berry report

lycheeluva(6/7)July 13, 2009

Hinnonmaki Red- excellent sweet tart flavor. not a ton of berries but the plant is young. will buy some more plants as these were excellent.

yellow raspberry- think it is anne- excellent flavor- large size- pretty heavy bearing. definite keeper.

blackberry- am growing cascade, cascade trailing, and marionberry. unfortunately, i lost the tags so i dont know which is which. the plants are 2 years old. one of the plants, thornless, produced a ton of very large berries, but even when very black r still tart. one or two of them were seet and those were good. so pretty disappointing but will give it another year to see if flavor improves. the second plant produced a small number of berries that were also a little tart. will give it another year. the 3rd plant didnt fruit this year.

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Marion is thorny.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 1:17AM
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theaceofspades(7 Long Island)

Tristar strawberry sweet blast of flavor-ymmm

Meeker raspberries large and dry with little flavor

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 6:24AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

LL, a fully ripe blackberry should not be tart. Its not how black they are, its how shiny they are. Pick only when they start to dullen if you want them for fresh eating. Think paint: gloss, semi-gloss, flat. Pick at flat, never at gloss. Semi-gloss can be OK depending on variety. You can also tell apart your varieties as follows: smallest berry is cascade trailing; it also has pointy leaves. Middle is Cascade (I think its leaves are also pointy). The big ones are Marions (leaves not pointy). I have all three of those and they are excellent berries; their only problem is lack of hardiness.

I agree on Hinnomaki Red - its worked well for me. My gooseberries were not as sweet this year and I'm not sure why.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 9:51AM
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...unless your blackberry is the fabled triple-crown variety; it sweetens up while glossy and retains some gloss even after falling to the ground when over-ripe.

Otherwise, Scott's gloss factor has been my experience also.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 1:29AM
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thanks for the info. was aware of the gloss factor but unfortunately, my blackberries tend to go bad and/or get eaten by bugs/birds within minutes of turning dull. i guess the one or two sweet berries i encountered were ones that had turned dull and had not yet gone bad or bean eaten by bugs.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 7:05AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Larry, I would put triple crown in the semi-gloss when ripe category.

If you have young plants with only a few berries the pests can get them all. Once the plants are bigger you may be doing better to keep them on. My Triple Crown stand is getting old and produces relatively few berries and I got almost no good ones off of it last year since the pests were outnumbering the berries. In past years I was harvesting a ton.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 10:40AM
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mootube(UK 9 - 8b)

Not many tasted this year so far:

Strawberry Cambridge favorite - Very good tasting berry with a balanced sweetness, about 15 per plant and perfect with cream. 38]

Rubus odoratus or Thimbleberry - I found one small shriveled, berry which squished instead of picked after a fair show of flowers. High seed & skin to juice ratio. Not a bad mild raspberryesque taste but very poor plant for fruit production, at least here in the UK.

Jostaberry - A new plant came with one black under-ripe berry which tasted like an insipid gooseberry. Apparently they take a blackcurrant flavour when ripe.

Redcurrant Redlake - Some good bunches of fruit were the favorite new haunt of my new fair feathered friends. The few they left me I was impressed with, eaten from the plant.

Tayberry - My plant gives very nice tasting berries, no exception this year. I was surprised that an under ripe berry tasted acid free with a very weak but good taste.

Berberis Darwini - I've been nibbling at these a bit early this year, if you can leave them get over ripe they are much better but all mine will be used to make wine.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 2:31PM
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theaceofspades(7 Long Island)

A few more

Jonkers Van teets currants were more tart than Red lake. The Red Lake were milder. I need to find a way to cut the 'concentrated' juice with apple.

A couple Blue Bell Honey berry plants had a smooth blueberry flavor, no crunch. I was surprised because I read that these were not so good. Not even a cross pollinator. Worth growing.

Asparagus is not a berry, but I harvest mine in April and they are so sweet and tender. Once you try home grown you'll dig a patch immediately.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 9:15PM
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Scott, yes, semi-gloss when ripe and easy to pull, but acquires some sweetness when still glossy.

Allowing some tip-rooting in the fall could eventually rejuvenate your triple-crowns.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 12:40AM
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alan haigh

Ace, I throw black currants in a blender with fresh apple juice although any apple juice or concentrate would work. I then just pour it through a standard metal strainer and it makes the most delicious drink.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 5:27AM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

Triple Crowns for me had very large berries but ripened unevenly. I hope for better this year.

Red Currants had a bumper crop, I am going to try to make wine from them to save freezer space.

Black Currants- also good yields this year but again infested with some kind of maggot.

Red Velvet and Oregon Champion gooseberries- really great yields this year as opposed to nearly none some years. Nice flavor when really ripe.

I've had some disease affect my raspberries, the fruiting cane and leaves will start turning brown and the berries will dry up, still small.

Chilliwack raspberries- very large, flavorful berries but diminishing from the disease that has been affecting my raspberries.

Meeker or Newburgh, not sure which- early, flavorful, but affected by disease.

Willamette- very flavorful, affected by disease.

Latham- small round berries, really pumping out the canes now and the berries, unaffected by disease. This is my current hope of growing raspberries that are healthy, I will be replacing the other varieties with them.

Viking Aronia- not ripe until fall, but loaded with berries very high in anthocyanins, high ORAC values, very easy to harvest and freeze since the clusters all ripen at once, great in sugarfree gelatin sweetened with Stevia, or some honey.

Blueberries- great fruits, lots of varieties give me extended harvest, favorites are probably Berkeley, Herbert, Bluecrop, Misty, Sunshine Blue, but they're all great.

Illinois Everbearing Mulberries- nice flavor, good yields

Weeping Mulberries- small berries but very heavy yields, weeping form hides berries from birds

Lavender Mulberries- small berries, not much flavor but pleasant.

