Reuben Blackberry Bushes
Description of Reuben Plants & Fruit:
This modern blackberry has two special features. It is a primocane, which means it bears fruit on new stems so it crops in its first year (like an autumn fruiting raspberry). It is also much more upright than a traditional blackberry, which makes training and picking much easier. The fruit are big and the flowers are prettier than those of most other blackberries. It is not quite thornless: young stems are prickly, but mature stems have very few thorns.
Characteristics of Reuben Bushes:
- Produces fruit on new stems i.e. it is a primocane.
- Fruit weight is up to 11g when grown outdoors.
- Exceptionally upright habit.
- Few thorns on mature stems.
- Crops from September.
Growing Reuben Blackberry Plants:
Because they are so upright, you can plant them 50cms apart. Unlike other blackberries, this one will fruit on new stems each autumn, which are then cut down the ground after the harvest.
Blackberries are very tough and will grow almost anywhere with decent drainage, although you will always get better crops on a sunny, fertile site.
There is another way to manage your plants. After the new stems bear fruit, only cut them back to immediately below the point where the lowest fruit formed, which should leave about half of the cane remaining. This half-cane will then grow a little and bear fruit early in the following year, in a similar way to an ordinary floricane blackberry. Once they have made this second crop, cut the whole cane down to the ground. In the meantime, there will also be new canes growing up from ground level to repeat the process with.
Background Information on Reuben Blackberry Bushes:
This variety was bred by the University of Arkansas, with the UK trails managed by Hargreaves Plants in Spalding.