Now when I say “blackberry” let’s get one thing straight. I’m not talking about the electronic organiser that caused the recent Barack Obama controvery. Not that I didn’t have issues of my own when it came to putting a blackberry plant in our bramble row. When we bought our block at Icy Creek five years ago, the paddocks were two metres high with these prickly pests of plants, and we’re still fighting to keep them at bay. But the Thornless Blackberry plant I bought at a nursery will not, I’m assured, take hold of the region. And if only grows as half as well as its wild cousins we should have enough fruit for blackberry icecream next summer. That’s providing we don’t pull them out by accident.
Our other newcomer, the Thornless Youngberry is a domesticated version of a berry that was itself first cultivated in the US in 1905. I’ve read that this variety doesn’t fruit quite as prolifically as the thorny youngberry, but with any luck it will be fully productive within three years.
There’s a huge range of blackberries and related soft fruit varieties on the market these days, and this excellent piece from the TyTy Nursery in Georgia helps explain how they’ve been engineered into existence. Did you know, for instance that “the “Youngberry “was developed in 1905 in Morgan City, Louisiana; it is a cross between Luther Burbank’s, Phenomenal Berry, and the Austin-Mayes Dewberry, a trailing blackberry. This berry had excellent qualities, such as taste and high yields, and it soon replaced the Loganberry of California after its release”? Who would have thought?
I am on a bit of a learning curve when it comes to bramble berries, and so I’m keen to hear from anyone who has had success with a particular variety, or who can suggest what else we might want to try bunging in the ground, bearing in mind we’re a cool climate location about the same latitude as Melbourne, but 500 metres above sea level.