Prime Ark® Freedom Blackberry


#41

Great taste but I’m not doing so well growing them or any of the other varieties.


#42

I am not a blackberry expert. I planted blackberries last year for the first time. I have some PAF’s and I have another variety that were sold to me as PAF’s but they are not. So I can compare the true PAF’s to them (whatever they are) and the wild ones in the woods.

My PAF’s grew vigorously with lots of large canes that did produce as floricanes and primocanes. The berries are huge and I think the flavor is really good and they are very sweet when you let them fully ripen. My primocanes started producing berries in early July so they weren’t a fall berry for me although I am still getting a few every few days. I don’t have but about a dozen original plants and they are only a year old.

Because I have never grown berries I didn’t keep them tipped back enough and they grew so fast that several canes broke with the weight of the berries. I am still struggling with keeping them tipped back. However this continual tipping has kept my canes producing all summer. I am in Texas and we have a very long growing season and it was 90 degrees today and in the 60’s tonight. I picked and ate two berries today but most are gone. I planted these where they get mid afternoon shade since it gets so hot here and they have produced sweet berries. Big ones. I am not sure how well the canes will hold up for the spring crop because they have gotten pretty long even though I have tried to be diligent in keeping them shorter. Did I say they grow vigorously?!?! I don’t know if the crop would have been larger if they weren’t shaded or if the shade helped them produce. I don’t know if the production was good for first year plants or not. I’m pleased with them. I’m learning and making mistakes but I’m eating berries while I am doing it! I did make a pie once and I did make jelly. My other berries that I do not know what variety they are did make a larger floricane crop of smaller berries that had a different (but good) flavor. They are in full sun. They are not primocanes.

Would I plant the PAF’s again? Yes! Do I know much about growing berries? No!

I got these plants as root cuttings by mail. I ordered 10, received 13 and transplanted 11 that actually rooted. It was a very inexpensive way to start and the company I ordered from was very reputable. I ordered the set of berries that are not PAF’s from a different place–I would not recommend them. Let me know if you have any questions.

Katy


#43

Not much to report yet. Only a few berries this year. They are much better than the old semierect thornless I have, but not as good as Marion or Black Pearl. The single floricane frutited in mid July and the primocanes are just now ripening, might be one ready now :slight_smile:
It put on several canes this year, so next year should be more representive. So far it is very promising.
I don’t know about pruning yet, except that once the floricane fruits it is done (as with any BB).


#44

My plants have been producing since march and no signs of stopping. Even with continuous rose beetle damage, most of the fruit is quite large and very delicious! I like that they’re large enough that you can actually savor the flavor of a particularly nice berry. I don’t really know if I’m getting primocanes or floricanes sometimes, but it seems any kind of growth with eventually end up with blooms.
Heavy pruning on these seems to force a lot of new blooms/fruit. They actually act a lot like the mulberries in my climate. One thing I’ve learned is that they don’t need support if properly pruned and they can bear fruit as low as you’d like. Once a primocane has finished fruiting, I clip it back to a healthy-looking node. At that time, some of the floricanes will have probably started growing already.

I have very wet and humid weather most of the year. Anthracnose can be a problem in these conditions. My Natchez has been affected many times, and for whatever reason, it has never fruited. I’ve seen it occasionally on my PAF, but so far it seems quite resilient.

I’m no expert, but I believe this variety is a gem. Prime Ark Traveler is very similar, but not quite as prolific. I’m starting a ton of new cuttings to plant a large patch of these for our local market.


#45

Hey Benjamin, the info I was researching on PA Traveler came short on describing the taste. How would you compare the taste of the PAF vs PAT?

Would you be willing to share where I could or shouldn’t order from? You can PM me if that would be preferable to you.


#46

I ordered both my sets of berries off eBay. The reputable seller is no longer selling on eBay but it may be that it is not in season for it. However they do have internet sales from their web site www.bibleridgeberries.com. Contact info is Bible Ridge Farms LLC, 434 944-0959; email bibleridgefarms@gmail.com. Paul Joseph Cangialosi, 2986 Allens Creek Road, Gladstone, VA, 24553

On their website they only quote prices for 100 root cuttings but they may sell smaller amounts as I ordered 10 through eBay.

I received my root cuttings in late May and potted them in my greenhouse. I didn’t put them in the ground until fall when they were good sized plants.

They other person that I ordered from sent really nice bareroot plants they just didn’t happen to be the variety that I bought. I can pm you his selling name if you like.

Katy


#47

It’s very similar, but PAF seems to have a richer flavor. PAT just doesn’t taste as interesting in my opinion. Haven’t had a chance to see how they compare in storage though.


