Zone 7a - Southern Middle Tennessee.
BlackBerries are one of my favorite fruits, and fortunately my most dependable crop here… they just never fail to produce lots of wonderful berries. I know how to grow them, and have done well at that for many years now (since 2003).
In a year or two, I will be moving to a new location (other property that I own) and before I actually move there (starting this spring and summer) and next spring… I will be getting started, planting, and preparing beds for planting all of the stuff I plan to grow at the new home place.
Blackberries will definitely be one of those must haves at the new place.
I would like to have perhaps 3 varieties… to extend the harvest season… Early, Mid and Late.
Here is what I could find on ripening dates for the Univ of Ark varieties… ( In Ark)
Natchez June 5
Osage June 10
Ouachita June 12
Navaho June 20
Apache June 25
Of course that is in Ark, so may vary for me some.
Does anyone have Tennessee ripening dates on any of those ?
The new variety “Ponca” from Ark… is said to ripen near Natches (early), and Flavor is supposed to be outstanding. I think I am going to have to give this one a try for my Early Berry slot. The Ponca variety is supposed to sort of double crop… producing a crop early, and then a second crop about 2 weeks later. There is a video on youtube showing details on that if you are interested. That sounds nice.
Caddo is another Ark variety… health, vigor, flavor seem to be high points mentioned… but it is reported to ripen June 8… probably about the same time as the newer (possibly better tasting) Ponca variety.
Osage is another that they brag on for flavor but it ripens right in that same timeframe as Ponca.
Navaho and Apache are older varieties, ripen later… but not sure I want to give those a try.
I wonder if you had Ponca, would you really need Ouachita (possibly) as a Mid season fruiter ?
I have also heard that Tripple Crown might be a good choice for a later season blackberry ? Stark says ripen August, Gurnies Mid July… Not sure exactly when they would ripen here in Tennessee.
If you are growing those here in TN, would appreciate some details on the ripening date, flavor, sweetness, disease resistance.
Ponca - Early
Ouachita - Mid
Tripple Crown - Late
I will know by late July, August here, exactly when Ouachita ripen, and how long they produce ripe fruit, how they taste… but if you are growing those here in TN, I would appreciate your opinion of them too especially on those 3 details.
PS… I have a co-worker that has Navaho and Tripple Crown (in a county next to mine)… and her opinion was that the Tripple Cown was a much better berry, taste wise and production wise.
Any recommendations on a possible 3 variety combination to extend the harvest season would be appreciated.
PS… I do know that you can freeze many types of berries, including blackberries. I do a lot of that. We eat blackberries, and loganberries all winter, I flash freeze them and vacuum seal in pint and half pint jars. But eating them fresh is oh so good.