And now BLACKBERRIES!

reyesuela(z7a)May 6, 2012

What are your favorite varieties? I want, again, taste, season, and productivity.

I have room, again, for 12.

I'm in the mid-Atlantic.

Right now, I'm considering:

Choctaw

Kiowa

Obsidian

Navaho

Triple Crown

Doyle

Marion

Recommended for this area are:

Hull

Dirksen

Chester

Navaho

Arapaho

Apache

Darrow

Cherokee

Shawnee

Triple Crown

Chickasaw

You know, the UMD ag extension service seems kinda out of touch compared to Texas A&M's....or Oregon...or OSU...or Arkansas...or Purdue.... Sad.

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canadianplant

I planted a "chester" last year. It stayed green all winter under the snow. Wont know how productive it is till this year. All I can tell you is that its damn hardy (especially under snow or mulch).

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 10:54AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Yes, don't bother with the UMD recommendations. I sometimes look at neighboring states (PA/VA/WV/NC/etc) for recs.

Triple Crown is considered the best all-around blackberry. Navaho seems to be #2 but I have never grown it. My impression is it is as tasty as TC but has the thorn disadvantage. The rest of the eastern berries are not in the same league for flavor.

The best tasting blackberries are the western trailing types, but they are often not hardy and are more difficult to grow since the canes want to grow along the ground and you need to lift and tie them up. I wouldn't recommend Marion, I grew it for five years and it would die back unless covered for the winter. You can cover it every winter if you want; I have too many growing projects to be covering anything. Marion is the best-tasting blackberry I ever found, and if you look up taste tests you will find the same results there.

My recommendation for a western type is Kotata, it has proved to be very hardy for me and is very tasty. It has a small % of raspberry in its heritage and that shows up in the flavor. So, if you want a 100% standard kind you may want a different one. I am growing several others, including Obsidian, but I don't have good hardiness data yet. Many of them have proved to be not hardy (Cascade, Logan, Black Pearl, etc) so its a bit of a crap shoot.

Scott

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 11:09AM
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reyesuela(z7a)

I'm firmly 7a, not 6b at all (by Annapolis), and I think in a couple of other threads, you've talked about hardiness issues that aren't a problem for me.... So it might be that stuff is a BIT less marginal for me.

I'll definitely give Kotata a try!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 11:52AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

We aren't that far off, I am in zone 7 based on the actual temps at my house. I would have had more data this last winter since I have a dozen or so kinds of blackberries in the ground, but my lowest low was something like 13F, zone 8A temps!

Scott

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 2:52PM
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lucky_p

Love my Kiowas - but they are thorny devils. Huge berry, good flavor.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 4:48PM
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