Edible Articles: Rubus

Fields: Pollinating blackcurrant/loganberry | Boysenberry down wall? | White-fruited Blackberries | Pruning raspberries | Raspberry pruning | Japanese Beetles Love Red Raspberries

Pollinating blackcurrant/loganberry

From: pollinator@aol.com (Pollinator)
Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible
Subject: Re: Pollinating blackcurrant/loganberry

In article <6iajho$geu$1@excalibur.flash.net>, "Kababayan" <Kababayan@flip.net> writes:

>I'm not sure about currants, but loganberries (as with all raspberries
>and blackberries and hybrids, as far as I know) are self-fertile. No
>cross pollination, and they don't seem to need bees much either -
>we seldom get any bees helping with pollination, but just the wind
>seems to do the job quite nicely.
>Brad Horstkotte
>berry nut


You should see the difference in the wild blackberries near my bee yards, and the ones that are not near any beehives!

On second thought, I can show it to you. Just look at the raspberry graphic on the web page below.

All of the Rose family (which included brambles, and many other fruits such as apples) have pollen which is heavy and sticky and is highly unlikely to ever get carried by the wind.

Those which are self-fertile, of course are easier, since the distance the pollen has to travel is shorter, within the same flower, or the same plant. You can have some pollenization from gravity, within a flower, but wind is not a significant factor, and bees are definitely more efficient pollinators.

Pollinator@aol.com Dave Green Hemingway, SC USA The Pollination Scene: http://users.aol.com/pollinator/polpage1.html

From: pollinator@aol.com (Pollinator)
Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible
Subject: Re: Pollinating blackcurrant/loganberry

In article <893756194snz@howl.demon.co.uk>, woolf@howl.demon.co.uk (Jenny Woolf) writes:

>I have one each blackcurrant and loganberry bush. I never thought
>about pollinating them till I read the post about pollinating
>Do these bushes need pollination? can they pollinate each other?

Yes they need pollination. No, they cannot pollinate each other. Bees pollinate flowers. Other flowers pollenize each other. The agent of pollen transfer = pollinator; the source of compatible pollen = pollenizer

There is a lot of variation within the blackberry family. Some varieties must have cross pollination, while others are self fertile. I have had no personal involvement with loganberries, so can only speak generally. Currents are generally self fertile, though they respond with greater yields when cross pollinated.

Cultivars which are self-incompatible must have pollenizers (other compatible varieties in bloom at the same time) and must have a high population of pollinators (usually bees). The high population of pollinators is to carry many grains of pollen to the receptive stigmas. Each seed that is pollinated develops an achene (the small globules of pulp that make up the berry) around itself. If it is not pollinated, the achene will not develop, and the berry will have fewer achenes and run smaller.

Cultivars that are self fertile do not require a pollenizer, but often will yield better if one is supplied. Also they still need pollinators, though fewer in number, because the pollen can come from within the same blossom. One or two visits may be sufficient to make a decent berry from a self pollenizing flower, where a self incompatible flower may need 12 -20 visits.

It should be clear that none of these berries are self pollinating; they may be self pollenizing. Self pollinating would mean that the stigma actually grows into contact with the stamens. Very few plants do this. Self pollenizing means that the pollen from a flower is viable to use on the stigmas within the same flower. However, a pollinator is still needed to transfer the pollen, even if it is only 1/8 inch. Depending on the structure of the flower of a particular variety and the amount of self-fertility, gravity may cause a bit of pollination, but bees are usually more significant pollinators.

<<(Help, I thought all I had to do was feed it and pick the fruit.....can you guess I am new to this??)>>

Welcome to our rapidly changing world of agriculture! Past generations pretty much did what you say, and got by with it. You may also still, if you live in the right place. Wild blackberries or currents are usually good pollenizers for domestic varieties. And bees will tend to be plentiful, if they are not poisoned off (as they are here in cotton country).

In areas where the population becomes more dense, it also tends to become more sterile. Do you have any nearby wild areas where you would have wild blackberries or currents to pollenize yours? Do you and your neighbors zap every carpenter bee that you spot, because you are terrified of it, or mistakenly believe that it will destroy your home? Or do you and your neighbors starve out pollenators by artificial aesthetic standards, where you may encourage fancy blossoms that are worthless to the bees, and eliminate others like dandelions, dutch clover, goldenrod, etc, that will give them a good feed? Bees (honeybees, bumblebees, carpenter bees, and many other solitary bees) need some wild areas and wild flowers. They fare poorly in overly neat suburbs, and areas of monoculture.

You may not need to know everything I've told you here, to raise fruit. But, at the very least, you should be aware of the decline of pollinator populations and the symptoms of poor pollination in your fruit. Then you can be observant, and get high on watching the bees visit your fruit blossoms (or experience the dismay of not seeing them, when they should be there!).

Pollinator@aol.com Dave Green Hemingway, SC USA The Pollination Scene: http://users.aol.com/pollinator/polpage1.html

Boysenberry down wall?

Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible
From: "npm@netcom.com" <npm@netcom.com>
Subject: Boysenberry down wall? Sender: npm@netcom10.netcom.com

Here's a question: I'm tempted to plant my new boysenberry so it'll cascade down my wall, rather than training it up a trellis. Would this work?

-- Nancy Milligan Milligan Consulting Services

From: dgholston@aol.com (DGholston)
Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible
Subject: Re: Boysenberry down wall?

>Here's a question: I'm tempted to plant my new boysenberry so it'll cascade down my wall, rather than training it up a trellis. Would this work?<

Boyenberries are trailing in habit, so it might work to some degree. However, the tendency of most caneberries is to grow up and are probably happier on a trellis of some kind.

