Our berries are coming into production. As you can see from the photograph above, our blueberries are ripening now. We have Tifblue, Woodard, and Brightwell growing. These bushes were planted three years ago from 5 gallon containers. They are still very small bushes but should eventually grow to 6 to 8 feet in height. I cannot wait for that day because they have been growing very slowly. Nevertheless, each year we get more blueberries than in the past. Our harvest has been better this year despite the recent hailstorms and the efforts of the Mockingbirds.
We have had fresh raspberries for the last two weeks. These bushes were planted from 1 gallon containers and are still verry small in large part because I transplanted them this Spring to our alley. We have Autumn Bliss and Heritage which are reputed to be self-supporting. I put them in the alley because they cannot grow near our blackberries and can cause disease in each other. Because the blackberries take up so much of our beds in the front, the alley was the only place left for the raspberries. We have about fifteen or so bushes growing behind our side fence in the alley. They get part sun, and I have a drip line providing them with water. Remarkably, the birds and squirrels have not really been going after the raspberries as much as the blueberries.
Our blackberries have been ripening for some time, and are just now starting to turn black. However, even though they are turning black, they are still not ready for harvest. You want the black ones to turn from shiny to dull black. Not an easy standard, so I often rely on the taste test for harvesting purposes. We have approximately 50 Arapaho, Navajo, and Ouachita thornless blackberries that should provide a substantial harvest this year. The photograph above shows two of the bushes with immature, red berries.