Growing Berries and Figs in Santa Barbara, CA

Hello!! I haven’t visited in awhile because of an accident that kept me out commission but I am back in action and ready to garden!! I recently moved to Santa Barbara from Utah and I am having to start all over with my berries. I had hundreds of plants and am sad to leave.

Several of my new plants were not producing yet so I would love some great recommendations here as I start my new obsession. I am looking to limit my varieties of blackberries now and will have Triple Crown, PAF and one other most likely but I don’t know if I should get Osage or Ouachita? I never tried Osage but the Ouachita was really nice. I had over 20 varieties in UT but only want the absolute best of the best. Looks like Osage is out of stock most places so I will likely have to wait til this fall.

On another topic, one of my passions is figs. I was not able to grow figs in UT without a lot of work but I should be able to grow them well here. I would love recommendations there as well. I recently purchased Violette de Borgeaux and Panache from a local nursery and I paid a pretty penny for Black Tuscan, Black Madeira and Genovese Nero as those were on my “Must Have” list.

I am glad to be back! I still see lots of names that I remember from a couple of years ago.

As for raspberries, I was planning Caroline and Anne… unless things have changed and there is something new and more amazing. I love those 2.

Edit** I recall hearing about wyeberries potentially being superior to tayberries. I would love to hear thoughts on that and where to buy wyeberry plants. I have never been able to find one to test myself.

What about Colombia Star and Colombia Giant? Those were looking promising from peoples posts back in 2016


Welcome back! I think you have many of the major fig families covered. THey only thing I can think of recommending is that you look for early vs late season figs to spread the harvest out.

300 chill hours generally recommended for good blackberry crops. Triple crown fruit is subject to sun UV damage and will do better in morning sun only. I assume Santa Barbara, though coastal, is still very sunny in summer. Columbia Star seems immune to UV damage.

Thanks for the input. We get roughly 250-350 chill hours. While we are Southern California, average annual temps are 60-80 pretty much year round with occasional dips or hot spells. Almost every morning starts out nice and foggy with low temps in the high 50’s to 60’s warming up by 12 and then cooling off around 8.

I’m hopeful that there will be enough chill hours for TC. I’ve read some people successfully growing it around here and PAF was highly recommended for this area.

How is the flavor of Colombia Star compared to TC? TC has consistently been my favorite blackberry for many years but I’m always looking to try new things.

Columbia Star had been a disappointment for me. I got rid of Triple Crown too. Not because it was bad, I just prefer many others over it. I have limited room. TC is better than CS. Out of those Oregon cultivars New Berry stands out the clear winner. Wyeberries to me taste nothing like tayberries. They do taste exactly like boysenberries they are bigger and more hardy than Boysen.

I have found the local (Oregon) CS berries to be excellent in flavor. Marion flavor is the standard and CS is very close. CS is an early crop. TC is a late crop. TC is sweet even when slightly under-ripe. Most of my TC UV damage occurs at above 85 degrees and full sun, but your sun angle is higher down there.

Where can I get wyeberries and new berries? I’d love to try them.

I bought my New Berry blackberry at Raintree. And call Edible Landscaping for availability of Wyeberries. I can root tip them if needed. Although sending to CA is difficult. Trade down the road for that fantastic Black Tuscan when big enough for cuttings or an air layer. I have other rare figs too. I would suggest adding Red Lebanese Bekaa Valley. You also could use a good honey type and Adriatic type. The ones you have are great choices.

I can’t find either of the berry plants. Maybe they are just out of stock.

A future tip layer would be wonderful!! I’m having to replace my figs as well as everything else but I did confirm that I’ll be getting Black Madeira, Tuscan and Genovese Nero again this week.

We just lost our house and everything in the fires in Goleta on Friday night so I’m having to start over. Truly devastating but I’ll certainly work to get starts of the Tuscan as trade for the tip layers. I’ll see if I can find the Bekaa. Sounds amazing. I’m such a plant fanatic that when someone such as yourself recommends a specific variety, I have to have it because I know it will be superb. :+1:

All gardening though can be local, so one had to consider that. No worries about a trade, just cover the postage. Raintree often removes items when not in stock. This winter when they start selling for next spring they will have it. Edible landscaping does not list Wyeberries, you have to call. Sorry to hear about your house. I have fought house fires as s volunteer fireman. It’s the worst.