Berry plant and harvest report 2019


OK, since I and I’m sure other folks are getting new growth showing on their berry plants, I thought I’d start a thread for this year. Feel free to post reports and pics of your plants, growth and later, fruit.

I was out checking our brambles and have several new ones peeking up thru the soil. Plus the gooseberries are waking up, and the strawberries are pushing out some new buds, although most the leaves got browsed on last week. Always exciting to see new life springing up.

I’ll post some pics soon.


Ok, did some weeding, fertilizing and mulching this evening. Got all three gooseberries, and the two tart cherry bushes done before the rain set in, which will help water in the fert.

I did a closer inspection of the raspberry row, as well as some weeding. Being the nerd I am, I got pen and paper in hand, got down on the ground and counted the new sprouts (primocanes). They have really sprung up this week. Here’s the numbers:

Prelude: 11
Eden: 0
Killarney: 4
Anne: 5
Fall Gold: 16
Nova: 3
Caroline: 10
Bristol and Mac Black: 0

Worried about the Eden plant, it has three canes, but only one passes the scratch test. I’m not surprised the last two don’t have any new sprouts as they are black rasps.

Each plant has some floricanes of various lengths, mostly thin and short, but some look a bit crispy. I’ll have to see how they do, as the good canes are almost all pushing leaf buds.

I’ll be surprised to get a quart of floricane berries this year, considering their small sizes. But, might get lucky with the primocanes, if they can grow at a good rate this summer. I plan on weeding, fertilizing and mulching the row next week.


Usually my primocanes keep sprouting up until june, its still too early to tell. My experience with mac the black is i never got good berries (maybe my climate?) but the thing just would not die and always came back up so you may be saved there. Sadly i have never gotten my blackberry floricanes to overwinter. This was the first year i laid them down in the snow and they were covered almost november until last week but once the snow thawed they are black maybe the edge of them that wasn’t always in the snow is alive but its hard to tell. My natches i left up seems totally dead (im sure its alive at the crown) So far for me i have never been successful with blackberries and will fully replace them with primocane raspberries if the blackberries are unsuccessful this year. I have Heritage, Joan J, Anne, Fall Gold and Caroline and all of them have been very sucessfull and delicious.


I don’t think most thornless floricane blackberries are hardy in zone 5, like your Natchez. Triple Crown might work, though. But, maybe you would have better luck with primocane varieties, like Freedom or Traveler, both thornless, or PA-45 which is thorny.

I have Freedom and Traveler, the former’s floricanes look like they got zapped by our single digit temps in January, but the latter’s canes look like they made it, along with all my other thornless blacks.

I have the last three of those, so that’s encouraging to hear. I planted Joan J last year, which sprouted, but later croaked. I also have Prelude, which can also produce a few primocane fruit.

I have noticed that it’s been pretty difficult to get rasps to get going here, maybe it’ll take a few years for them to get really established. But, all the blackberries I’ve planted have really thrived so far.


It must be the water its dry here and raspberries thrive in the wild too. I believe my Triple crown may have croaked and i have PAF but its first year it didnt set any berries although it seems like it made it through the winter. two years ago i bought a ton of different blackberries (mostly thornless) that claimed to be zone 5 hardy but most did not make it and woke up early or dried out over winter. Natchez, Triple crown and PAF are the only survivors. The blackberries are in the wetter part of my yard also, i may put a few honeyberries in if these three fail instead of raspberries as i have a hundred feet of those now.(2ft wide for ease of harvest).


Opposite situation and results here, we get lots of rain here, seems like year round. Summers rarely have temps in the 90s, but was hot last year. Usually pretty humid in the summer, too, but not as bad as the SE US.

Wild blackberries grow like weeds here, wheras there are just a few wild black rasps. Guess most rasps don’t like the damp conditions, although my row drains pretty well. I didn’t plant them in raised beds, but I’ve never seen water pool around them, even after heavy rains. They look like little weeds compared to blackberries the same age.


cascade gold raspberry floricanes have already put out buds, huzzah.
no buds yet on the primocanes. . . but none were expected at this time of year.


Ok, an update on our various berry plants. The lack of a late freeze has been a boon to all our plants, and trees.

Really got the brambles weeded well last week. After that, they all got a dose of fertilizer, the rasps got Hollytone and the blacks got a bit of 10-10-10. The plants seemed to really respond well to getting the weeds out of the way. After some heavy rain over the weekend, and sunny, warm days this week, I expect a lot of growth.

Yesterday I did a little bit more weeding and pruned out the dead canes. My Osage blackberry had quite a bit of winter dieback on the tips, Ouachita seemed to fare better, as did Triple Crown. The PA Traveler has started to set some fruit buds, and Freedom has really sprouted a bunch of new canes, about a dozen already.

