Blackberries & raspberries - death together?

mad_gardenerApril 2, 2010

In a fit of lust for luscious fruit, I succumbed to the urge to purchase both a raspberry (Latham) & blackberry (Jewel) plant at Pike's last week. However, since then I have read that the two should not be planted near to each other (one book recommed that they be planted at least six hundred feet apart). However, I have a wee parcel of land -- 1/4 acre -- and all my plants need to go behind the house, since I live in a neighborhood with covenants. So, my question is, how horrible would it be if I planted them together? Are they doomed if I do so? Do I really need to take the trip back to Pike's to exhange one of them for another plant of the other type? If so, what would you grow - raspberries or blackberries??? Help!

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The Jewel isn't actually a blackberry, it's a black raspberry. They are easy to confuse, but the way you can tell is that all raspberries have the hollow center when you pick them, but blackberries keep that center.

Now, on to your question: You aren't supposed to plant them close, but there are many people on this forum (myself included) who haven't had any problems with it. You might get a disease, but it's unlikely, unless you bought plants that are diseased or aren't disease resistant.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 2:08AM
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Mad Gardener:

I have had a row of red raspberries (Baba) flanked by trailing thornless blackberries (Triple Crown and Doyle) for about 12 years now. There have been no disease transference issues at all. That is not to say that it couldn't happen, but it has not happened to me. I am careful to monitor the appearance of wild blackberries around the property, however, and eliminate them with Roundup whenever found. I am much more concerned with the possibility of disease transference from the wild species.

But in order to test my theory, you will have to buy a real blackberry plant, and I am pretty sure that Jewel is a black raspberry. That may be considered good or bad news; Jewel is, I believe, one of the better and newer black raspberry varieties.

Since you don't say where you live, I cannot compare my zone 7 climate to yours, but I have tried growing Latham and found it seriously wanting. I would suggest planting one of the newer everbearing red raspberry varieties like Caroline (and there are several other good ones). Latham is a very old variety, and a summerbearer, which must winter over its canes to produce. I found it to be a very shy producer, and the berries soft, crumbly, and highly subject to mildew damage. I have not encountered these problems with everbearers, which produce on primocanes beginning in late summer and continue into fall.

I don't know for sure what Pike's is, (is that the market in Seattle?), but you might look around at internet or mailorder sources offering a wider selection of varieties than those that turn up by chance locally.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 2:25AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I have had my Jewels next to raspberries for going on 8 years and no problems here. I think that advice dates from when people would grab blacks from a wild stand and put them in their yard and the wild viruses would infect their reds. So, as long as the nursery stock is good I think its OK to do.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 9:10AM
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Madgardener: as far as winter hardiness, my overwintering Latham canes have easily shrugged off 17 below and even as low as 23 below with howling wind for 7 years now. The first winter I went to the trouble to dutifully bend them down and cover the tips while leaving a few up as a test. haven't bothered to bend them down since.

The Lathams aren't exactly bed hogs when it comes to putting up new primocanes, there are probably sweeter raspberries out there. I do get good production off the canes I get which are thinned to about 3/running foot of bed. One thing they definitely don't like is 100 degrees with full sun on the berries.

Thinking I'd try another floricane bearer, I planted Royalty 2 yrs ago. This year there are many beautiful canes with zero tip die back, I'm looking forward to a bumper crop.

Good luck and enjoy your berries.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 7:59PM
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Thank you for all of your input! I have decided to make a go of it with both, and have purchased a 'Jewel' raspberry, since the Latham got some negative reviews (I couldn't bear to return it though, since it's such a healthy looking little plant). Since all of you were so helpful, I was wondering if I could get some more advice!

I am going to plant my raspberries (2) and blackberry in two raised beds (the raspberries will go in one, the blackberry in the other). I have two eight foot poles (I'll be burying them 12-24 inches deep) that I am going to add crossbars (one set high, the other low) to so that I can run some wire to support the canes when they grow tall. My questions are:

1) How long & how wide should I make my raised beds?
2) How deep should the beds be?
3) Would you use untreated pine (I'll coat the outsides with a clear sealer) or treated landscape timbers?

Thank you again for all of your advice!!!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 1:22PM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

Hi Mad_Gardener-
You've got to be a little careful here... when you say "blackberry" above, are you talking about adding a new blackberry plant? If so, the amount of space you need for it depends on the variety/type. Or, are you still talking about your Jewel black raspberries. In that case, it sounds to me like your 8 foot poles are going to be overkill. A black raspberry trellis doesn't need to be as beefy as a tall blackberry trellis. The top of my Jewel's trellis is only at 3 feet high. As for how deep, bramble roots are usually very close to the surface, so I wouldn't make it all that deep. -Glenn

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 1:43PM
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Jewel is not a blackberry. It's a black raspberry. Black raspberries are not blackberries. Red raspberries can carry a latent virus, it doesn't affect them as much as other raspberries they are planted near. You are not in as much danger of this happening if you have purchased new, disease free red raspberry plants.

Plant the black raspberries upwind of the reds, and as distant as you can from each other. You'll probably do fine.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 12:09AM
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I have a question, I have triple crown blackberries, growing and have produced a lot of berries , I have black jewell raspberry plants planted in the next row, I just read that black rasberries planted with blackberries is death, question is or my blackberries doomed?.....I would appreciate if someone knows for sure one way or another.......rcj123 thanks in advance. THANK YOU.

Here is a link that might be useful: gardenweb

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 4:12PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

I think it's the other way around,where the Black Raspberries could get into trouble.
But as what was discussed above,it's mostly the wild Blackberries and Raspberries that can bring viruses,usually by Aphids. Brady

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 6:23PM
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thank you Braddybb for the info. I was afraid I had doomed my blackberries. rcj123

Here is a link that might be useful: gardedweb

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 11:11PM
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