There are many threads going on here and they all get started with one and end up with another… how about we just have a good solid thread on them all? I am a member of 15 or so groups on FB to cover my interest…when they could easily be consolidated to one.
Lets talk about Blackberries, Raspberries and Hybrids which are both.
Black, Red, Yellow, Purple… all fair game in this topic.
Until recently i have not seen anyone talk about growing these outside of the PNW or California where it is very popular.
A fellow in NY grows them and they ripen mid to late June for him… i have about 10 plants going and am looking forward to growing them here in WV…it only took almost 100 years since its creation by George Waldo and Judge James Logan.
I have never seen any information on Big Daddy until today… alot of talk about it last year then it fizzled out.
Not sure how a berry that is 5.8G gets the marketing hype that it does.
A-2454T (Big Daddy™). Thornless, erect, floricane-fruiting, with early production. Origin: University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, by J. Clark. Ark. 2252T × Ark. 2255; crossed 2004; selected 2008. USPP 32,965; 13 Apr. 2021. Fruit: midsize, 5.8 g; round; glossy; firm, texture near crisp; fruit fertility excellent, with full drupelet set; flavor very sweet, consistent, low-acid, 11.1 ºBrix, 0.60% titratable acidity expressed as citric acid; ripens early; postharvest performance excellent; red drupelet reversion very low. Plant: thornless; growth habit erect; plant health excellent; secondary buds have been observed on canes that had bud injury from midwinter low temperatures; cold hardy to -8 ºC; for commercial shipping, local markets, and home gardens.
I got the start of a collection going, but limited to growing them all in large containers. I had gotten many varieties but lost many of them to drying out or not over wintering since. For what I have currently, Started in 2020, I have fall gold, and gurneys polar berry, 2021 cascade yellow, Kiowa. Lost a bunch summer of 2022, then this year I got dormant starts of yellow anne, honey queen, double gold, Royal purple, black jewel, Caroline red, and caddo blackberry.
Taste is subjective… but i think Royalty is a nice plant that has good berries. Brandywine- i dont like it at all. Amethyst has larger berries, more of them…and tastes better than all that i have had so far.
I might be able to review Glencoe this year it isnt thriving like Amethyst yet though.
I should be able to review Wyoming Purple next year… i have 3 plants in the ground.
To put it simply… Amethyst will handle the extreme colds of the US and i think im one of the first to grow it in a warmer climate and its happy and thriving. To me its for sure worth growing over all that i have had so far.
I know the first crops are usually the smallest and on weaker canes but im impressed so far.
It probably lost favor in the 70s, 80s and 90s because a purple berry was just weird… ive never had purple raspberry jelly… and its not really suitable for fresh market so it got lost.
Not sure what you mean by wish list… my wish list is very small now.
Named Varieties that im growing…
Sylvan - its not in the US anymore…at least for sale.
Loganberry thorny- nobody sells this in the US anymore i dont think.
Karaka Black- i just got this one this year…its growing like a weed.
Newberry aka Ruby Boysen- its not for sale in the US anymore.
Kotataberry- its not for sale in the US anymore.
Siskiyou- its not for sale in the US anymore.
When sales decline and patents expire on USDA west coast varieties they sell them to Europe and the rest of the world…then they never come back here. The USDA creates new varieties and the old ones get lost to us.
Sometimes the USDA creates varieties just for Europe…or work with them…with varieties like Navaho Big and Early and the other variants of Navaho that we likely wont get.
I have varieties created by European Breeders that dont really have good names and werent bred to be sold to the public so much… mostly for farming and making jellies and jams and fresh market sales. Kind of like what Driscoll does… they have dozens of their own varieties that are not for sale to the public. Sweet Karoline for instance- owned by Alpine Fresh/Berry Fresh… they dont want people having those plants…they want to sell the berries. There is an outfit in California that has released dozens of varieties of blackberries and raspberries… but those are for private farms to grow and those plants will never be released to the public either.
Victory is one of those kinds of berries… and i have probably a dozen more like it…
As far as what i am missing that i would maybe grow-
Waldo- its in Europe and i dont really want it. USDA release named after George Waldo who gave us alot of fantastic berries. Cant buy this in the US… but some farms in the PNW still grow it.
Youngberry- This was bred in Louisiana around the time of Loganberry…its not for sale in the US really… i found some really obscure places selling it…but they were very weird about it… Australians and New Zealanders love this berry and grow the crap out of it. Every once in awhile you will see thornless Youngberry for sale… i think its thornless Boysen. A guy posted about having this berry on this board yesterday… i PM’d him and just like all the others…they dont want to talk to me. Thats ok though…its technically an inferior berry to most… i just want to grow it. Simmons Plant Farm sold it for years and quit selling it because folks that grew it beside Boysen said it wasnt worth growing.
