Blackberry Overview

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Big blackberries!


Early 2014 was exceptionally cold, and killed about 90% of the older blackberry floricanes and all of the floricanes of the new 2013 planting. Floricanes are the second year canes that would produce fruit. We may bring a few to market, but it looks unlikely that we will open for limited picking. We do not expect this to hurt the plants permanantly, just this year's crop. Our older blackberries, up on Blueberry Hill, had been attacked by blackberry rosette disease. The most effective organic way to combat this is to mow them down, skipping a year's crop so we did not have blackberries available in 2012. The 2012 drought hurt them, but gave a fair crop in 2013 and we have hope for a good crop in 2015.

In spring 2013 we planted two 400 foot rows of new blackberries in the field by our strawberry plants. These are mostly thornless varieties said to be resistant to blackberry rosette disease. We planted Arapaho, Navaho,Ouachita, Apache, and Chester. These rows also include some Boysenberry and Loganberry, which are blackberry-raspberry hybrids that look pretty much like blackberries, but a different flavor. These should start have started bearing berries in 2014 but froze. It will probably be a few years for full production.

Blackberries have been rated the antioxidant champ.

Our older blackberry plants, up Blueberry Hill, are the thorny ones,
so dress appropriately for the challenge.

A shirt ripped by blackberry thorns
Wear extra sturdy clothes or those you don't mind being ripped.