I’m harvesting a bumper crop of Triple Crown blackberries now; every day I pick a generous bowlful (probably 3-4 cups). This extremely vigorous bramble is in its third season in my new garden, and I’m thankful that it’s completely thornless because it’s scrambling all over the place!
Funny thing though, when I’m up to my neck inside the plant I can’t help but wince as I reach for the topmost berries, instinct insists that it’s going to be painful because it’s a blackberry!
The biggest danger is that I will trample the new growth which is sprawling on the ground beneath my feet, and that would be tragic because that growth will produce next years’ berries. Later this fall, after the fruit are finished and frost begins to nip at the foliage, I will cut out all the canes that bore fruit this season, select the best half-dozen or so new canes, and tie them up in place against the fence. If I lived in a colder climate it would be advisable to leave them on the ground and mulch them with straw or leaves to protect them from extreme temperatures, but that’s not necessary in my zone 7 garden.
I will probably need to prune the long, semi-flexible canes back to fit them inside the spot reserved for them on the fence, because on one side they will compete with my peach tree, and on the other is my thornless loganberry. I’m kinda looking sideways at that loganberry though, because it doesn’t produce nearly as well as the blackberry. If it doesn’t smarten up it may end up on the compost heap.
The berries that are produced by the Triple Crown blackberry are absolutely amazing! Not only are there a lot of them, but they are generally about twice the size of the wild blackberries that grow around here, even the well-watered ones growing on the fence surrounding the garden centre where I work.
And the flavour is exceptional too; rich, sweet, and somehow like a blackberry infused with apple. The first time I tasted them I wasn’t sure if I liked them (I’ve never been good about new foods and flavours) but now I prefer them to the wild ones, and so does my family. Not that I’m going to forgo picking some wild ones, they’re still pretty tasty!
But I’m really glad that I planted this Triple Crown Blackberry in my garden, it’s nice to pick blackberries without copious bloodletting, and I’m looking forward to a batch of apple-flavoured blackberry jam.