Basket case bramble – in nicest possible way
Can this really be a blackberry? Black Cascade, a new introduction for 2017 from DT Brown is a world away from the hedgerow bramble.
It’s the first naturally dwarfing and compact blackberry of its type, bred by leading breeder Professor John Clark at the University of Arkansas.
Black Cascade is an autumn-cropping, primocane variety which can be grown in a hanging basket or container. It’s thornless, will fruit in its first year, and three plants will be enough to fill a 35-40cm (14-16in) basket.
When watered well and fed regularly while in active growth, the three can produce up to 1.3kg of fruit from August until well into October. The large, attractive berries are sweet and juicy, whether eaten straight from the plants or cooked as pies, crumbles or made into jam.
DT Brown’s Tim Jeffries said: “Many of us don’t grow blackberries due to fears of rambling plants, or we just prefer gathering them from hedgerows, but this patio variety gives everyone the chance to grow a few at home.
“Coming from such a renowned breeding programme, we thought DT Brown customers would want to try this superb, prolific fruiting variety.”
Once fruiting has finished, the plants should be cut back, kept relatively dry during the winter, and they will shoot away the following spring, when watering should begin again.
Primocane blackberries produce fruit on growth made in the current season. The plants should last for up to three years in the same hanging basket before requiring potting on.
Black Cascade plants are supplied in 9cm pots and will be despatched next 2017. One plant costs £9.95, or three for £19.90.
For a copy of the Fruit and Vegetables Catalogue 2017, write to D. T. Brown, Bury Road, Newmarket CB8 7PQ, telephone 0845 371 05 32, or go online www.dtbrownseeds.co.uk