Berry plant and harvest report 2019


Maybe they’re played out? I’ve read that everbearers (of which MdB is) don’t produce much after 3-4 years.


Strawberries especially everbearers become unproductive. Use the runners for new stock.


Not bad for a first round of picking. Sold to me as Joan J. It’s ahead of Prelude by at least a week.




Nice, those look like pretty big berries. Are they floricane berries from your Joan J? I’m really surprised you’re getting ripe berries though in PA already. My Prelude has a few berries starting to turn pink, but not nearly ripe yet.

How are your blackberries doing? We have a few berries turning from green to pink.

Looks like my strawberry patch is either done, or birds have discovered them, haven’t seen any real berries in a couple days. We got about 4 quarts, I think, over 2-3 weeks, but thought they’d still be producing.


Yup those are Joan J floricane berries. The size is decent. What surprised me is the floricane crop looks rather abundant. I wasn’t expecting that much but it looks like I’ll get a lot more in the next few weeks. Prelude will definitely produce more but mine sound like they’re about as far along as yours.

I ripped out all my PAF and Travelers. The birds damage most of the primocane crop which just leads to more SWD. I ended up planting more Natchez which set an impressive crop last year. Mine finished flowering a short while ago. Osage is still flowering. I don’t expect any ripe blackberries until late June/ early July.

My strawberries continue to produce at least a pint a day. The bird population seems down. Looks like more feral cats moved into the neighborhood. I know they’re bad for the environment, but I don’t feel bad about them killing catbirds and mockingbirds. Those things just peck at fruit and leave it half eaten before going after the next one.


Your floricanes are probably larger than mine, then. I might get a handful of Prelude this year, but the good news is that the primocanes are growing very well. So, maybe a late summer crop of those.

Of the rasp floricanes, Nova looks like the best crop of all of them, the others like the Prelude’s or smaller. I should get a small flori crop of Killarney, Caroline, Bristol, Anne and Fall Gold, but the new canes on those are doing much better.

Sorry to hear about your primo blackberries. I hope the bird pressure isn’t as bad on my crops. My Traveler has floricane berries along with the others. PAF primocanes are growing like crazy, I’ve already topped about ten canes at 30". Triple Crown is just now flowering, they are way later than the others, but I expected that.

I worry about SWD with TC and my primocane fruit, but maybe it won’t be too bad here.

We had a good cat for about two years, but he disappeared back in Jan, think something got him, maybe a coyote. We raised him from a kitten, so he was good to stick around, as we fed him almost every day. But, he also kept the rodent population somewhat under control, especially down by the barn- rabbits, mice, chipmunks, even birds were his prey. We’re getting a new cat soon, hope he stays around. We will need another good hunter, as I’ve seen plenty of rabbits around this year.


Also robins

I saw one trying to sneak under my strawberry net yesterday


Gerardi mulberries are delicious as always. Not really enough ripe at once to do much with, but a good snack fresh or on some vanilla ice cream. I can’t believe the birds haven’t gotten these!

Time to get picking some prelude raspberries.

I have a few flowers on some Josephine floricanes and I’m really looking forward to trying those. I had a few primocane berries after planting last year and they were great.

Illinois Everbearing Mulberry

How are everyone’s elderberries doing? I think we’ll make some nectar and tea from some of these flower heads when they bloom. I’m wondering about trying some of those cello bread bags over the berries when they’re getting ripe for some protection from birds.


funny that birds don’t touch my elderberries here. I’ve had them for 5 yrs now, just outside my living room window, and never seen a bird eat them.


My elderberries look like they didn’t set very well, but maybe it’s too soon to tell. The pollinators didn’t seem very interested at all, forgoing them for my raspberries and blackberry blossoms instead.

I want that mulberry. It looks wonderful.

How do you keep your Preludes so short yet productive? Mine are out of control and annoying to manage.


raspberries are light feeders here. i gave up giving a lot of N in the spring because they would have huge canes and little fruit. i only give some worm castings/ compost and a good 3in. layer of wood chips every spring.


I like to feed my raspberries although I do agree they don’t need a lot of nitrogen. I throw some holy-tone on them once a month.


