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Re: [nafex] Berry Report

Don,  How about watching your berries and see how long they produce during
the summer. I got some last summer (50 yrs. old, no name) and they are still
producing as many berries as when we first picked. It's my first try at
berries so not very well versed on the subject.

Jack Wigal
Washington, WV
Z 6

----- Original Message -----
From: Don Yellman <dyellman@earthlink.net>
To: <nafex@egroups.com>
Sent: Friday, August 18, 2000 4:19 AM
Subject: [nafex] Berry Report

> 1.  Not much happening on the board these days.  Time for a berry
> report.
> 2.  Back in late '99 I went to the board for advice on replacements for
> the Shawnee blackberries that I had finally torn out.  I was interested
> in both blackberries and raspberries, and got some excellent
> suggestions.  I doubt that I would have chosen or even found these
> varieties had it not been for these recommendations.  As we approach
> late summer, I have some very positive, if preliminary results to
> report.
> 3.  Triple Crown Blackberry:  Sourced from Indiana Plant & Berry.  I
> have seldom seen a plant grow with such vigor as this cultivar.  Some of
> the canes would have grown well over 12 feet had I not pinched them back
> to encourage laterals, which are also forming freely.  Bear in mind that
> they have only been in the ground for less than four months.
> Fortunately, I built a sturdy support trellis with landscape timbers,
> 2x4's, and no. 9 wire, and have something to tie them to.  They are well
> sited, in full sun with enriched soil, and we have had regular rains
> this year, but even with these advantages their growth has exceeded
> expectations.  Absolutely no disease problems.  Not even one wilted
> leaf, even though they were planted right where I tore out the
> Shawnees.  A few berries were produced on the old canes of the
> transplants, and they were of excellent quality.  I have always believed
> that the thorny varieties would produce more from a given space, but I
> don't see how Triple Crown can fail to outproduce the Darrow and Shawnee
> berries I have grown before --- if the canes winter over successfully.
> I won't miss pruning and weeding those thorny berries, nor picking
> little thorns out of my fingertips.  I expect to get a very large crop
> from these berries next year --- only the 2nd season.
> 4.  Doyle Blackberry:  I thought these plants were expensive when I
> ordered them --- $18 per copy -- so I only put in four.  But when they
> arrived I could see why.  They are airshipped from Severtson Farms, and
> I have never seen a more careful packing job.  Most of the cost of these
> plants is in packing and shipping, apparently because their tissue
> culture propagation method results in small, growing potted plants, not
> dormant stock from the nursery row.  The Doyle plants are not yet
> showing the vigor of the Triple Crowns, but perhaps that is partly a
> first-year difference due to the distinct plant type.  At this stage,
> canes are of notably smaller caliper than the Triple Crowns, but some
> have reached the top of the 6-foot fence and have been pinched back.  It
> may well be that it takes a little longer to establish the Doyle, but
> they may also turn out to be more productive, plant for plant, than any
> other blackberry, just as their grower claims.  I am not really clear on
> why the Doyle is exclusive to Severtson Farms.  Their literature does
> not state that they hold a patent on the variety, but they are
> apparently the only producer and distributor.  Whatever the case, they
> do a very fine job of getting the plants to you in good condition, and
> you pay a little for that.
> 5.  Baba Raspberry:  Recommended to me by a couple of PNW nafexers, and
> obtained for me by a Calif. nafexer when I couldn't find a source.
> Several years ago, I had pretty well given up on red raspberries
> (Taylor, Heritage and Latham) because of sparse production, mildew
> problems, and crumbly berries.  So far, the Baba is a different story.
> In June, a few berries formed from the original canes of the plants, but
> as the plants put on new growth and began to sucker, the new plants also
> bloomed and set fruit which we are picking now.  This was an unexpected
> development, which I am at a loss to explain.  I believe this is a
> summer bearing variety, but it is behaving like a fall bearer.  It may
> be that the canes fruiting now will not produce again next summer, but
> there are enough new canes from the vigorous suckers that I expect lots
> of fruit next June no matter what happens.  Flavor is a subjective
> judgment, but the Babas sure taste like raspberries to us, and there are
> many more of them than I anticipated at this stage.  This may be a West
> coast variety, but if my experience is typical, they also adapt well to
> our humid, Eastern climate.  There are a number of other new raspberry
> varieties around, such as Killarney, that seem highly regarded as well,
> but based on my experience so far, I think I will stick with the Babas.
> 6.  Fallgold Raspberry:  Sourced from Indiana Plant & Berry.  This is
> the only berry I planted this spring that has been a disappointment so
> far, but I think there is hope.  Half the plants (5 out of 10) died, and
> the original growth from the remaining five does not look good.
> However, some new suckers are starting to show up that look healthy, not
> yet showing any wilt.  The original plants set a few berries that I
> would describe as raspberry candy.  The sweetest berry I have ever
> eaten.  Kids love them.  Obviously, these berries are intended to be
> eaten fresh, perhaps with a little cream (no sugar).  They would be lost
> in a jam or any use that requires cooking.  I will nurse them along, but
> may have to use some kind of fungicide on the canes, although I would
> prefer not to.  I don't really know what is causing the leaf dieback, or
> what I would use to fight it, but if anyone has any suggestions they
> would certainly be welcome.  These berries are a unique fresh treat, and
> I would hate to give up on them, but they are apparently more
> susceptible to wilt than the Babas.
> 7.  Just returned from the nafex 2000 meeting at Charlottesville,
> Virginia.  What a great time we had.  I don't expect to miss any more of
> these until they pry the pruning shears from my cold, dead hand.
> Rgds, Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

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