#48

Sounds like the Triple Crown could have Down Mildew? Von are big plants that have high yields. I can’t remember about the taste/shelf life. It is a later variety


#49

Someone sent me a PAF, and I think I owe them plants. I have the plants now, tip rooted this summer, just don’t know who you are? PM me if I owe you plants please. I remember they wanted the yellow cap, I also have Marion and New Berry too, which I would suggest instead of the yellow cap. The yellow caps look great, but nothing that special in taste. Marion and New Berry though rock as far as flavor. Although thorny, and trailing types.
This year a thornless trailing volunteer appeared in one of my pots. Apparently the robins like to experiment in breeding! I had about 10 raspberry, black raspberry, and various blackberry plants spring up in pots, and in the ground all over my yard. Most I destroyed. I kept a few for fun.I kept the thornless trailing one, it could be something interesting!


#50

I am planning to place a big bet on Prime Ark Freedom this spring… I ordered 25 plants. I am hopeful that in a couple years they will be prolific enough to overwhelm the birds but I guess I will find out. I am planting on a fairly steep hill that gets 4-5 hours of direct midday sun and some filtered sun the rest of the day.


#51

Good luck with them, I planted (In Louisiana on the 8b/9a line) 4 or 5 PAF’s last year and lost all of them, I just planted 5 more the other day, and something has already tried to dig up one of them. I also have a 5 PAT’s, 10 Ouachitas. 5 Osage and 5 Sweetie Pies all planted about a year ago. Of these the Osage is the most prolific grower somewhat spreading followed by the PAT’s and the Ouachitas, the SweetiePies are hanging in but have not grown nearly as much, but have a far more bunchy growth pattern.


#52

It’s a good idea to try various types. Isaac that is a warm zone! I would have fig trees! Ozy should be good in zone 7 depending on local conditions. That should be enough sun too.


#53

I have a few other blackberries, including two Natchez and I think one Arapaho. I am going to relocate them all into a single area for ease of care. I figure if things go well in 2-3 years I will have more blackberries than I have any plausible need for.


#54

I would agree, as I do! I still have numerous gallon bags full of them.
Using them for smoothies right now, and occasionally bake with them.
I remove seeds for the smoothies.


#55

People are still visiting this page so here is an update on this original test planting of PAF.

First off 1/2 the plants were dug up and moved further apart. So this test bed is now 12 plants.(5ft apart)
2nd the weather is insane. 2016 It rained 3 days non stop during flowering so this reduced the yield.
We had a huge drought at the end of 2016 so that will affect the 2017 yield as many floricanes died.

2016 was the first floricane crop and was 46lb of good quality fruit from 12 plants.
Humans and birds feeding on early ripening fruit was probably another 2lb.
So yield was 4lb per plant.

Observations:
This is a really low chill hour blackberry, my guess is its under 100 chill hours.
So for tropical areas that could never grow blackberries they can grow this variety.

The fruit is large but has large seeds so for processing a lot of the weight is seeds.

Specific to our climate the primacane flowering is just a disease and insect vector and not a benefit.
We are a no spray operation so we are trying to crop the floricanes for early fruit thus missing insect damage.

How many lbs of lower yields is worth having no thorns?
If you are the one working in the crop NO thorns is very very nice.

These are starting to flower now so we may see fruit at the end of April 2017.

Thank you all for your interest, input and feedback on this blackberry variety.
Thanks also to the hard work of Dr. John Clark and University of Arkansas for some interesting fruit varieties.


#56

David, when were those pictures taken? Your plants look healthy and vigorous.


#57

Hi Muddy,
Pictures taken May 2016, plants planted Feb 2015.


#58

I am interested to hear how freedom and traveler compares in taste and fall hervest to PA 45


#59

Thanks for the reply, David. I asked because mine started to bloom several weeks ago, but don’t look anywhere near as good as yours. Even though I keep hoping they’ll do better, mine struggle. They’ve been disease prone and highly attractive to raspberry cane borers. The climate here for past two years has been hard on everything, but I’d had high hopes for those, since they were bred for the South.

They really are super low chill, though. I’ve gotten blooms throughout both winters.


#60

I agree Muddy, In this insane southern climate the primacane flowering of PAF causes more problems than benefits.

We planted PA Traveler this spring because we can see PA Freedom is just not going to be viable long term in our area.

We have a test bed of Traveler planted last year, they are not flowering yet and like you said Freedom is flowering already.
The hot summer temps caused Traveler to have no primacane flowering, putting all the energy into floricanes.
Traveler also has smaller more bushy canes. Traveler also seems more pest and disease free.
If Traveler ripens too late they will hit Spotted Wing Drosophila so we will see.