The Austin Mays blackberry is called a "dewberry" by many old timers and commercial growers, because it does not grow erect or semi-erect like other a majority of other blackberries, however, these somewhat thorny blackberry vines can climb to some extent above older canes on top of each other, which is a desirable characteristic that keeps the dewberries lifted out of the dirt and protects them from the contamination of mud splashing on them. The large delicious berries produced by the Austin Mays dew berry once grew along the edges of native woodlands - plants that were American colonist selections from native American trailing blackberry bushes that were superior to the original dewberry parents - in size, flavor and home garden production. The Austin Mays dewberry ripens earlier than other blackberries; beginning to form berries in May and extending for 30-45 days, which is a full month before blackberries ripen.
Some growers of blackberries prefer to stake the Austin Mays plants for easier berry picking and cleaner berries off the ground. When staked or trellised the Austin Mays berries hang above splashing rain water and mud. Austin Mays Blackberry plants normally thrive in very poor soils that are well drained, but a little 8-8-8 fertilizer sprinkled above the vines in the Fall that will increase the size and number of the berries. The thorns of the Austin May Dewberry vine seem forbidden to the hands picking the large berries on the interior portions of the vine.
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