I am planting black berry this fall & wondering which stand up best in jelly,jam & cobblers?
Arapaho, Apache, Triple Crown. Honestly makes little difference in flavor as the main consideration is thorny vs. thornless. Those are all big-berry, thornless varieties.
the most important issue is to get the variety best suited for your area. The extension office (or friends and other growers) can give you that information. Have fun
Backyardbum, that is why I put my zone8 in the question.
I got a link off this site that will sale the bushes every cheap/low cost per 100.
So I only need to pick a variety or two.
I have been told thornless is not as sweet as thorny, but I was raised on wild berries, so what do I know.
Thorny do tend to be smaller berries so the flavor is perhaps concentrated a bit more. But since making jam calls for cooking down anyway that effect is minimal.
And like most fruits and vegetables, much of the flavor is dependent on the soil they are grown in and the growing conditions provided. Wild berries are dependent on rainfall for moisture while gardeners tend to over-water domestic plants - some thing to be avoided.
Did not know you could over water brambles.
I will watch for that, I have tons of raspberry plants & never fertilize & rarely water them.
I don't know if your Extension agent would recommend it or not, but the Marionberry (aka Marion blackberry) has, perhaps, the most complex flavor of the domestic blackberry varieties. It is wonderful for preserves, pies, fresh eating.
Personally, I find a lot of thornless varieties bland.
Here is a link that might be useful: Marionberry Wiki
I end up freezing most berries for processing later, too busy during picking season to spend much time in the kitchen. Comparing to our wild native berry: I find after freezing and thawing, I need to drain Marionberry and reduce/concentrate the juice by simmering (separate from the berries) for pies and cobblers, works better for me than adding more thickeners to my recipes.
My fav blackberry IS our wild native blackberry (thorns and all) and I'm a Z8, but it's not going to grow well in your summer heat - not all Z8s are created equal:)
Your extension program lists some blackberries and their pros and cons (like disease resistance) for your state....
Here is a link that might be useful: NCSU.edu growing blackberries
No argument from me on the wild. They're smaller and seedier but oh, the flavor.
Here in NC the native blackberries are insipid and have ten times as many thorns, I swear, as any other native. I planted thornless Arapaho from Stark Bros and a plastic bagged no-name from the big-box store. Both are tasty but the named one has three times as large canes (and therefore more berries).
I lived in WA and OR and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, quite as wonderful as the Marion natives there - thorns and all. I've tried growing them in 4 other states and they just don't make it. I personally think it is the volcanic ash in the Pacific NW's soil. LOL from she who witnessed Mt St Helen's.
Here is a link that might be useful: Stark Bros Nursery
Well, maybe some of that old volcanic ash from Mt. St. Helens' earlier eruptions. Marionberries have been around since the late 1940's.
We used to have a beautiful view of Mt. St. Helens from our dining room window. I'll never forget the 1980 blow-up and will be glad not to repeat the experience.
They do love the sandy soils, so I expect a measure of volcanic silica might keep them happy too. Some of our best harvests of berries and pie cherries came from the fields down by the river. They flooded in the winter leaving loads of sand behind. The only problem we had down there was the beaver, who are particularly fond of young cherry tree trunks.
Marionberries are one of my favorite domestic berries when I can't get to the Himalayas. Boysenberries are also wonderful and another favorite.