Prelude and Killarney rasps are about to bloom. Eden had a couple two foot long canes bad, one cane looks like it made it, with a few new canes coming up. Nova has two 3ft canes full of leaves, and I expect it to start showing some fruit buds soon. Prelude, Anne and Fall Gold have really pushed up a bunch of primocanes. The black rasps are still alive, but haven’t grown as well as the others. They have pushed up a few new canes, though.

Strawberries are shaping up, there are a lot of thumbnail sized berries on what looks like some of the Earliglow plants, Jewel plants haven’t set as many, but it’s a later berry. We should have a good crop of EG in a few weeks. I picked up 25 Flavorfest on Friday, might plant those today or tomorrow.

Our big Oregon Champion gooseberry has a load of fruit buds getting pollenized, so I expect a big crop off that plant. The other two plants, not much yet, but they have responded well to the fert they got last month.

We have a couple blueberry plants left, two of them croaked last year, my guess is too much rain, and not enough fertilizer. We still have a little Patriot and a scraggly Blueray bush, but not expecting much from them. I’m thinking bloobs aren’t a good idea here, might try some rabbiteyes if these don’t work out.

I’ll post some pics that I took yesterday soon.

Would like to hear how other folks’ berries are doing.


Alrighty, some new pics.

Oregon Champion gooseberry setting fruit.

Jeanne gooseberry, not as big, but is doing well, it has a few fruit buds.

View of raspberry run, really need to get a trellis set up, the long canes are getting tossed about by the winds too much.

Small Earliglow strawberries


Mac Black sprouting a new cane

I think Killarney and Anne canes with some leaves coming out, and lots of primocanes coming up.

Prelude fruit buds, I believe


Traveler setting some buds

Traveler primocane

PAF primocanes popping up everywhere! The big floricane was fried by cold, so I had to cut it down to the ground, but looks like the crown is doing very well.


Nice, you’ll get a great fall crop from the Freedom. You’ll have to trellis them this year, some of those canes will get close to 8 ft. tall


Looks like you have been working hard this week! You are way ahead of us as far as leafing out.


Yeah, I didn’t do that last year, and they got over 8ft long, on the ground. This year, I think I’m going to do a double trellis, that is, two lines (one at abt 30" and another at abt 4’) stretched between T-posts, in parallel about 3ft apart. I’ll also make sure to top them as well a couple times.

Triple Crown has finally started to sprout some primocanes now

I can’t believe how many suckers Anne and Fall Gold have pushed up, they’re much more prolific than what I expected. The reds aren’t quite like that, and the blackcaps really don’t sucker much at all.

Yeah, I’ve been quite busy, with a whole lot more to do, especially with my trees. I got 6 of them weeded and mulched last week also, but still have 23 more to do. Ugh.

I haven’t mulched my brambles, except the Triple Crown, I read somewhere that it’s not recommended after the first year, prob because of crown root issues. But I also don’t want to have to pull weeds all the time. What do you and others on here do, mulch or not mulch?


I use bark mulch around my PAFs and cascade gold. accordingly, haven’t had to deal with weeds.


Guess I will mulch, better than pulling weeds all the time. I’m guessing why some folks don’t recommend it is because of root diseases, but maybe that applies to sites that don’t drain well, and ours do that very well.

In other berry news, I got the Flavorfest planted this afternoon. Ended up with 26 plants, some looked like they were starting to green up a bit, so I hope I got them in the ground soon enough.


Just saw that my Osage blackberry is starting to bloom, with nice purple blossoms. Traveler and Ouachita started blooming last week.

Picking a handful of strawbs every day now, they’re really starting to ripen up.


Because I lost lables and they are planted close to each other, I am not sure if it is Triple Crown or PAF that survived but i believe it was TC. It was the least vigorous of the two and which ever one survived it even had a very few floricane survive. My PAF has not resprouted and while blackberries are slower to wake up i have a Chester or Natchez (Similar situation but involves some traveling from either plant) that for the first time since i planted it 4 years ago maybe 3 floricane buds survived.


I agree, my TC did very well over the winter, my PAF, killed almost to the ground. I also agree TC is less vigorous, and tends to crawl along the ground, as opposed to PAF which is more upright.

It’s probably still not woke up yet, but when it does, it’ll probably really shoot up the primocanes. At least that’s what mine did. It has about a dozen new canes, some already about a foot tall.


Earliglow, Yambu and Rutgers Scarlet strawberries all in flower at the same time. I’d rather they wouldnt


These are the four I wanted to have a patch in a near future, Mara De Bois, Earliglow, Jewel, and Flavorfest. I have heard good things about these four.



I had a succession of cropping in mind