Tummelberry- I want this one… but its a seedling of Tayberry that got back crossed again with Tayberry. I think Roger Ort has it. other than that i cant get my hands on it…likely never will. Its very popular in Scotland…but due to brexit it doesnt get much talk or the Brits would be all over this one.
Buckingham Tayberry- its a thornless Tayberry… i dont want it.
Anyways if u want to nerd out this is a pretty good reference point for varieties of blackberries from all over the world. 14 pages worth… he makes mistakes on a bunch of them but for the most part its pretty decent.
As long as this post is…it was mostly talking about blackberries and hybrids… I have just about every cultivar of black rasp, i have all the yellows that i want, and am just about done with red rasps… i am adding 1 more this weekend… and i have one more to get probably in the spring.
I also have all of the old releases from U of Ark… and just got in Illini Hardy last fall. I think i have all of the Canadian released ones that i want… also have 3 heirlooms.
Missing Johns Berry- it was created by hybridizing a rasp and a blackberry like Boysen and Logan and Phenomenal…but it is on a private farm now… im getting closer to getting it…maybe.
Royalty has always lacked flavor for me. It produces great and most of the time is has been hardy in my zone even though it’s reported as being marginally hardy to zone 4. Generally I mix it with reds to add some flavor.
I wouldnt call it that really… i think someone mentioned that they hustle stuff to offset the costs of farming/orcharding… i know some folks sell fruit to pay the bills. And some folks graft and sell stuff. For the love of it all. I like to grow stuff that is uncommon. Triple Crown is sooo boring to me. Just how im wired. Are modern cultivars better? Sometimes…but not always. Heritage Raspberry was released in 1969 by Cornell and folks like TNHunter love to grow it… I am putting in its naughty cousin next week Crimson Night released by Cornell in 2003. Not saying Heritage isnt worth growing…but if it was a blackberry it would have long been removed from discussion.
I also get FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out… like if i dont get it i will miss out on it in the years to come. Clark has driven me crazy with his pears and the persimmon guys have me the same… i get excited obtaining and growing things. So im collecting pears and persimmons now too.
I am down to 3 heirloom tomatoes that i wouldnt mind sharing at some point. I think i have 4 or 5 garlics that arent sold here… i know i have several mulberries that would excite people… but i am kind of doing what Stephan did… taking a few years to build up my plants and trees then im going to go for it.
Like right now if i sold Victory plants on Ebay…folks would start trying to outsell me in a matter of two years… thats what happened with Worlds Best Mulberry… he had a good run for a couple of years then everyone took it over. His name is Bryce… but not many know or care now… its like an old dollar bill now being passed around.
I have 2 Austin Mays Dewberry plants… they will set fruit first before most blackberries… usually in May depending on your climate
Below is the truth about the plant… if u want to know.
Mayes was found growing wild by John Mayes, Pilot Point, Texas, about 1880.
It is supposed to be a hybrid between the wild dewberry and the common blackberry. The variety was cultivated by Mr. Mayes and known locally as Mayes or Mayes Hybrid. Later it was sent out by J. W, Austin, of Pilot Point, as Austin Improved. (so Mr. Austin snaked Mr Mayes)…
The earliest hype about Mays Dewberry is from 1900 in a pamphlet called Everything for the Fruit Grower.
This is what was described:
AUSTIN’S IMPROVED, or MAYES’ HYBRID DEWBERRY. Imcretia Dewberry, From American Gardening much larger than those of any other Dewberry or any other blackberry. A strange peculiarity of this plant is that it requires no trellises or stakes, but can easily be trained into a tree form. The fruit of this new Dewberry is jet-black and the flavor superior. For produc- tiveness it outrivals all Dewberries or blackber- ries, as high as $966 per acre having been realized from the sale of this berry, the berries selling readily at 15 cents per quart; quite hardy." 75c per doz., $2 per 100.
Here is the pic that would have driven you mad to buy plants
There are many many many different dewberries…some white, some yellow, some big, some small… there was a goldrush of sorts late 1800s into the mid 1900s of people finding them, growing them and selling them… even hybridizing them.
I can list probably 100 variants of dewberries, crosses and hybrids and sports… all of which even Austin (Mays) has lost favor…because some random guy chimes in…likely talking about a native dewberry…
If u have a true Austin (Mays) Dewberry…and dont mind trellising like a west coast variety… its worthy of growing. It is a blackberry hybrid and the intent of this thread.