Blackberries, Raspberries and Hybrids

The pestle wood will vary… im guessing. Probably the old vintage ones are a different wood than the new ones. Like i said earlier you just ‘shuck the seeds off’ whenever you feel like it… Somehow they stick to it and the pulp and juice go thru the holes.

I have an old one of my grandmothers…and i have several more that i bought at local flea markets and antique stores… they were around $10-15 then… My favorite one is much heavier aluminum… no real reasoning that its my favorite… i just like the nostalgia. I have seen pestles that have blunt ends vs sharp ends… the sharp end seems to be more for what im doing.

I think the official fancy name for it is a Chinois Strainer. I think in the old days they called it a Cone Sieve Food Mill. I guess it has alot of names.

My neighbor who is also using my other one is going to make tomato juice and tomato soup with it… so i guess there are alot of uses for it other than just making jams jellies… if you dont want seeds in something.

The new ones are a little fancier… and look to be better designed. And are stainless vs aluminum… I like the lip on the end for pots…that is clever.

Also in the description on this Weston it says its for jams and jellies…so obviously not a new idea… but i have not seen anyone mention it in my readings.


I have a Osage floricane Blackberry. Do I remove the canes that produce fruit after they are done, or do you keep them?

you don’t have to rush to prune out the old canes after they fruit
just get them cleaned up once it cools off… (fall, winter, early spring, etc)

the reason why is because they should die off, and people like removing old dead stuff because the theory is it prevents disease and probably prevents cane-borers from having extra places to live.

Personally I only do it because it makes it look clean and tidy.

Just my opinion, but I’ve only been growing for one year so I’m not an expert

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No idea what this cultivar is… i bought it from Pense as Thornless Boysenberry.

Its thorny but sparse… and fruits on floricanes.

Fruit is long 1 inch to 1.5 inch and skinny… like mulberries almost.

Im guessing it is a seedling that somehow got pulled and bare rooted amongst the thornless boysens…

It is erect… and fruiting time is strange… started 2nd week in June and looks to last up until mid July or so.

Regardless i got a refund because it was obviously thorny and i ordered thornless Boysen…

Do you think its a seedling of sorts? I cannot think of any with these characteristics.


this is the “boysen” I got from Starks - are they the same thing?

My thornless boysenberry still has a few thorns, but is relatively thornless compared to a regular boysenberry. Mine have a shorter, fat berry rather than a long thin one.

Hmm i dont think so… since you said your berries are small and dont have much flavor whereas mine are very large and long and taste is pretty good.

I guess while i am on subject without making another post…

TyTy/Willis/ShrubsandTreesDepot/Ebay guy and his other websites - all of the old U of Ark that they list are all seedlings of some sort. Actually a couple of them are ok. All of the berries are the size of your pinky nail. Cherokee/Choctaw/Shawnee etc… everything i have grown out has been bogus. YMMV on your purchases.

Kriegers- Loganberry - Erect very invasive canes that produce blackberries smaller than your pinky nail. I doubt that they have any idea that they are selling the wrong thing. They are a pretty honest reliable company. I just think they have not grown them out for a long time. I confirmed by photo that they did not send me the wrong thing. So as far as they are concerned its Loganberry… Its not.

Isons- Loganberry- This thing that they sell gives off tons of very skinny and spiny canes that yield tiny blackberries. I doubt that they have grown them out themselves in years… and again are a pretty reputable company and likely have no idea what they are actually selling.

I say this now because now is the time of year that i make my decisions as to what i want to keep and remove… i cut to the ground and usually that kills the crown with the heat and drought. I will of course pull the crown in a month or so then hopefully not have to deal with the roots being alive and giving new gifts for years to come.

In contrast i pulled my Poncas out early this spring… with a shovel and mattock… and i have many hundreds of new Poncas… So it works both ways… those will be dug and ‘moved’ to a new row in the fall. Thats the easiest way for me…instead of having to baby a bunch of plants all spring and summer and into fall. YMMV.


why’d you pull your poncas, do they taste bad to you or just boring?

Odd, I’ve tried Ponca twice and both times it died. I have 4 other varieties of blackberries planted in the same area getting the same amount of water thriving.

I got mine from isons. Not old enough yet to tell about the internode length for sure. Hoping I got the right one.

Agree with Drew; your plant and fruit are not similar in color, shape, thorn density and length to thorny Boysen and have too many thorns for thornless.

do you think it’s the same thing that @krismoriah ended up with as well?

it’s kind of hard for me to tell from his pics if it was the same as mine

internodes too short…which led to the most winter injury (for my climate) of any of my plants (other than PA Freedom which always does)…which led to secondary fruiting laterals (which is unique to U of Arks)… and those werent worth the time. So im going to start over with them again to see if they will grow out like Zendog’s.

Removed Caddo altogether… just too bland to me.

