BLACKBERRY (loganberry and boysenberry)

Size: Spread of 3.6 to 5.4m (12 to 18 ft).

Pollination: Self-fertile.

Climate preferred: Cool temperate to subtropical.

Aspect: Any, but preferably sunny in cold, high latitude areas.

Soil: Slightly acid, fertile soil which is well-drained.

Yield: Blackberries, 9kg (201b) to a plant; loganberries and boysenberries, 4 to 6 kg (9 to 13 lb) of fruit to a plant.

Planting and cultivation

It is worth making a special effort to enrich the soil for blackberries and the other hybrid berries with compost, as a single plant can yield huge quantities of fruit. The other essential is to prepare a supporting framework of supporting wires on a wall or fence. You can also strain wires horizontally at 90 cm, 1.2 m and 1.5 m (3 ft, 4 ft and 5 ft) from the ground so that you have a framework at least 4.5 m (15 ft) long. Planting can take place any time between late autumn and early spring.

Harvesting

Pick the fruits when they are well coloured and come away easily from the stalks.

Pruning and training

After planting, cut away the existing canes at a point 23cm (9in) from soil level. In future years cut away all the old canes after harvesting and tie in the new season’s canes to take their place.

Pests and diseases

Aphids, and raspberry beetle (spray with insecticide when the fruit first shows colour).