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Doyle blackberry

 
gary reif
Posts: 75
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Does anyone have Doyle blackberries? How do you like them? How is the flavor?

I want thornless blackberries but other types probably won't survive here as I am in zone 5 but on the edge of zone 4 and we get between 10 and 40 below every winter.

Doyle's say they are hardy to zone 3

Looking online I see lots of positive and only negatives for them but no comments on taste
 
Becky Proske
Posts: 43
Location: Wisconsin, USA (zone 4b)
5
food preservation tiny house trees wofati
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Hello Gary,

First, I will admit my bias... after picking wild blackberries in the woods for years and years, the Doyle thornless blackberry doesn't measure up or deliver a complex blackberry flavor. I would say their taste is average, similar to that of an organically grown blackberry found in the grocery store. I have heard similar opinions from other folks growing thornless blackberries in our area (western WI). On the positive side, the Doyle blackberry does produce a reliable crop for us, sometimes in large quantity depending on the season. The fruit is large and easy to pick and well suited for freezing whole. Nobody complains about the lack of flavor in the middle of winter. That is when we love them the most.

Doyle thornless blackberries seem pretty hardy and not heavily affected by pest or diseases for us in Zone 4. We have been growing them for at least 4 years. In the past two seasons the canes have died back all the way to the ground. But in earlier years the plants re-sprouted from the previous year of growth. Not sure if this occurrence is due to age, weather extremes or our culture, but the plants have returned every season to produced berries nonetheless. We have 4 plants and they are the only blackberry variety we currently maintain. They are planted on a northwest facing slope and don't receive much attention beyond pruning out dead canes in spring and some mulch on occasion. The plants are surrounded by lawn. The idea was to keep their suckers in check by mowing, but they really have not been aggressive for us.

I do wonder if a focus on soil enrichment would improve flavor. I also wonder about a tighter plant community, similar to that of a woodland. Would mimicking the wild blackberry environment improve flavor? Maybe from the resiliency standpoint, I should just plant another variety with an emphasis on flavor for fresh eating.

Becky
 
gary reif
Posts: 75
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Hi Becky

I am on the other side of the state, south of Green Bay. So if your canes are dieing back then are the first year canes producing?

thanks
Gary
 
Becky Proske
Posts: 43
Location: Wisconsin, USA (zone 4b)
5
food preservation tiny house trees wofati
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Yes, the first year canes will produce fruit for us. The plants are slow to emerge in the spring (when compared to our yellow raspberries), their location may play a part in this. The blackberries are blooming in early July and fruit ripens in early September from what I can recall.

Becky
 
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