Gardening Articles: Edibles :: Small Fruits & Berries
New Everbearing Blackberries
by Charlie Nardozzi
For years gardeners have enjoyed everbearing raspberry varieties, such as Heritage. These varieties fruit twice a year -- in summer and fall. Now from the University of Arkansas comes a breeding breakthrough with another small fruit. Prime-Jim and Prime-Jan are the first everbearing blackberry varieties to become commercially available.
Unlike other blackberries, Prime-Jim and Prime-Jan fruit on the first-year canes (primocanes) in early fall and then again on the same canes (floricanes) the next summer. This allows for two blackberry crops a year. Since the canes of these new varieties are only hardy to USDA zone 7 (roots are hardy to zone 4), gardeners in colder areas should mow down the old canes in spring and allow the new canes that grow to produce a fall crop.
Prime-Jim is slightly more vigorous than Prime-Jan, but the latter produces sweeter berries. Both are thorny varieties that produce large fruits.
For more information, contact berry nurseries, such as the Indiana Plant Farm (http://www.inberry.com).