(Rubus spp.) When you think blackberries, many people think of the Pacific Northwest. While it is true that many are grown there, they can generally be prolific wherever temperatures do not drop below minus 10, with mulching you can extend this further. They tolerate and prefer warm weather more than most berries. The varieties differ in erect or trailing and are noted below. Except for Prime Ark, they are biennial bearing (each cane giving fruit its second year). Of course they do grow new canes every year so cropping is annual and occurs midseason. Blackberries are heavy producers so be prepared for abundant harvests, delicious for fresh eating, freezing and preserves.
Snowbank - A White Blackberry? That's right! Snow-white berries are translucent, milky-white in color but have all the flavor of a “normal” blackberry. Berries stay whiter than other similar varieties as berries ripen, and with much better flavor. A vigorous, trailing-type grower with good disease-resistance. Ripens in late July. Originated in 1916 by Luther Burbank as an improved form of his original white blackberry, ‘Iceberg’. Self-pollinating, floricane. $12.95 1 gal size
Apache is an erect, thornless blackberry bush released by the University of Arkansas. It produces higher yields and larger fruit than the other thornless cultivars, 'Arapaho' and 'Navaho'. 'Apache' produces a 10 g berry, which is the largest of the three thornless cultivars. Berries are conical in shape with a glossy black finish. Canes of Apache Thornless Blackberry are more erect than other thornless varieties and can be grown without a trellis when primocanes are tipped at 42" to control length and encourage lateral shoot growth- $14.95 2-3 GAL
Ouachita -This blackberry is the latest release from the University of Arkansas. Ouachita, pronounced WAH-shitah, is a very upright growing vigorous thornless blackberry. Plants can be self-supporting when primocanes are tipped at 42 inches. However, trellising may be needed to keep a full crop from leaning out of the row. Fruit quality is excellent. Berries are firm, sweet and larger than Navaho and Arapaho, but smaller than Apache, averaging 6 grams each. Fruit matures about 7 days before Navaho. Yields are high, sometimes exceeding those of Apache and Navaho in most tests and Arapaho consistently. Shown to be disease resistant under most conditions. $14.95 2-3 GAL
Triple Crown is the newest thornless blackberry from the Agricultural Research Service's Fruit Laboratory in Bellsville, MD. The berry is named for its three crowning attributes-flavor, productivity and vigor. The plants yield large, glossy black fruits that are pleasantly firm and able to withstand the rigors of shipping. Attractive and flavorful, it ripens a week or so earlier than another widely planted berry, "Chester Thornless" and is reputed to have the largest yield, up to 30 lbs. per plant! Sold out for 2020