Interesting that you are north of me and your elders have already bloomed and set. Mine aren’t in full sun, so maybe that is it or possibly because this is only their second year in the ground. The ones in my picture are Nova and York, but I have a couple wild types as well, so I’ll probably use the wild ones for the flowers and save the named cultivars for trying to get berries. Maybe I’ll get luck like @moose71 and the birds won’t get them. The birds have actually been very non-destructive this year which I find confusing yet wonderful.

I’ve had good luck grafting the Gerardi mulberry onto wild seedlings, so if have wild seedlings around and you want some scion next winter when I trim, just shoot me a pm late January. I like them in particular since they stay short, but beware the leaves are the favorite food for deer when they stop by to dine, with the exception of possibly my swiss chard.

The preludes are also in shade by afternoon, so they don’t get much sun and I never fertilize them, just mulch with wood chips. I might give them a little hollytone or just 10-10-10 this year since they actually look a little smaller than they did last year. When I first tried raspberries I also had Lauren and I fertilized regularly. Prelude was definitely bigger and not really any more productive and Lauren was a monster.


On to blackberries… I bought what was supposed to be a couple of Osage last year and they grew well, but when they bloomed this spring the flowers were white, so not Osage. Also the berries look longer than what I’ve seen for Osage. They are just ripening now in Arlington, VA (7A) and I ate my first one today, which tasted great, so I guess I’ll live with not having Osage. It is super vigorous and has new canes coming up that are about 8 feet tall already and an inch in diameter. I also have Triple Crown in another area and this is much more erect growing than that, othewise I would think Triple Crown.

So anyone know what it might be based on ripening time, vigor and berry shape/size?


Hi there. My elderberries are in full sun so maybe that does make a difference. I have Samyl, Samdal, and Haschburg. Next year I’ll have to harvest some blossoms to get some use out of them in case I get poor fruit set. They’re planted along the side if a ditch along with other miscellaneous berries to help control erosion so at least there’s that. It’s still better than the wild grasses and scrub that was there before.

Thank you for offering scions. I do get a lot of wild mulberry seedlings in my vegetable garden. I’ll pot up a few instead of discarding them. Maybe we can work out some sort of a trade next year. Thankfully no deer in my neighborhood. They probably get run over by cars before they can make it this far into the suburbs.

My raspberries are in full sun and I fertilize and dump compost on them yearly. They’re probably spoiled and need more neglect :rofl:

I will guess that your blackberry is Prime Ark Freedom. The growth habit and early ripening remind me of the ones I had until I ripped them out this year.


I was wondering if it was one of the PA types, but I didn’t get any blossoms forming on the primocanes that came up last year. But maybe that was because it was their first year.

Maybe the difference in flowering times for our elders is because yours are the euro types. If you are interested, we can exchange cuttings of elders as well. My wife made the nectar (cordial it is called as well) from the single flower we got last year and it was delicious on ice cream or with a bit poured into a glass of cold seltzer. This year I’ll dry some flowers as well to use in tea when anyone gets a cold.


Yes, maybe you’ll get a surprise primocane crop. That would probably confirm the ID of this blackberry. My Osage also has very different leaves than your plant.

Do you mind sharing your wife’s recipe for elderberry blossom cordial? I think might have a couple flowerheads of Samyl left I can harvest. We can definitely trade cuttings of elderberry as well. Mine need to be severely pruned back after this year.


I agree with Andrew, from what I’ve seen from others’ harvest, those look like PAF. Plus, the fact that they’re very vigorous, have white flowers, and are fruiting this early tells me it’s PAF floricane berries. Congrats on the early harvest.

It could be Ouachita, it’s a decent sized berry, but I don’t think they’d be ripe by now, mine has mostly green berries still, and the canes aren’t real vigorous, either, even though I did top a couple of them at 5ft. But, you are a zone ahead of me, so it’s possible they’re Ouachita, especially if the flowers didn’t get bit by a freeze.

I have Triple Crown and they aren’t that vigorous, and are trailing type canes, not as upright as my UArk berries. My floricanes are just now blooming, and probably won’t be ripe until mid-late July.