Prime Ark® Freedom Blackberry


That is very encouraging from young plants. I have high expectations…


It’s so tempting to see these blackberries and not want to add some of them to our farm. But, we already have blueberry, gooseberry, strawberry plants in the pipeline for this year.

We do however, have wild blackberries growing on site. My wife loves them, but she grew up on them. I found them to be bland and small, and too “seedy”. But, these big plump Prime Ark’s look nice. I’ve read that if you have wild brambles, that you shouldn’t plant new ones closeby because of certain disease carrying insects?


Both raspberries and blackberries are susceptible to a host of viruses, and the wilds are often carriers of these viruses.


I love reading about the culture of blackberries. But I must admit, I pick and make jam from about five gallons of our wild sandhill blackberries (Rubus cuniafolia) that grow on our pine tree plantation that I co-own with my sister and cousins. So far I haven’t convinced myself that its worth fighting the birds and disease in my hot south Georgia climate over the few canes of domesticated ones that I could possibly squeeze into my very limited space. Still, it’s fun to watch what you guys are doing and the beautiful results. I must admit it’s tempting and then I look at my pantry full of leftover jam from last season…God bless.



I would recommend keeping all of the primocanes cut flush to the ground until Mid-May/early June. This would put your primocane crop somewhere around mid-Sept-early October. Depending on your zone and the weather that year. This would also put more energy to the floricane crop, creating higher yields and larger fruit.


Jason, Thanks for the input. This would make sense. It would also make it easier to remove the finished floricanes.
We have enough growing season to fill the trellis before winter. I wonder about disease entering the pruning cuts close to the crown. I will try this method and report back. Thank you.


Prime Ark Freedom right now! Erp. Mildly sweet earthy taste. Ripened amidst a washout of a late spring here.


That seems small for PAF. I wonder if it was the weather?


Is this fruit from Paffy already, or an older bramble? Looks big to me, our wild ones are maybe half that size.


Marcus! I bet the flavor of your wild raspberries is delicious, though; not that my hybrids are not, its just that my Oachaita grow to the size of ping pong balls, and you have to wait so long for them to sweeten up. Also the size of the seeds are like small rocks. I need my food mill to process my jam. Its good, but I bet yours is better!


I planted two PAF last year, both seem to have died over the winter. Are people in Z 6 and colder having luck with this plant?


My PAF grew like crazy 2015-2016 spreading under the weed control to my other blackberry rows over 10’ away popping up everywhere, but my 2016 harvest just didn’t taste good for some reason, I have the house for sale now and don’t know about this year I haven’t been over there much. I haven’t planted any blackberries at my current house only raspberries.


Yep. Paffy.


Mine’s in z6b but was just planted this spring. This coming winter will be its first here.


I personally don’t think they can handle much below +10F. . .


Last winter we had a few days down to 9F. All above ground canes of PAF died to the ground. One came back vigorously and after tipping at 4 feet is now 6 foot and has early flower buds. A second grew but less vigorous and I just tipped it at 4 feet. The other two, I thought were dead but now have puny new shoots 6 inches tall, similar to new tissue culture plants. Those had started growing in June.


Mine planted last year survived 3F without damage. Hoping it can handle lower because it was a mild winter.


It may or may not? Many times in zone 7 and 8 the extremes change too quickly for it to harden off. I bet in Bear with Me’s case, that is what happened, and in your case it had a chance to harden off.


Mine withstood a brief drop to about -25F last December, but were well-protected with insulation over them. Even the canes were fine in spring. Ate a couple sweet berries yesterday. I read somewhere that blackberries only spread by tip-rooting, but that is definitely not the case with these. A few sprouts have popped up 12 feet away from the mother plants. They don’t seem to crop very heavily, though. (near Minneapolis/St. Paul.) The flavor over the past couple years has varied. These yesterday were wonderful.


Please forgive my ignorance, but since PAF is a primocane bearing, would it still bear even if it froze to the ground? And does the hardiness zone refer to the tops or the roots?