population, and their domesticated cousins - raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries - are the same.

If it's a dry year, and/or if you have planted your berries in a site where the plants have no access to subsurface water (those wild blackberries flourish on moister sites, not drier) you won't see a lot of fruit if you don't water. OTOH, the berries you do get will likely be sweeter - and smaller. If they don't dry into raisins before they're ripe.

Or you could try extreme mulching in order to preserve soil moisture after the rains stop. Depending on your soil type, that might work for you.

Or - you could just water every couple of weeks. They won't need much, and you'll reliably get a more bountiful crop.
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Old Today, 08:59 PM
 
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Blueberries need to be watered. During the winter there is too much water for them when they don't need much, so they need excellent drainage. They like an inch/week, but benefit from more than that while they are making berries, and it can be a long time between rains during the summer.


Strawberries don't need the regular watering that blueberries do.
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