Don Gholston

Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible
From: "npm@netcom.com" <npm@netcom.com>
Subject: Re: Boysenberry down wall? Sender: npm@netcom2.netcom.com

Here's more details. The wall is about 5-5.5 feet tall retaining wall with a slope behind it. There's about 6 inches between the top of the retaining wall and where I'd plant the berries, at the foot of the slope. If this is doable, then I'd just position the canes to droop over the wall and fall downwards.

Whatcha think?

From: "Don Chapman" <don@bio-organics.com>
Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible
Subject: Re: Boysenberry down wall?

Boysans will happily sprawl down a wall. Be aware that they will sprout wherever a tip touches the ground, and will also send out underground suckers from their roots. If you don't keep on top of them, they will try to take over the whole yard and become a nuisance. I'm sure you know this, but after a cane has borne a crop, it dies, dries up, and needs to be removed. You'll need to let new canes grow each season.

BTW, my compliments on your choice. Boysans are bigger and more delicious than other brambles!

-- Don Chapman <don@bio-organics.com> Bio/Organics Supply Center 3200 Corte Malpaso, #107 Camarillo CA 93012 (Near ocean N. of LA) <http://www.bio-organics.com>

From: Gary Cooper <biggary@utdallas.edu>
Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible
Subject: Re: Boysenberry down wall?

I think you can do it. If it were my wall, I'd give it a try, and if it doesn't work I'd dig them up next year and plant them at the bottom of the wall with a trellis they can climb.


White-fruited Blackberries

From: lionkuntz@aol.com (LionKuntz)
Newsgroups: alt.agriculture.fruit
Subject: Re: White-fruited Blackberries

In article <6ns3mt$638$1@news3.infoave.net>, "Jack Anderson" <tennis@infoave.net> writes:

>Does anyone know anything about White fruited Blackberries?
>My wife and I would like to know if they are available anywhere or if anyone
>has heard of them.
>Best regards
>Jack Anderson

Luther Burbank developed white fruited blackberries (and thornless black-berries too). What happened to them is unknown, but Stark Brothers bought out Burbank's experimental farm when he died and dug up everything and shipped it to New Jersey. Maybe they can tell you who has the White-blackberries.

Pruning raspberries

From: Guy and Diane Bradley <bradleys@inlink.com>
Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible
Subject: Re: Pruning raspberries Reply-To: bradleys@inlink.com

psychmom wrote:
> We planted a raspberry bush last year and have fruit for the first time
> this year. I think it's a red raspberry bush - we've got the canes
> growing straight upward on a trellis and it seems to be happy. I know
> that we have to prune the canes once we harvest the fruit, but my
> question is whether we should cut the cane back to the main stalk or
> just cut them back a bit. We already have new canes coming in from the
> bottom of the bush - I'm assuming those are next year's canes?
> Paula

Last year's canes should be cut back to the ground after fruiting. Next year's canes are in fact what you see growing from the base of the plant.

Guy Bradley St. Louis MO zone 6

From: AST <d66ABd-65465215@valdena.demon.co.uk>
Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible
Subject: Re: Pruning raspberries

>It depends on the type of raspberry you are growing. A lot of the new
>raspberries are primocane types, meaning they bear on the tips of the
>canes during the first year. For these, you can just cut them, after
>harvest, below where the fruit set. Next spring you'll get another crop
>lower down on those canes. When that's done, then cut the canes to the

These are Autumn/Fall fruiting varieties....

>Traditional raspberries are floricanes, meaning they bear their crop on
>the canes produced during the preceding year. These are pruned as the
>previous poster described.

These are Summer fruiting....these also yield a much larger crop.

* Alessio Tiramani *
* Replace "d66ABd-65465215" With "Alessio" *
*(If you don't The Message Will Be Rejected!)*

Raspberry pruning

From: ribes60@aol.com (Ribes60)
Newsgroups: alt.agriculture.fruit
Subject: Raspberry pruning

>Thanks Ed, but what are primocanes and what is topping


Raspberries produce new growth (canes) each year, these are primocanes and generally these do not produce flowers or fruit. The following year these canes are called floricanes, they flower, fruit and die. They should be pruned to the ground as soon as they have finished fruiting. If you canāt run them through a chipper-shredder, they should be burned.

As the primocanes grow they should be topped at approximately 2 to 21/2 feet, this will encourage branching and formation of more flowers. This will have to be done frequently as they grow fast and produce canes at an extended period. Try to keep them controlled, if not they will grow very long canes that fall over and "tip root" which makes the patch become impenetrable and reduces the flowering capacity of the plant.

I have some "wild" black raspberries in my planting that I manage this way and they have been very satisfactory. It is a little "labor intensive" but the results are worth it.

The exception to this process are the "everbearing" or "fall bearing" varieties (which are not really everbearing, but have two crops a year. These are best handled by cutting all canes to the ground in early spring and they will produce one fall crop that will probably be larger than the two crops they would have otherwise produced.

I am in central PA on the edge of zones 5 and 6, some years more 5 and others more 6.

Japanese Beetles Love Red Raspberries

From: "Bob B'ski" <RRBSKI@prodigy.net>
Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible
Subject: Re: Japanese Beetles Love Red Raspberries

Jerome R. Long wrote in message <6n2v30$45j$3@solaris.cc.vt.edu>...
>The beetles and red raspberries rippen together here in Southwest Virginia
>and do a lot of damage to the berries. They get right on the ripe berries and
>suck them dry. Any ideas to combat this problem? How does one position the
>pheramone(sp) traps so they don't function as beetle magnets?

position them down wind from the area you are trying to protect...that way the beetles will find the trap first........if you put them up wind...they'll come to the plants first. It is the scent that they are coming too...

Bob B'ski Have a Great Day and Better Tomorrow

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