2018 berry plant progress and harvest report


I’m gonna say I got 8-10 quarts. I did find since I’m only here weekends I had to pick some to early for maximum sweetness. IMO they were all good but I will say leaving them as long as possible they get considerably better sweetness wise. Mine was off of 6 plants. 4 of which were very heavy with fruit two that were just normal. Very,very good berries to me.


Some pix of our blackberries and rasps

Triple Crown

Row of UA blackberries



Some raspberries, Mac Black




Wild black raspberries, we’ve picked a few ripe ones already


Anne, Autumn Bliss, Caroline, and Fall Gold.


Red currants are about at their peak in northern VA.


Nice harvest. I guess those are floricane fruit? How do they rate flavor wise? Does it look like you’re going to get a lot of fruit off your plants?


Yes floricane berries. Fall gold has best flavor, followed by autumn Bliss and Caroline. Anne has worst flavor. On the flip side, fall gold has terrible crumbly texture. Anne has the firmest texture. Autumn Bliss has the best texture.

From best to worst I’d rate them
Autumn Bliss/Caroline
Fall gold

Harvest will be pretty good for floricane on Second year plants.


Well it looks like floricane thornless blackberry season is just about over for me here in western Louisiana. My harvest started the first week of May with my Prime Ark Freedoms, followed very shortly by my Prime Ark Travelers. Then moved on through my Oauchita’s, Osages, and Sweetie Pies. As of today my yield started dropping off markedly, down to perhaps 1/3 of what it was 3 or 4 days ago with only a few stranglers left on the Osage and the Sweetie Pies that have yet to turn black. The good news is I still have some rabbiteye blueberries left to pick this year, then it will be time for the pears to be ripe, and by the time I am done with them the citrus should start to ripen. Along in there somewhere I may even get a few primocane blackberries.


My Pink Lemonade is slowly increasing it’s crop size but as of now it is less than my other varieties.


Well, my PA Freedom had it’s top 5-6" or so tipped, and it wasn’t by me. I assume it was unprofessionally pruned by you know who. They also had a taste of my Osage plant.

It was really foggy last night and I suspect they took advantage of that to graze on these blackberries that are in plain view from the kitchen window, not 100’ away. It infuriates me, but I can’t put fences and cages around all my berry plants, so I just hope they can grow enough and not be bothered by the occasional deer attack. They’ve also stripped some leaves off most of the Triple Crown plants.

What also bothers me is that the J beetles are getting after my BB plants and some of the fruit trees. My Honeycrisp has most of its leaves already shredded, and the Roxbury Russet has some damage as well. How do y’all control JB’s? Sevin dust? Is that safe for fruit plants?


I’d never use Sevin dust, it flies all over. Sevin liquid works on them. I net the most vulnerable plants


@jtburton second picking of Kotata, definitely a keeper. Really good flavor a rich flavor compared to my Columbia star. For the second year my one plant gave me ho hum bland flavor. I like a rich interesting flavor. My young newberry gave me two berries so far a very good fruity flavor. Going to transplant my three plants over to my row of Columbia star I planted this year and put in three more plants of kotata then I am going to give my Columbia star a few years but if I don’t like the flavor I’m going to replace with newberry.


@fullplate Wow! That’s a really good haul.


First harvest of some wild blackberries my wife picked this evening. To me they way too sour, only a few have had a faint sweetness to them. I think when our domesticated BB’ s start producing, she won’t care about these much anymore.


They make great jam or a syrup. I bet they would make a great wine too. For jam I like doing 1/2 blackberry and 1/2 blueberry. The blues add sweetness and comes out great. I use a sieve to remove seeds in backberries. I just bring to a boil with 1/2 cup juice to have them in some liquid. Crush with a potato masher and run through the sieve. Another great jam is blackberry and kiwi. I have to look how I processed the kiwi? I think I used a blender to liquefy? When your plants are bigger it is something you can do as you should have blackberries coming out your ears in a few years.


Have you ever made any wine from any of yer berries? My wife actually has made some “black and blue” jam, from some wild and bought blackberries, and some bulk blues our niece gave us. It came out pretty good.

We got all of 5 blueberries this year, all from our Patriot plant. The other three did squat, with the Bluecrop looking like it died. It has one little cane that still has leaves on it. I think the very wet winter/spring did it in.

We got a small handful of gooseberries, all from our Oregon Champion. To me they tasted like a bland grape, but my wife said I waited too long to pick them. The Poorman and Jeanne plants didn’t grow as much, with the latter giving us a couple berries. Next year ought to be a better harvest for all of them.

Yes, next year should be a blackberry bonanza around here. I’m not a a big fan of these wild ones, but I had to try some domesticated ones after trying some from the store and from a local orchard. Plus our strawbs ought to be plentiful as well, as hopefully the rasps will also.

I’m glad I got all these berry plants, it kinda takes the sting out of not getting any fruit off all the trees we have. Almost instant gratification compared with the trees.


No but I bought “The complete guide to making your own wine at home” I also saw a book on fruit wines I would like to get. So I will be!

Gooseberries have a few different flavors, so maybe you will like the others better. Closely related to currants. I think they range in taste a lot. Yes, some do have a grape like flavor. I have noticed that.

Bingo! Yes, much more consistent producers. This is my 4th year of having both. I had to wait 4 years for my stone fruit to even fruit due to the winter vortex years. Once you get fruit, the fungi, insects, and animals mess it up. This year one day a bird got under the netting on my White Gold sweet cherry and managed to peck 50 cherries and ruin them. Luckily the tree has over 200 on it. I fixed the hole in the netting!




Probably. My sweet tooth Mom is here, so I’m sure my wife will be making one soon for her.


I left my honeyberries ripen on the vine a long time. I think they were blue for at least 3 weeks.
The Japanese haskaps still need more time. maybe 7-10 days. Aurora is ripe!! I can say it is better than the Japanese cultivars Solo and Maxie. Aurora also yields more. My plants are in 10 gallon root pouches. So size of plants and possibly berries is a factor. A few times that got super dry. So more stress in containers, limited root room.

Aurora on the right. I like them a lot, still slightly tart, but a great flavor. Definite keeper! Some over ripe are not tart. Looking forward to trying the sweeter types in the future.


I also wanted to report that my tayberries and wyeberries are ripening now. It’s been a great spring so far.