PA Horizon floricane fruits are very sweet this year…but its been an awful drought… But the seeds are pretty obvious… So those are going into the jam mix. Most all of my PArks are setting flower for primocane crops… which seems way too early… strange year for me here.


I left one PA Freedom and Starks Black Gem (closely related) in the ground when I gave the rest of them away… both plants made a few primocane berries and they are either dark red or already mostly black

although they have all been damaged by the birds… it’s always something.

last week I was happy because i was getting a single mulberry from my tiny little mulberry sapling, I looked at it every day. Then one day I came out ready to eat it, and it was gone. sigh. one of these years I will learn what a mulberry tastes like


First time i found them in a tree on a school yard edge 30 yeats ago - side note i need to go find that tree someday soon - they were so good, unique and slightly different than blackberry, that i ate myself sick. But i love mulberries. I also love blackberries … and just about all berries. You will enjoy. What variety do you have? I’m sure someone on here could share “Lawson Dawson” variety with you :wink:.

A trick learned from commercial production. Make sure the soil has generous boron levels, at least 3 ppm, and cane borers are history.


@JohnKempf … do your cane borers enter the cane near the tip… and work their way down wrecking it ?

Or do yours enter the cane very low (often very near the mulch line) and work their way up ?

There is a northern red neck cane borer… and a southern red neck cane borer… they look similar but are different in a few ways (including antenna length).

I have Southern RNCB here… they enter the cane very low on the cane.

Steve up in Maine has Northern RNCB… they enter the canes near the tips.

Having enough boron might take care of either one.

What is the best way for a home grower to increase boron levels ?

My raspberries and blackberries and hybrids… get some plant tone fertilizer and occasionally compost.

Not sure if plant tone or holly tone include boron. I will check.

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I’m considering removing my Caddos as well. I like the taste if they are fully ripe, but I had at least 20 quarts on my 4 plants and probably only got a quart or so for myself, most of which I had to pick under-ripe before the birds ate them. Anytime I stepped out to check them there were at least a dozen robins and a few mocking birds in them, even with some reflective tape and the fake owl with a head that spins around in the breeze.

My Ponca, by contrast, are in my community garden plot and they only had a little bird theft, but the Caddos are in my side yard and the drought has been bad so the birds and squirrels have been worse than ever. After a great early harvest of apricots, the squirrels have stolen all the peaches and the pears and apples from 5 other trees already and they weren’t even close to ripe. The fact that most other neighbors yards are just grass and various non-native plants makes my yard the neighborhood buffet and I literally see the squirrels coming in from across the street and all the side yards to feed.

The Caddo are just too big to net and so I may just settle for my Poncas in the garden plot and pull the Caddos to make room for other plants. I already have 3 American persimmons planted right in front of the Caddos I was hoping to grow above them just to cram more stuff in even if more shade dropped the Caddo harvest. Maybe the space is better used for some veggies or maybe I should put a Siskiyou and Wyeberry (if I can get one) in place of the Caddos on the theory that the birds won’t attack the berries as much with the thorns.

I’m still deciding whether to take them out completely to try something else or give them one more year and hope the birds are less intense next year. For now I’ve just pruned all the spent floicanes and did a bit of a chop on the Primocanes, removing at least half.


I hear the words location, location and location used when discussing real estate but I don’t see it used as often when discussing fruits.

No doubt it plays a very important role.

We have two 400 foot rows of Ponca next to two 400 foot rows of Caddo in our newer planting. It takes a lot of customer transactions to get all that fruit picked. We solicit customer feedback on variety preference from a lot of different people. We don’t have any precise statistics about how the customers rate those varieties but best guess is that they rate them about the same. Higher than Osage, Ouchata or Von and much higher than Natchez. We quit growing a handful of other varieties a while back so we can’t compare those.

Terroir is often used with wine grapes but I don’t see the term used much with other fruit. I believe terroir is relevant to other fruits too and should be discussed more. Not just zone, but soil type, elevation, aspect, irrigation and other factors.

Apples grow easier and taste much better just 100 miles north or west of our location. Same for Blueberries. Highbush Blueberries grow well 100 miles east, west or north but reuse to grow here.

I’m fortunate to live in a state where a lot of commercial fruit is grown but how well each fruit will grow in different parts of the state is hard to predict. I suspect that making estimates about what varieties will grow well in locations with different terroir may be tough.


I found that oak leaves and worm castings are good natural sources of boron.

I have 27 acres of oaks and a chipper/shredder.

Loganberry and obsidian blackberry canes have been the ones that the SRNCB goes after. I normally mulch all my cane fruit with wood chips… will give my logans some shreaded oak leaf mulch and see if that helps.

Obsidian is too wimpy to grow here… i really liked how they tasted and how early they ripened… but they are just way to tempermental for my southern TN climate.
Hardly produced any viable primocanes this year. Yanking them…


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