Oscar- diseased, some kind of canker on main trunk so that sap doesn't get up to leaves enough, fruit doesn't form. Will probably cut it down this year, I wonder if trying to root cuttings from the branches would get rid of the disease or if it wouldn't grow on it's own roots anyway.

theaceofspades- I'm somewhat interested in Honey berries, how do they compare with actual blueberries in taste, yield, and eating quality? They are a lot more expensive.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 5:44AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Larry, I tip-rooted a new stand of Triple Crowns but I think I have them in too much shade and the new stand is not doing any better than the old one (it has even less sun). Partly for this reason I started a new stand of blackberries in a sunny location. In the new spot I am only growing the western trailing types.

Here is my berry report so far:

Blueberries - all good. I have around ten kinds and I like them all. I keep trying new varieties to see if one really stands out but so far not.


Jonkheer van Tets - this guy is my best red currant - biggest berries best flavor.

Rovada - first year for these. By the time they were ripening the birds had caught on and I didn't get any fully ripe ones. Next year all the currants get netted. They were not quite as big as the JvT but were more consistent in size. The flavor of the almost-ripened ones leads me to believe they will be very good.

Red Lake - berries are tiny compared to the two above; not worth growing and may get pulled. Taste fine but not as good as the two above. The birds didn't even like them.

Minaj Smyriou - an excellent black currant. Need to pick at uniformly very dark color to avoid too much of that odd black currant flavor. If they are allowed to sit a day inside they will lose all of it.


My gooseberries this year did not ripen as sweet as they usually do, I'm not sure why. They are in a new location and maybe that is part of it. Or maybe they need a few more years to mature.

Hinnomaki Red - Great gooseberry, aromatic, no disease problems on the plant.

Poorman - for some reason my new stand of Poorman is not producing the huge berries like my old one did -- ?? Also not as sweet. My older stand was in a more shady area so maybe that is a factor. Anyway they are still very good, they are in fact quite similar to the Hinno Red to the extent that they would be hard to tell apart. It almost makes me wonder if there was a nursery mix-up.

Black Velvet - I got these because the description mentioned a blueberry flavor; maybe there is a bit of that but its pretty mild. It is a good-tasting gooseberry in any case and is somewhat different than the red and yellow ones (its purple). However I have lost a couple plants and I am wondering if it is as durable as the other two.


Prelude - I got a huge crop in June in spite of mowing them down over the winter. I have also gotten a good fall crop in past years; given my huge spring crop I will be interested to see how big the fall crop will be. I like these guys so much I put in a new planting this spring. They are not quite as sweet as the Carolines but still excellent overall.

Caroline has not fruited yet this year.

Jewel - a great black raspberry. I also added a stand of Bristol this spring. I love blacks and am looking forward to more of them.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 11:26AM
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Honoeye and Earliglow: lots of very tasty berries with great strawberry flavor (juicy, sweet with balancing acid). I planted more of both this year.

Sparkle: small, often mold covered berries with good flavor. I thinned them fairly well, but apparently not enough. Considering ripping them out.

Tristar: virtually ignored in May/June, but now much appreciated for small, but tasty berries.


Prelude: mine are still young, so the June harvest was small, but the berries I got were very good. Like those above, IÂm also glad I planted a few more rows.

Kiwi Gold and Heritage: summer crop was good, but smaller than normal.

Anne: small early summer crop of very tasty berries. IÂm glad I planted more.

Jewel (black): early crop of great tasting berries. I didnÂt realize how good black raspberries were. ScottÂs post has got me thinking of planting some Bristol to extend the BR season.

Royalty: my first crop was really bland. I may replace with some Jewel tiproots.

Tayberry: very large, tart berries. I eat them because they are there but I wouldnÂt recommend planting them.

Wineberries: tasted a lot better than expected and were appreciated as a raspberry substitute between seasons. Grows like crazy. Now I see why there are invasive.


Triple Crown: this was my first harvest and I loved the fat, juicy, sweet berries. IÂm glad I planted more in the fall b/c these will make excellent smoothie fodder.


The best: Brigetta, Legacy, Ozarkblue, and Elizabeth were all outstanding. If I had to pick a favorite of these 4 excellent varieties, Legacy might be it, but it is very close call.

The rest: Oneal was good. Patriot productive, but too sweet and lacked any balancing acid. My least favorite. Tifblue had good flavor, but a mealy texture. Elliot is appreciated for the season extension, but berries have a strange aftertaste.


Crandall black: small crop on young plant was very good. IÂm going to plant a few more in a more shaded spot.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 2:50PM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

Hi Djofnelson-
So, would you say that your wineberries are more invasive than a typical raspberry would be? By a little/lot? That's the only reason that I've hesitated to plant them. Are you attempting to contain yours? Then again, if mine were to break out of containment and starting over the woods, it would probably be better than all the greenbriers, poison ivy and poison oak!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 3:29PM
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theaceofspades(7 Long Island)

hemnancy, first season getting Honey berries from 3 year old plant. I do like the plant it has a peeling bark similar to a grapevine. No thorns and the leaves are rounded. The berries when ripe are all juice inside the skin. The taste is mild sweet blueberry with a slight bitter texture that is good. They ripen in early June.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 3:54PM
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Glenn, it depends on the criteria. They won't take over your yard with suckers because they tip root. However, they are more invasive in your local ecosystem than normal raspberries (e.g., in forest understory because of their adaptability to thriving in the shade, etc.). I foolishly bought a plant before I stumbled upon a thicket in the woods near my house (I should have read between the lines in Edible's catalog about "naturalizing through much of the East"). I'd recommend giving them a try, though, because they are tasty, timely, and very productive.

Here is a link that might be useful: wineberries

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 4:48PM
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