When blackberries will ripen depend on a number of factors. But, barring unforeseen problems, blackberries season should run approximately from the first or second week of June until the end of July. Thanks to new varieties of blackberries the blackberry season in Georgia is getting longer all the time!
Over the past few years, the University of Arkansas has been working hard to develop new varieties of blackberries in their Blackberry Cultivar Program in Clarksville, Alabama. Headed by Dr. John Clark, the University of Arkansas has led the way in developing some very exciting new types of blackberries. Among these, the most exciting are the Prime-Ark varieties, including Arkansas Freedom and Arkansas Traveler.
Arkansas Freedom Blackberries Increase U-Pick Blackberry Season Near Chatsworth, GA
The Arkansas Freedom Blackberries are a personal favorite. The very first primocane bearing blackberry, the Freedom bears on both second year canes (called Floricanes), and on the current year’s growth (called Primocanes). The Floricanes on the Freedom bloom so early that, in North Georgia, at least, you’re not guaranteed to get a crop. In 2017, our Arkansas Freedoms bloomed so early that the bees weren’t out yet, so nothing got pollinated. However, whether they bear on the floricanes or not, really doesn’t matter all that much, because the current year’s grown, or primocanes, will still bloom and bear in late summer.
By adding Arkansas Freedom to our u-pick blackberry farm in Chatsworth, GA, we were able to lengthen our picking season into August and September. Not only will we have blackberries available longer, but the Freedom are known for having some of the biggest blackberries you’ve ever seen. Some of the blackberries we’ve picked off of our Arkansas Freedom here at Grassy Mountain Blackberries have been every bit as big as your thumb. This crop of primocane berries is just beginning to bloom now, in late May, and should begin being available to pick by the end of July. And, if the birds will leave them alone this year, they should keep right on bearing until frost. In 2015, we picked blackberries after Thanksgiving, because it hadn’t frozen, yet. However, in 2016, the birds ate everything that came on after the middle of August and we didn’t get to pick anything late in the year.
Arkansas Travelers Mean Blackberry Season in Chatsworth, GA Will Arrive Even Earlier Than Usual
The brother (or sister) to the Arkansas Freedom is the Traveler. Developed at the University of Arkansas, as well, the Traveler is a medium sized berry that also blooms and bears very early on its second-year growth. However, because it blooms a little later than the Freedom, in 2017 anyway, the bees were out and the Travelers have set on very nicely! These early bearing blackberries should be ready to pick by the first week of June, if not even sooner. As of this writing, on May 22, many of the Arkansas Traveler Blackberries are already beginning to turn red. Instead of having to wait for the middle of June, it is likely that blackberry season will start quite a bit earlier, this year. It’s exciting to think that if the Freedom had set on when they bloomed, we might have blackberries to pick right now!!!
Blackberry Season in North Georgia 2017
Between our crazy spring weather and the late freezes that set back the blooming, we had worried that the blackberry season might be late this year. But, it’s not looking like that will be the case. Already we see berries starting to turn red. And, while true ripening is still a ways off, it seems safe to say that there will be blackberries to pick by the middle of June for sure. In fact, it’s possible that we’ll be picking by the first week of June, we’ll just have to wait and see what the heat and rain have in store.
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