If you are looking to increase the number of soft fruits in your garden then you might way to consider planting some boysenberries. These fruits have a unique flavour that is something like a cross between blackberries and raspberries. If you wish, you can find a thornless variety which will make picking these fruits a lot easier.

Growing boysenberries:

These hardy perennial canes are similar to those of the raspberry and can be grown in similar conditions. Though they will tolerate partial shade, like most if not all fruiting plants, they will crop more prolifically in full sun. They will prefer a site that is relatively sheltered from strong winds. They can be grown in containers or directly in the soil. Establishing a boysenberry patch in your garden could give you a bountiful supply of soft fruit for years to come.

The best time to plant boysenberry canes is from late October to mid-November or from November through to March over the dormant period, as long as the soil is not frozen and it is possible to plant them out. Boysenberries can grow successfully in a wide variety of soil types.

How far apart you space your canes will depend on the variety, though they will need a reasonable amount of space so they do not face too much competition. Make sure that your planting site is as weed free as possible and mulch well to keep the weeds to a minimum throughout the year.

Boysenberries will form on one year old plants so they will begin to produce the year after planting. If you want you can let the plants grow wild and unconstrained but in most gardens, especially where space is at a premium, you will probably want to prune, train and support your plants. This will also make it easier to find and pick the berries when they appear.

Add a good organic compost or well-rotted manure to the surface of the soil in late January each year and water when there are dry spells, especially as the fruit begin to colour, when a consistent water supply is most crucial.

You may find that it is a good idea to net your boysenberries as birds may otherwise steal all your berries before you get a look in. Berries should be harvested whenever they become ripe and unlike raspberries, will come away with the white, central rasp in place.

Why grow boysenberries in the garden?

Boysenberries are a great addition to a fruit or orchard garden. The berries can be eaten fresh, straight from the bush or they can be used to make a wide range of preserves and puddings. These fruits are extremely healthy and provide many of the vitamins we need.

Considering the cost of soft fruits in the shops, growing your own always makes for a good value addition to your garden.

Quick Facts

Latin Name
Rubus ursinus