Brambles: Low PH better taste?


According to Bob H. who administers a FB group, the PH would greatly affect the taste of the berries, his soil has a ph of 4.9-5 and his berries are better than those from a farm with a ph of 6.8 50 miles away. (same variety)

I am curious to know your opinion on the subject.


He is better than PT Barnum at promoting himself and his many miles of trellisā€¦along with his theoriesā€¦ I enjoy his ā€˜scienceā€™.

Just remember that he went from being a carpenter contractorā€¦ to his mom giving him 3 triple crown plants to being a world class expert in less than 5 years. That was from a very obscure youtube video that he got himself interviewed as being a leading expert on growing blackberries from a podcaster.

He is also a breeder, he travels the world to various continents training people, he supplies wineries, bakeries, has many many employees that sell roadside and farmers marketsā€¦ he has big major contracts for his berries as well. He was also building a theme park around his berries at one point. I could go on and onā€¦ he has posted all of this stuff so im not defaming him. The deeper you go the more interesting it gets.

Of course his berries are better than anyonesā€¦

Here are some facts to ponder-
If the soil is too acidic- that keeps the plant from absorbing essential nutrients which will make the berries sour.

Temperature- a very hot summer can make the berries more sour.

Sunlight- not enough sunlight can produce sour fruit.

pH- ideal is 5.5-6.5 for optimum nutrient uptake which will result in a better flavor profile.

When you get much above a PH of 7 you will likely see signs of chlorosis.

Better Taste- cultivar choice is probably the most important factorā€¦ Blackberries themselves as a fruit are acidic. So in order to give them a better flavor profile i think you would not want to grow them in overly acidic soil which keeps the plant from uptaking nutrients needed for a more flavorful profile.

If memory serves me he grows his in MS in a heavy clay area underneath power lines. He tilled in many thousands of lbs of leaves which i think gave him lots of issues with soil acidity. He had a rough go of it for awhile i think.

After that everything he did onward was breakthru science and the formula for success.

I think thats the gist of it.

Another expert on the subject (which i like) Texas Prepper2 has some major flaws in his tubs. If you watch his videos he has alot of good but also some failures here and there with his plants and they arent as good as they could be. He uses potting mix which is pretty neutral PHā€¦then he adds lime to it. So in his case his pH is likely too high.

So in final summary- regular potting mix with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 straight out of the bag will likely give you the best flavor profile for a cultivar that has the best flavor profileā€¦which will in turn give you the best taste. Full sun and a mild summer help as well.

Above and beyond that to me is ā€˜bro scienceā€™.


Bobā€™s statement is likely true for some cultivars in some regions but as a general statement is false.

The gentleman in question has received a lot of publicity including an article by the late Charlie Odell who was a well known fruit researcher from Virginia Tech.

The number of miles of trellis he claims to have along with his yield claims did not seem possible based on my experience with commercial Blackberries and I saw no pictures to reinforce the claims,

I saw one claim about the many tons of frozen fruit he was selling so I inquired about FSMA, GAP and other food safety certifications or record keeping requirements to sell frozen fruit through a reseller. I received an incorrect reply.

I have not had the same problem with another private FB group for Blackberries and Raspberries which is managed by the North American Bramble Growers Association. They have a lot of commercial growers and researchers as members.

I canā€™t find any published studies on the relationship between PH and Brix or flavor.


I am one of 30 people that have watched theseā€¦ all public information.

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