Blackberries ~ Self-Fertile ~ Zones 4-8
Apache boasts large, tasty fruit with good eating and keeping characteristics. It is an upright plant, growing 4 to 5 feet in height. A good pollinator for other varieties.
Arapaho requires no pollinator, being self-fertile. It has large, glossy, conical-shaped fruit that are quite firm. This early-season variety ripens about eleven days earlier than Navaho.
Chester is very cold-hardy, but also grows well in the south. This self-fertile, late-season variety produces large, high-quality berries that are firm and keep well.
Navaho is an upright variety with showy, white, star-shaped, fragrant flowers on 6-8 canes. Prune canes at shoulder height twice during the growing season. Large, glossy berries, borne over a six-week period in mid-season, are excellent for freezing and preserving. Self-fertile.
Triple Crown is an early-season variety with outstanding fruit production of up to 30 pounds per plant. This coupled with its outstanding vigor and cold hardiness make it extremely popular with home growers. The fruit is large and glossy with an excellent flavor. This self-fertile plant is a trailing variety, so it should be trellised.
Ouachita is very erect in habit and high yielding. Berries ripen between Arapaho and Navaho and are larger than Apache. The fruit is very sweet.
Kiowa is an early to mid-season, upright, thorny variety that bears incredibly large fruit - larger than a quarter! It provides delicious berries over a long period of harvest.
When it comes to nutrition, no one can beat Mother Nature. The health-giving qualities of blackberries and raspberries have been legendary since the time of ancient Greece.
Consider what research has shown us about the important health benefits of a small raspberry or blackberry.
These berries abound in antioxidants that may impart significant health benefits. Among these antioxidants are the phytochemicals anthocyanin and ellagic acid, and vitamins C and E. Cooking does not seem to destroy ellagic acid, so even jams and desserts retain their health benefits.
After producing the largest ranking of antioxidant foods to date, a collaboration of Norwegian and US scientists have determined that in terms of the highest antioxidant content per serving, blackberries top the list. They are also a natural source of salicylate, an active substance found in aspirin.
Raspberries are an especially excellent source of two critical antioxidant nutrients: magnesium (62% Daily Value) and vitamin C (51.3% DV), as well as dietary fiber (33.4% DV).
So why not just take a nutritional supplement? Research has shown that it is the combination of phytochemicals working together with berry fiber, vitamins, and minerals which make it so wholly effective. Besides who wants to miss out on all that great berry flavor. Here’s to your health!
Blackberries will soon be prolific growers, if not properly pruned. Each spring canes should be mowed or cut to 6 inches and then they should be topped during the season. Several inches of mulch will discourage suckering.