Prime Ark® Freedom Blackberry


I will be curious to hear how your high tunnels do, Moose. I also have trouble ripening them before the frost. It’s so painful to see all those big green berries freeze in the fall! Do you plan to keep the tunnels over them all summer, or just when the weather starts to cool down? Too much heat doesn’t sound good for them, either.


going to put it up early may till beg of june then put up again beg. of sept till they fruit. thinking of putting some shoots in big pots and try to grow some in my portable green house. overwinter them in my garage. anyone have luck growing blackberries in pots?


Yeah I have three of them, put them with my figs.I bring them out in early March when the extreme weather is over. If you leave them in too long they will start growing. Fabric is no doubt the best for a container. No cracking from freezing. Although hard to keep watered when growing, they have massive roots and suck the water.


Wow. Low of zero (0) degrees Fahrenheit forecast for tonight. Negative eleven (-11 F) wind chills on the mountain near Thurmont. An impressive -18 F wind chill forecast tonight for Frederick.

I wonder if the PAF I planted last spring will survive this. It is covered with just a little bit of mulch.


how many gal. pot would i need? i have some 17gal. would that work?


Sure. I use 20 gallon. 30 is better, my limit on size, as I’m getting older. My blackberries in containers are not hardy here or untested, Marion, New Berry ( I planted a tip root out to see if it can grow here in ground) Also siskiyou, I also will experiment with this one.


i can move mine to the garage for the winter w/ the tractor but i don’t know if even in the unheated garage if they will make it. I’m not going to try thorny varieties for obvious reasons.


Even in my attached garage it can become too cold, and this recent weather. Right now I have a space heater in there with a thermostat set at 25F,


Matt its probably not a problem but I bet they die back to the ground and we will get a big fall crop. They are tougher than we think in my opinion. I think mine are alive after -9F actually temperature and below zero temps for days. They passed the scratch test the other day.


maybe ill just protect them outside in their raised beds and use the high tunnel instead. my garage is too big to heat.


I have protected figs by putting a tomato cage around them, wrapping it in burlap and filling with leaves or straw. I have these 4 foot square tomato cages, nice, they fold up, easy storage and such. Five feet would be better. although they stack, to 8 feet. I have 4 of them.


I’m going way back to post 5. It appears in zone 5b that Prime Ark Freedom may not be root hardy for me or maybe it will be. Anyone? @clarkinks is sure growing a lot of them. According to posts all around the forum, his winters can get similar to mine.

Navajo seems thru Google to be zone rated anywhere from 4-6. I’m wondering if it’s essentially a zone 5b blackberry?

This winter will tell the tale of Triple Crown and Chester. Thankfully the super cold is gone now. I’ll have a report for next year.

Any other recommendations for thornless? My Mom and I chatted and we are positively thinking of removing my red raspberries to replace with all thornless varieties of blackberries.



Beginning on Dec. 26th -2 F and following.


I would not trust the Zone recommendations. Is that -17 at your house on New Years day the low temperature, or the temperature with wind-chill?

The area around zero degrees is the critical area for Navaho and similar Arkansas blackberries. I have seen some cane die back on my Ouachita around 2 degrees. I don’t believe the publications that suggest -10 is the critical point are correct. My 0-2 degree night last year resulted in die back on a lot of the canes, but they grew back the next summer.

Chester is less sensitive to cold, but I don’t know by how much. It produces a huge amount of fruit, which is not very sweet compared to the Arkansas blackberries in my area.

I don’t have any experience with PAF.

Osage and Von are to other thornless possibilities but I have not grown them and I expect a low around zero is the cutoff

It may be useful to know which varieties that Morris Orchard and Dickie Brothers Orchard grow in Central Virginia.


That -17 is the low w/o windchill.

It’s fine if the roots are hardy, but I suspect they are not.

The Triple Crown and Chester came from my friend’s yard 20 miles from here. He had them for many years until his wife told him it’s time for something else. I remember them coming up from the roots every year at his place. The tops always dying back.




Drew- where did you get your 4 x 4 tomato cages?


At first I bought a couple from Gurney’s then found some at a local produce chain called Meijer. Price is steep at gurneys and about the same at Meijer. So I only have a few. I like them, just for ease of handling and easy storage. They are built very well. Easy to stack too. The one on the left is stacked.


Should be able to tell you more once winter is over. It got down to -9f this winter.


They’re root hardy for me and I’m north of Minneapolis. I’ve had them for 3 years and though they die back to the ground each year, they always come back and give me some primocane berries in the fall.


Will all those PA 45’s you just planted fruit any next year? Considering they’re not primocane blackberries, I guess you’ll have to wait until '19 to get any fruit off them?


PA45 are also primocane bearing, I’ve had them for 5 years.