I’m in my second year growing blackberries so first year for floricane berries. I have triple crown, PAF, and Ponca. The floricane PAF berries were first to ripen and were just as good as the primocane berries last year. The Ponca came next and initially they were amazing. Very sweet as advertised. The Ponca are still going but for some reason are all sour. Not sure what is causing the change. I am waiting until fully ripe but still sour. When they first started, they were sweet even before fully ripe. Any ideas?
If they started out sweet then became sour its likely that they are getting too much water. Another possibility is lack of nutrients in the soil. It takes alot of energy to produce a fruit crop and grow primocanes. Best berry crops are either a fresh topping of woodchips and manure when flowers set or a couple of handfuls of fertilizer depending on your setup. Plants take up alot of nutrients during the flower set and primocane growth.
I’ve experienced not a sour flavor but a less sweet/more bland flavor compared to my initial harvest. I fertilized in the winter a few times. Do you think that is sufficient fertilizing? I know we got a heavy rain for a couple days last weekend so I am hoping that is the cause.
I would suspect , Spotted wing drosophila (SWD).
They can make mid - later season berries have a OFF flavor .
( sour ?)
Any nutrient change which increases cell division, slows ripening.
Magnesium being the biggest contributing factor.
Have you tested soil & water?
Google: “Drosophila suzukii traps”
My poncas seemed to be affected by the extreme heat . They were great in May and then we had a heat wave. The berries stopped ripening with the extreme heat. Once the heat wave passed the berries that would ripen were all sour.
Mine are also terrible this year and a lot of them don’t even ripen all the way. I attributed it to the extreme early heat waves we had.
No idea on your climate but where im at in the winter the plants are dormant. Im no expert but not sure if fertilizing a few times while dormant does anything?
What i learned from a guy on the Blackberry Growers group is to fertilize or add nutrients/compost etc during the flower phase… then to watch the leaves during berry ripening. The leaves will curl when they need water.
The way he explained it was that most people love them to death… they are pretty simple hardy plants.
However if you want those selfies with the berries next to quarters or rulers then load the water to them during the berry cycle. The berries will be big and full and pretty but lacking the complex taste… (kind of like grapes).
I don’t water my blackberries at all so the dormant season is when I try to work the nutrients into the soil with the snow and rain. I’m pretty sure my issue is too much rain while ripening, but will try to add another round while they are flowering next year and see what happens.