Prime Ark® Freedom Blackberry


The new sprouts that come up from the roots bear later in the year. The length of your growing season can be a factor, as frost can get the later fruit. Mine are still somewhat experimental this far north.


Finally got to taste some Prime Ark Freedom blackberries. After a difficult start, at least there are some sizeable canes now. This summer has been very hot and dry for my area. I have watered them almost every day. There was no chance for floricane berries, but there are a few nice primocaine berries sizing up and ripening now. I have them caged for rabbits and deer, and covered with bird net. These are very delicious, and the size is huge. This is actually the second berry. I ate the first before I got it inside. The only other cultivated blackberries that I have tasted from my own yard, are Triple Crown (2 months after planting, not a fair test) and Ebony King. Both of those were much better than the Himalayan blackberries around my property, but this Prime Ark Freedom was really delicious and one berry is a mouthful.


Of all the blackberries I have tasted PAF is my favorite. I picked a few today and they were delicious.


I was very surprised that these were so good.


I have a few that are starting to darken. Can’t wait. The couple floracane berries that I got earlier in the year were good too.


I really like them too…I have a few to eat a couple of tims a week. I actually think the primocane berries are sweeter than the floricanes.


" I actually think the primocane berries are sweeter than the floricanes."
I also like the primocane berries better. They seem much sweeter. Unfortunately, frost gets most of them here.


Freedom and 45’s are doing very good and I planted them very late this year. I think it was may or early June until I actually got them in the soil. I got a berry this fall that had a fairly good flavor off a 45. I think I picked it around a week ago.


I actually think the PAF primocane berries are sweeter than the spring floricanes. :flushed: looks like I already said that but on the second year of growing I still think that. It may be that I’m not in a big hurry to pick and eat like I am for the first berries in the spring. Some of my suckers that I planted made some berries this fall and they were very sweet!


These could easily be my favorite blackberry. Depends on how they do next year, which will be their third year. One concern, I don’t know how will work out, is they seem to be unaware of normal plant reactions to seasons. They are growing new canes and other canes are blooming now, which doesn’t seem normal for a blackberry plant around here in November. We’ll see if the new canes die in the freezes, and if that kills the plant or not.


I planted mine out two years ago after growing them from root cuttings starting the spring of 2015. They have not gone dormant yet. They had a really big crop this last spring but when the new canes came up they got some kind of fungus or something and I cut those new canes back to 2-3 foot and some of those canes died. (We had a very wet year and I had trouble with disease on a lot of my plants and had to spray several times) Right now they all have new growth on them that look healthy but because I cut them back so much I don’t think I’ll have as big a crop on the floricanes. We did have a mild winter last year but we’re about to start the third year bearing and they have not gone dormant. I picked a few berries last November and had gallons of berries in May and June.


i have these growing here. bought them under the assumption that they were a z4 plant. i see you’re in the same zone as me. how do you protect your canes in the winter? left mine out and they winter killed to the snow line everytime.



" how do you protect your canes in the winter? left mine out and they winter killed to the snow line everytime."

I have a very overkill system. First I cut the canes back to about 3 or 4 feet. Then I put styrofoam blocks around the canes. Next I put polymedia in a big mound over that all. The styrofoam (about 1’ cubes) and the polymedia (sheets of some 1" thick fluffy stuff for making sound speakers) I was fortunate to find on Craigslist. They protect fairly well, with some canes surviving and others freezing at ground level, but the fall berries ripen too late. I get a few tasty teasers, but they are loaded with green berries and even blossoms when frost hits. I plan to just keep a few, but get rid of the rest.


we get a lot of snow most years so if i covered mine well they should survive. i got some darrows mixed in so maybe they will fair better. i planted 4 baby cakes dwarf blackberries this spring .they are dwarf thornless and cold hardy to z4. didn’t put on much new growth but read that they grow slow compared to reg. blackberries. maybe get some berries next fall. they produce on primocane and florocanes.


ill cut my canes back and cover them with heavy burlap sacks i have. should be pretty protected under them.



Biggest berry I ever grew …PAF. Planted this spring in high tunnel
Oh and it is the sweetest of any thornless, so far.


Mine were huge like that, too, except most didn’t get ripe before frost. Farther south this variety would be a real winner. Not here. :frowning:


some on here suggested the plants will ripen earlier, adapting to a shorter , cooler summer, over time. i was going to pull mine but instead let them grow. going to cover them and put a high tunnel over them in the summer to try and get some berries out of them.


I’m in Zone 6 and I’m wondering the best way to protect my PAF over the winter. It was planted this spring. Do I cut it back flush to the ground and pile up a bunch of leaves over it? Do I need to cover it with burlap or anything else? Could I cover it with a 5 gallon bucket upside down with leaves in it? This is my first year with berries so I’m pretty clueless. I also have several everbearing raspsberries that I planned on leaving the flourocanes but I’m thinking about cutting them back to the ground as well. I’ve heard the flourocane berries are all that great.

Also, are the current primocanes on PAF able to be rooted this time of year? If I cut all the canes I was thinking about taking a few of the cuttings to root in the window over winter. Is this possible or is it too late?