Extending the blackberry season


Do you have PA45 yet? I have a rooted start that volunteered that’s a nice size if you’d like it. I like the variety, but Cherokee still tastes better, like with my other blackberries, lol. Mine got really tall over the fall, which I didn’t expect of this cultivar for some reason, and it’s setting a crop over the whole top expanse right now. It’ll be a good harvest soon, I hope!

My only complaint is that the fruit can suffer some in the really hot times. I have to pick them quickly or they get mushy and over-ripe. That’s like my raspberries here in that kind of heat, so I think it’s just the weather. It does also produce into the cooler fall, so that’s nice.


Thank you for the very kind offer but I did get a dozen or so 45 this year and another dozen freedom. I’m excited to try them.


Is this Freedom?


Yes. Started as root cuttings June 2015 and planted out Fall 2015. Second year to bear.


I have a Black Magic from Gurney’s that I’ve gotten a very tasty couple of berries from and I look forward to see how it does this year. I only got a few, since it was dried out and almost dead when received, but it came up from the roots and is doing well in a pot now. This is a thorny variety that I think came out of the Arkansas breeding program and was licensed by Gurneys/HF and there is very little info on them. I believe these were sweeter than others in the program, but wasn’t firm enough for shipping and had thorns so wasn’t a candidate for commercial growers.

They are quite early with their spring berries (ahead of my Navaho and Sisiyou by about a week on flowering at least) and they do have primocane berries as well like a lot of the other Ark berries so berries in the fall as well. One review I saw talks about it surviving and producing in brutal heat and another talked about it fruiting almost non stop when it got going. Of course those are reviews on the retailers site, so we’ll see.

I think this is the first year I’ll get a reasonable number of berries if I protect it from the birds and then I can decide for myself. There is really very little information out there about this variety, so even the bit I know may all be wrong. Anyone else have experience with these?


The 45’s and freedom are slowly getting started and some have as much as six inches of new growth already. Thankfully we are getting heavy rains this year which were completely unpredicted. Experts said this was a La Niña year and it seems more like a El Niño year. Regardless of what we call the year my new plants which are few are thriving!


Glad to hear they are doing well. I’ve got a few more to pick today but I’m getting to the end on the floricane crop. I have new blooms on the earliest primocanes. I have harvest probably upwards of 15 gallons of berries. That is a conservative estimate only and only in retrospect so there may have been more. I am destroying new canes in my yard, strawberry patch, asparagus area, AND in my greenhouse (and those were not put there by me). So you will have plenty more if you like them. I’ve got 1 1/2 gallons of juice in my fridge that I’m about to make jelly and freeze the rest. I have 10 plants that produced that.



Those are excellent looking large berries and very productive! Can’t wait for these to start producing.


Primocane berries…

I may be in trouble this year 'cause I let these get far to tall before I tipped them. About the time I decided to cut them off way down I noticed the blooms…


Great looking berries!


I wish my blackberries looked that good, maybe next year as mine were mostly just planted in the last 18 months. I am growing Prime-Ark Travelers, Prime-Ark Freedoms (planted last year, all died, replanted this year, 4 of 5 are still alive), Osage, Ouachita, and SweetiePie with 5-10 of each to stagger my harvest season. Right now I am getting mostly Osages, with the SweetiePie’s just starting to turn, The Prime-Ark Travelers were the first to ripen about a month or so ago.


First primocane to ripen on the PAF’s. 11 days earlier than last year



Nice looking berries. How do you like the PAF compared to other blackberries?


I only have one other type and I don’t know what it is. I ordered PAF and received it as a bare root but it isn’t t PAF. So I’m limited to comparison. I’m well pleased with the freedoms and would recommend them. They are so vigorous that I have difficulty containing them. The primocanes grow so fast that I don’t get them tipped in time and I’ve been too hesitant to chop them off a lot lower so I end up with tall canes that get heavy with fruit. And the sucker canes are just… sigh… everywhere and I just HATE running them down with the weed eater but I’ve planted another bed of them and have some in pots to set out SOMEWHERE and I just have to close my eyes and mow. I am well satisfied with the berry taste when they are ripe and they cook well in pies and jams. They other berries I have are more global in shape and smaller. They also have a good flavor and they are producing now after after the PAF floricane crop so good timing. I wish I knew what they were… maybe triple crown? Not quite as vigorous as PAF, thornless, floricane only, fruit is rounder and not as large, bloom is pinkish, fruit set is not as uniform (I don’t think the bees like them as well), but has as many or more berries produced and blooms are spread out over a longer time frame. I’m really enjoying both… (by the way…you ask me a question I write a book!!!). :joy:


Glad you like them. I like the flavor of the PAF that I have.


You guys are lucky with Blackberry. I’ve not been successful with growing blackberry due to Blackberry Psyllid problem. So I’ve replaced most of the blackberry with raspberry. I still have two blackberry plants to experiment with.


I went ahead and ordered another 100 Prime Ark 45 blackberries today. The test crops went good this year.


I thinned my blackberries and got rid of a lot of them. I kept the exceptional good ones, and the early ones.also some for breeding. I like all blackberries, I had way too many so the crop is thinned. They sure are an easy crop to grow here.


The original test crop I planted of two dozen plants came from nourse. The test crop did well considering I grew them without any irrigation and not a single plant was lost. Before I committed to the 100 plants that are on the way I wanted to make sure how hardy these new types are. As you can see I’m very satisfied with them. Today I began top dressing them with wood chips. Regrettably my cow manure won’t come until December or January once the farms in the area finish with the grain harvest. Today we have been getting snow flurries and the farmers are feverishly working to get the crops out of the fields.


What do you do with all the blackberries?