The Q&A Archives: Blackberry Hardiness

Question: I want to grow blackberries, but am confused about their hardiness. Some books and catalogs say zone 5, some say zone 6. Some even say zone 5 for thornless blackberries, but I've also read they won't grow here. Air temperatures here do not go that low for zone 5, but we sometimes get very bitter winds. My garden gets lots of sun and has great soil. Can I grow blackberries? thornless blackberries? boysenberries? