Loch Ness Blackberry

drewbym(MO6B)June 3, 2013

Has anyone out there tried growing the Loch Ness Blackberry?

If so, what was your experience? How does it compare to other semi-erect blackberries such as Triple Crown or Chester? Does it sucker, or only tip layer? How does it taste?

Thanks!

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murkwell

Tip layers, but doesn't seem to difficult to contain. Its vigorous and productive of very high quality fruit (uniform full berries, easy to pick, easy to freeze and bag individually).

The flavor is extremely tart and unique. Its great for cooking. If you let it get dead ripe to the point of nearly falling apart when you touch it, just before spoiling, the flavor is more balanced without nearly so much zing. Before that it is almost like sweet-tart candies. It is very flavorful but I wouldn't say classically blackberry or marionberry-like.

Of the 6 or 7 blackberry varieties I tried, I found this one of the most useful because if its consistency and ease of picking. Once established it seemed to do pretty well under relative neglect.

Take this for what its worth. I'm near Portland Oregon and my blackberries are planted between two single story houses that are close together in shallow, very well drained soil.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 1:46AM
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drewbym(MO6B)

Thank you for your reply. Have you grown any of the more widely known cultivars such as Triple Crown and Chester? If so, how does Loch Ness compare?

Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 9:11AM
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jtburton

Does anyone else grow Loch ness? How is the flavor? I'm thinking of using it for jam if it is really tart but would like some variety for fresh eating. I have Black Satin and the flavor is not so good and it ripens in the middle of SWD season. Ideally, I would hope that Loch Ness would ripen before Triple Crown which would be before the SWD season in my area.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 7:00PM
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drewbym(MO6B)

jtburton,

I just started my Loch Ness this spring. I'm hoping for a good crop next year. I'll let you know how it compares to Black Satin, Chester, Triple Crown, and Doyle next spring.

How have the SWD been this year for you? They ruined about half of my crop. I didn't use any insecticides this year which I've really regretted. Next year I'll have them on a rotation between malathion and something else once the fruit starts to blush. I'd rather take my chances with pesticides than to eat little white worms. Yuck.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 8:53PM
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jtburton

I'm assuming it is SWD, based primarily on the fruit fly larva in the berries. I had it two years in a row but it does not generally arrive until late July / early August. I was able to harvest about 80% of my triple crown blackberries, which produced a lot of berries this year despite suffering cold damage during my really cold winter. I'd prefer not to use pesticide if I can help it and have not sprayed for SWD yet.

The few berries that are ripe now I find myself chewing and swallowing them quickly. Hopefully SWD larva and eggs are safe to eat :-(

This post was edited by jtburton on Mon, Aug 4, 14 at 21:06

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 9:03PM
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jtburton

drewbym,

Are you still growing boysenberries and loganberries? Any other trailing blackberries?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:21PM
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drewbym(MO6B)

Yes, sir. Boysenberries and Loganberries are established. I put out Newberry, Kotata, and Siskiyou this year.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:23PM
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jtburton

I overwintered several varieties of trailing blackberries that I planted in the ground. Siskiyou and Kotata handled the cold well. I really like the Siskiyou blackberries but the Kotata didn't seem to have a lot of flavor. Both of these varieties are growing like crazy this year since the temperatures have been lower and the rain has been consistent. I think my Kotata may have 20ft canes this year though Siskiyou has been even more vigorous. I have added Newberry and Columbia Star this year.

My boysenberries suffered a trifecta of vole damage, cane borers, and cold damage. I had to remove a whole 15ft row of them and start over. The few berries I ate off the potted boysenberries were really good if I left them on and get very ripe. The loganberries though, didn't not have a great flavor, in my opinion. I wonder if some of these varieties just don't ripen properly in my climate. The best tasting berry this year was Marion. They had a tough time with the cold but what lived produced excellent tasting fruit.

How well did yours overwinter?

This post was edited by jtburton on Tue, Aug 5, 14 at 22:44

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:43PM
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2010champsbcs

Triple Crown was my winner this year. Cane borers eliminated most of my Natchez plants and seem to be my worst issue. Good luck, Bill

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 5:40AM
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jtburton

'Nightfall' blackberry has also been noted for a good 'jam' berry but I can't find that one for sale anywhere. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 9:58AM
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jtburton

drewbym,

I had both Siskiyou and Kotata fruit this year. Siskiyou is excellent! It's only second behind Marion in the best-flavored blackberries I have tried. Kotata is supposed to be flavorful but mine did not ripen with any flavor. Marion is excellent and you should give one a try if you have a chance. It stands by itself for flavor but it isn't very cold hardy. Columbia Star is the variety that is being hailed as a replacement for Marion, so I'm looking forward to trying that fruit next year, assuming it overwinters OK.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 7:27PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I also have Loch Ness, but it is a new plant. It's growing the best of any new additions. I do want it for cooking.
Siskiyou sounds good. I do need more for fresh eating. Most of what i have is best cooked. I look forward to trying it. I have to check on that tip root of the wyeberry, see if it took! It's the longest cane of the plant. it's not a very vigorous grower. But that can be a good thing at times. Although when new last year it was 6 inches. This year is more like it's first year. It may grow crazy next year.
What I need is a new yard with more room!!!!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 9:17PM
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jtburton

Your Siskiyou has grown to about 6ft, so you should have some fruit on it next year. I have moved it into partial sun to slow it down. I'll add in a Marion if you want one. I have several small ones and no more room. Did I recall correctly that you had some tayberries producing this year? How do they taste? I bought a couple of them to use for jam. Aside from caneberries, I have grapes for the first time. Concord seedless and Mars (essentially Concord Seedless but more resistant to fungus). I'm trying to figure out what to do with them.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 9:39PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Yes, I did get a few tayberries. The birds stole most of them! Argh! I thought it was tart, but good. Probably dead ripe it may be sweet. Great for jam! The wyeberry is really similar, to tell the truth it was hard to tell them apart. The birds preferred the tayberries! They did eat the wyeberries, but left more for me. One difference is the wyeberry seems to produce consistantly large fruit, where the tayberries had small and large fruit. It may be that they are fairly new plants. I suspect when bigger they will produce larger fruit. My dog has been slipping, letting the birds in the yard. I'm trying to teach him to chase them, but he tells me he prefers keeping the squirrels out. I have to figure a way to get it across to him. I will have to net next year. I didn't want to net for a few berries. My Natchez had one long cane that survived and it is netted, all fruit not ripe yet. My Chandler blueberry is netted too, still producing also.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 9:54PM
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jtburton

My last fruiting blueberry is Tifblue, a rabbiteye. These are supposed to be hardy only to zone 7 but my two plants survived last winter and fruited, albeit lightly.

Caroline and Anne are fruiting and my Prime Ark 45 will be ready in about 3 weeks.... and then that's it for the year.

I may add one more row of plants. I'm tip rooting my black raspberries and may plant more of those in that extra row along with Nantahala raspberries. Loch ness will be used to replace Black Satin. I'm going to tiproot Newberry as well and use those to replace Kotata if it doesn't taste any better next year.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 10:17PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I'm not sure how long my raspberries will produce? Probably till near October. Last year a few didn't make it to full ripeness in October before the frosts hit. They were new though, i expect them to flower earlier. Still I bet I have raspberries till October. Time will tell! Oh, and yes, i'll take Marion for sure! Worse case it doesn't make it.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 10:58PM
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