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Picking the Ripest Blackberries

Category Berries
Optimal sweetness is achieved when the berry is fully ripe. Some berries actually may appear ready to pick when black and shiny, but with some varieties it is when them become less shiny that they are sweetest. This is a guide about picking the ripest blackberries.


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June 8, 2017

There are several fairly new thornless blackberry varieties to be had. Among the biggest and sweetest are those introduced by Arkansas State. The two I have from this collection are Apache and Arapaho. Both are erect and do not 'spread', making them ideal for growing in containers.

Careful research led me to choose Apache. I also bought Arapaho because it was on sale. Both are quite high in sugar content. Now that the plants are near the picking stage, I find that, (at least for me), the Arapaho bears earlier, bears more heavily and has larger fruit. Time will tell which tastes the best.


When picking blackberries, one might be tempted to pluck a berry just because it is shiny and very black. This alone is no indication the berry has reached a fully ripened state. In fact, when a blackberry is at its optimum level of ripeness and sweetness, it will have lost its shine and become quite dull. The pictured Arapaho blackberry should be left on the bush for two or three more days.

So, now you know. Not a chance I'll run into an occasional sour berry when you invite me over some Sunday afternoon for hot blackberry cobbler topped with a generous portion of vanilla ice cream. Yes!

And thank you.

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June 11, 20170 found this helpful
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The mention of that blackberry cobbler makes my mouth water and my mind wander. My mother very rarely baked a cake but wild blackberry cobbler was a weekly staple. Of course, we did not have ice cream to top it with but many times we had fresh cream and that was a treat.


Thanks for all the ideas about container gardening and growing standards. I have mine started and hope to have a good sized row as time progresses. I am a little slower than I used to be so it may be next year before plants will be very noticeable.

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June 10, 20170 found this helpful

I have purchased the Rubus Sweetie Pie Blackberry also thorn less and have it in a pot. It was after the season so I got it half price. It was small and since planted it has perked up quite a bit and is growing nicely. I picked that variety because it likes the heat ( very hot in south TX) and said to be very sweet. I will have to wait till next year to see how the blackberries turn out. Thanks for the info.

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June 12, 20170 found this helpful

Do let us know. As my ag agent says,'blackberries are tough'.


And they are. They are sturdy, grow fast, multiply, very hardy. Do give your plant plenty of room, water and fertilizer.

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June 12, 20170 found this helpful

This is advertised as the sweetest of all the thornless blackberries. I will look into it next Spring. Thanks.

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