Boysenberries Finally Taking Off

The Boysenberries have finally taken off this spring.  I planted them in this narrow strip 2 years ago.  Last spring I had a few berries – they were very good.  But this spring, I am seeing all sorts of growth and numerous new shoots.  I am really pleased.  I am going to let them spread all over for a while.

The bushy, green berries in the front are the boysenberries.  The plants toward the pack of the row are a thornless blackberry.  I didn’t know how to properly prune them last year because they sent out very long shoots and sprouted leaves all along it.  They are putting out new shoots and plants, but not nearly as good as the boysenberries.  I think that this fall I need to prune all of the old, long shoots off and let them pop up new shoots from the crown.

boysenberries

A few fun factoids:  The boysenberry was first commercially cultivated by Knott’s berry farm.  The berry was first developed by Rudolph Boysen, although he abandoned his creation.  The boysenberry is a doubled cross raspberry.  I love raspberries, but I can never get them to  survive here in hot ‘ol Texas.  A loganberry (which I also have a couple of plants) is a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry.  It is then again crossed with a raspberry to get a boysenberry.  They are the closest thing to a real raspberry that I am going to be able to grow.

As with most berries, after harvest, prune off all canes that produced because they do not product fruit again.  It is best to burn the pruned off parts to prevent disease transfer.  The plant will product new canes to produce the next year.  When picking boysenberries, the white core plug should stay with the vine, unlike blackberries where the plug stays with the fruit.  Harvest the fruit when they are dark red or almost black.

The plants are susceptible to fungus, so try not to wet the leaves when watering.

My plants are popping up new plants, sometimes by unintentional layering, sometimes by what must be root propagation.  I have let some branches drag on the ground, and to my thrill, they have rooted into another plant.  After the plant roots, you can snip the old shoot that rooted into the new plant.  If you want to purposely later the plant, you can bend a long shoot down parallel to the ground and cover about 6″ of the stem with about 3-4″ of dirt.  Since they are a cross, they can not be started from seed.  You must take cuttings or rootings from a plant to produce more plants.

 

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