Berries are among the healthiest and tastiest of fruits, and they grow on small bushes, so you don’t need room for big trees. This makes them ideal for smaller gardens, or in a large garden you can grow a big crop. Although they are easy to grow – among the easiest of all berry bushes – blackberries can be a problem, because they have nasty thorns that makes pruning, handling and picking a painful chore. With the Arapaho Thornless Blackberry, now they are a pleasure to grow. This variety is completely unlike old, wild forms. Not only does it have no thorns, the stems are so strong and upright they need no support system, and they can be grown right in the garden. Plant them among your other shrubs and flowers and have berries right there.
The Arapaho Thornless Blackberry is early fruiting, so you get berries before other crops are ready. All through June you will be picking these delicious fruits, and you can expect to get as much as 10 quarts of berries, each 1 to 2 inches long, from every bush you plant. The fruit is exceptionally sweet, with 9.6% sugar, and the berries have very small seeds, so it is ideal for eating out of hand, or putting in a fresh fruit salad. It also makes beautiful pies, and blends very well with apples in tarts, crumbles and pies. As well, it makes delicious jams and preserves, as well as a vitamin-rich syrup for sweet winter drinks.
Growing Arapaho Thornless Blackberry Bushes
The Arapaho Thornless Blackberry grows biggest, and crops the heaviest, in a well-drained loamy soil. This is a tough, adaptable plant, and it will also grow very well in just about any kind of soil from sandy soils to heavy clay. In lighter soils water during dry spells, and use fertilizer for maximum growth, but even with very little attention, you will still produce a good crop.
The Arapaho Thornless Blackberry grows by sending out strong, upright stems that grow to 4 or 5 feet long in a single season. These first-year canes do not flower, but the following spring they produce many clusters of small white flowers. These quickly develop into berries and throughout June you will be picking berries from this early-ripening variety. If you grow other, late-ripening types alongside it, you can extend the season through summer.
Planting and Initial Care
To grow the Arapaho Thornless Blackberry, enrich the planting area with organic material like garden compost, rotted manure, or old leaves, and dig this into a wide planting zone. Water well when planting and mulch each year with a rich organic material. This will conserve moisture. Allow 3 feet between each plant, and if you are planting rows of blackberries, allow 6 feet between each row. You can also grow this plant in a large, shallow box, so even if you have no garden room you can pick blackberries right on your balcony or terrace. Feed plants in containers regularly with a liquid fertilizer for flowers and fruits, and don’t let the soil dry out completely.
The Arapaho Thornless Blackberry has such strong canes that it can be grown free-standing, without any support. To save space in your garden you can also grow it against a fence or wall, in the sun, and then tie the canes to the wall, spreading them out and bending over the tips to increase flowering (and fruit production). You can also save space in the garden by spreading the branches on two wires, stretched between stakes driven into the ground. Space the wire 2 feet and 4 feet above the soil level. Plants on wires are very easy to pick.
Pruning and Maintenance
Annual pruning is easy. After fruiting the old canes are no longer healthy, and they will not produce many flowers the next year. So as soon as you have picked the last berries, cut those old canes right down to the ground. By then new canes will already be growing, and these will continue to grow all summer, without interference from the old canes. If you are using a support, tie the canes in as they grow.
Buying Arapaho Thornless Blackberry Bushes
This hybrid berry was created by advanced hand-breeding at the University of Arkansas, by Professor James N. Moore, in the 1980s. It was patented in 1992, and the proceeds of the patent fund further research into creating new, improved fruit varieties. Our plants are produced under license by skilled growers. They take stem pieces, not seeds, so that they can preserve the unique genetic properties of this plant. If you only know wild blackberries, you will be amazed at the difference.
The Arapaho Thornless Blackberries we offer are directly produced from the original patented plant, so you are assured they will be exactly as described here, and they will have all the best features of this variety. We regularly receive new, fresh stock, but fruit growing is a popular activity, so our stocks never last long. Order now while we can satisfy your order, so you can enjoy growing your very own berries at home.