Growing Berries in Brisbane query from Bernie Doran
At our last meeting, it was mentioned that Boysenberries don’t fruit up here – that they needed cooler weather. I had some a couple of years ago and got a few fruit from them. They are very hardy and still come up in the grass. What about other similar berries like Loganberries? I saw some Thornless Blackberries at the BOGI show last year; do they grow and fruit here? We get a few light frosts each year.
Replies from Members
George Allen Warn of the possible risk of weediness. The thornless ones would always be an attractive option. Some are marginal in our climate but can still produce fruit.
Sheryl Backhouse I put in a native Raspberry many years ago. It was a nightmare. It suckered like crazy and when the seeds blew in the wind, we had plants popping up everywhere! It took Bob about 5 years to kill it off …. and that’s using Round-Up but we’re all different and by your replies, lots of you like growing berries!
MaryAnn Baker We have Boysenberry, Loganberry, Thornless Blackberry, Raspberry (native and non-native), 4 types of Blueberries all doing well – no frosts here but most are planted on the south side of the shed so rarely get any sun! Raspberries and Blackberries are planted on the fenceline near the cattle paddock so they get eaten by the cows on one side and the road keeps the others in check so not sure how invasive they are – do have friends who grow them in big concrete pots as they think they will be invasive if allowed into the ground. I also grow Tayberry and Goji and am looking for Cossock Pineapple Ground Cherry.
Probably the majority of the berry family is out of its climatic comfort zone here. The boysenberry was grown in southern NSW where I grew up – Batlow – a cool climate apple growing region. One grower had several acres of them and I once spent my school holidays picking them – 25 pounds is what I earned as a 12 year old in 1963!
Greg Daley – www.daleysfruit.com.au
We can grow and crop Boysenberries in Kyogle. Also the Thornless Youngberry seems to crop OK in Subtropics. We do get frosts. I would think that the Boysenberry and Youngberry will crop in Brisbane in cooler regions or where the microclimate is shaded in winter to increase chill hours. I haven’t found them weedy in the subtropics, maybe because they are marginal in climatic requirements – probably more a problem in colder areas. The blackberry is definitely a weed issue in cooler climates. Brian Dobeli I have the Thornless Boysenberry and Youngberry and get enough fruit to make them worthwhile. I lift up new runners every now then so they don’t set roots so it’s not a weed problem at my place Richard Bull I have a trellis of boysenberries (in flower and young fruit at present). Our place at Tamborine Mt is 600m elevation and they fruit and grow well in our cool climate. Paul Thorne has some at Shailer Park which is only about 150m above sea level and a lot warmer than Tamborine Mt and they do reasonably well there. Brisbane may be getting a bit warm and may be borderline – but worth a go, as the fruit are so delicious. The vines need to be trellised and tied onto horizontal wires and are extremely prickly. They sucker a lot from shallow roots, so best to plant in a bordered bed to limit where the young suckers come up. However, when about 10-15cm tall, these suckers have a good root system and can be dug up, cut from the parent root and potted or replanted. Also, long lateral canes (up to 5m) will drop to the ground and immediately sprout roots, so keep the ends of laterals off the ground. If you direct a lateral tip into a pot of soil it will take root and you can cut off a couple of metres of the lateral to make a really advanced vine for re-planting. I can pot up a number of suckers at present if any members would like some plants. Could bring to December meeting or for pick up if any members wish to have a nice visit to our mountain.
Atherton Raspberries and Kerryberries grow extremely well in Wamuran, near Caboolture. Both are weedy (need regular attention). Raspberries are grown intensively by commercial growers around me. Note we have not had a frost here in at least 8 years.
Annette McFarlane I tend not to suggest any cane berries to gardeners because they are so vigorous and hard to control. I have had both raspberries and blackberries fruit here, but not as prolifically as they do at higher altitudes or further south.
Anne Osbourne I have Youngberries fruit here, they are fruiting at the moment. Youngberry is a hybrid between three different species from the genus Rubus, the raspberries, blackberries, and dewberries of the rose family. I have also had Loganberries fruit here. Loganberries are a hexaploid hybrid produced from pollination of a plant of the octaploid Blackberry cultivar ‘Aughinbaugh’ by a diploid red raspberry. Bosenberries are a cross between the European Raspberry, a European blackberry, an American dewberry and the Loganberry. So it is possible that Boysenberries will also fruit here. It can get down to as low 5°C on occasion but rarely freezes.
We’ve been growing the Tropical Raspberry very successfully at Noosa for many years but they don’t like Cherry Tomatoes growing anywhere near them! You can either trellis them or grow them nine canes to the square metre.
I grew a Kerriberry very well but eventually lost it – it had very nice tasting fruit. Looks like they are available from Daleys.
Graham Yeoman of Tallegalla Fruit Tree Nursery – www.tallegallafruittrees.com.au
In reference to your inquiry on berries, we have had Boysenberries growing and fruiting at our property here at Tallegalla, however, they are very prickly to handle and I was always concerned about them becoming a garden escapee if they were not maintained. For this reason we no longer keep them in stock. I would recommend your member look at either the Thornless Youngberry or Loganberry as an alternative fruit as to me they taste very similar and are far easier to handle and maintain. As with any of the berries in this group, they are a bramble and will root down and spread very easily which can add to the weed potential if bushes are not maintained properly. We currently have a limited number of both Youngberry and Loganberry in stock if you need them.
Ramm Botanicals propagate by tissue culture – Rubus fruticosus x R. alleghaniensis (sub-genus Eubatus) ‘Thornless Blackberry’. This hybrid Blackberry bears richly flavoured fruit from mid-to-late summer. Add these healthy berries to fruit salad, your morning smoothie, Greek yoghurt or top your pancakes with them for a burst of flavour. Derived from high health, tissue cultured stock. Height to 2m. Width to 4m. Prefers well drained, slightly acidic, compost-rich soil and full sun position. Keep soil moist whilst plant is establishing and keep it mulched. Remove old canes in winter. Harvest when berries are ripe as they won’t ripen off the vine. Freeze or use immediately. Feed with a controlled release fertiliser in early spring. Self fertile. Train onto wires or a trellis. Still bears some thorns. Note: this hybrid is not considered invasive. (ref: www.ramm.com.au)