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Blackberries

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blackberry1.jpgBlackberries are sweet tasty and very easy to grow. Recent breeding in the berry family has seen the development of a large number of new thorn less blackberries. Blackberries can be successfully grown in most parts of New Zealand; they are excellent eaten fresh, and in pies, jams, desserts and wine. They ripen in summer and autumn.










blackberry2.jpgVarieties:

Black satin: An early-ripening thorn less variety with large, luscious blackberries and a unique tart/sweet flavour. Deciduous and erect, with non suckering canes. Tolerates heat. Grows rapidly to about 1.5–1.8 metres tall.

Navaho: An erect, thornless plant with superior fruit quality. Fruit small–medium in size. Yields a bumper crop late in the season. tolerates both hot and cold temperatures

Thornless Blackberry: A hybrid and heavy fruiting blackberry, large tasty fruit. Ripens February to March

Blackberries are cold-hardy, and grow well in most areas of New Zealand.  Plant in full sun for best results although some say they tolerate partial shade, the limited sunshine hours will have an impact on the sweetness of the fruit. 
Plants are generally planted out in winter and spring as this is when plants are widely available from garden centres. Blackberries are happiest in free draining soil, sheltered from strong winds or salty areas. A decent cold period through the winter is required to set the fruiting nodes for the up coming season, in warmer areas fruit initiation may be limited if it doesn’t get cold enough.

Harvest:

Pick once the fruit turns black, they will not ripen if picked too early. Store in the fridge for a few days, and bring back to room temperature prior to eating.