Greenhouse blackberries

Thought I’d share a few pictures of my western trailing blackberries. I like the taste better than any other types I’ve grown. They have a strong sweet/tart flavor.

The taste can vary a lot but Black Diamond is probably my favorite when grown properly. I’m also drawn to the plant. It’s stocky, thornless, and dwarf compared to the others. I need a solid trellis that will allow spreading out the canes for proper light exposure. It sets so many berries in a small area that berry size and sweetness can suffer. This plant in a 3 gal pot is just a jumbled mess of canes. There are new floricanes 6ft long already. I’ll build something either in ground or in a large pot for next yr.

Obsidian is thorny, vigorous, early, and tasty but a far different plant. I’m not sure I can live with the thorns in exchange for a week earlier fruit.

Columbia Star is thornless, vigorous, and grows all yr around. It slows down but doesn’t stop in winter. I’ve build a 30ft long overhead trellis for it and the Columbia Giant on the opposite side of the greenhouse. It may be my least favorite for taste but it is in ground vs pot for the others. I’ll see how it tastes this yr. Columbia Giant is still small and this will be the first fruit.

I like this fruit a lot. It’s better than blueberries except Sweetcrisp. Actually the sweetness of Sweetcrisp makes a nice contrast to the sweet/tart blackberries. They ripen together, now.


Fabulous specimen plants. Who’s making the pie??

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Productive, aren’t they? Don’t do well in my area. Z5

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Maybe our palettes are the same in that regard. As a child, the blackberries I tasted were wild in the far western U.S. or cuttings of the same. The Monrovia hybrid “Black Satin” doesn’t come close neither does Marionberry, etc. The taste I’d like to plant is Rubus ursinus subsp. ursinus. Are there cultivars of this?

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I do too, but I’m trying some traditional eastern types, and may try more. I have Draper. It took me three years to get canes to stay alive from Black Diamond. This year I have three nice canes that will produce. Once more mature, the canes seem more hardy. I was about to rip it out, but this year they look great.

I thought mine was better the 2nd year, maybe I let them hang longer? Not sure?

My favorites are New Berry, Loch Ness, and Tayberry. Loch Ness can be very tart, but if you let the calyx turn completely brown and falling off, they are balls of sugar. The sweetest blackberry I grow. Also were very tart the first year, I thought it was a dog. You know last year (2nd year for loch ness) we had drought conditions, so they may not be as sweet this year? Berries were small all around last year.
Tayberries when dead ripe almost taste like strawberries, a very different taste. I made smoothies out of the last on mine a month ago and my wife thought it was a strawberry smoothie.

I also like boysen, wyeberry (a bigger and better boysen type berry). and Marionberry too. I forgot about those.

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No pie from this guy. I’m more likely to try drying them. I wonder how that would work?

Columbia Star and Black Diamond are productive. Obsidian not really, it’s just early. But I’m not after production, I’m more about taste.

I don’t know about that but will study your link. I do love the taste of the wild blackberries in Oregon. Those are all I’ve tasted.

I like the Black Diamond after it shrivels up on the plant.

Hmm sounds like I need to try Loch Ness. I’ve grown things like Kiowa and Triple Crown. They have very nice berries but they never tasted as good as these.

I looked up Loch Ness on Raintree. I’m going to try it for sure. They say monstrously large berries, thornless, semi erect, highly productive, and ripens late…!!! Nothing more I could want except I need the sweetness to balance out the tart when fully ripe. Thank you for that tip Drew…!!

I make fruit leather with mine sometimes.If seeds aren’t wanted,a cheap food strainer will remove them. Brady

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The advantage of growing blackberries in greenhouse is that it is possible to control watering. Last summer my Natchez berries were so sweet and also huge and early. I was so happy with them. We had 3-4 weeks without rain. And when after the couple days of rain they became just ordinary, sour and watery.


FN, I think if you dry your blackberries you will have a mouthful of seeds with a little taste of blackberry. Why not mash them, de-seed the mash then make leather in your dehydrator? That would work!


You know it was dry last year, maybe you should wait and let me see if they are as sweet this year. It is a semi-erect thornless.
Oh I see you looked at Raintree

Or maybe hold off on water if you do get them. Berries were still fairly big compared to others. Boysenberries were downright small last year.
Still everything was water deprived, all blackberries, and Loch Ness was the sweetest and Columbia Star was pretty good! Keep water away from it.

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Fruitnut, have you grown Siskiyou and if so how did it compare? I have one in a pot that winters happily in my unheated garage, but this is the first year it seems like it will make much fruit.

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No I haven’t tried that one.

Here is some information from Oregon State University.

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JT has it and rates it high, although I think he is giving up on it? Too hard to maintain. I have it too, and most of the canes died back. I will get some fruit for the first time this year.

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Google doesn’t like that site.

I found that link in Google. Type in “best tasting blackberry varieties”
or go directly to OSU.

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Same result.

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I clicked on the link and it was okay for me. Brady

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Fruitnut, I am trying to grow a blackberry in my greenhouse this year, in the ground. Are there specific problems with it or certain fertilizers I should give it in the greenhouse ?

I have Chester Thornless simply because: a) it’s thornless b) it’s trailing so I can let it ramble and then lay it down for winter and cover the whole plant to protect it, and c) it’s the only variety sold locally so I thought I would give it a go before I attempted something a little different. I had it last winter outside and the vines did make the winter but the fruit does not have a long enough season to ripen, hence putting it in the greenhouse.

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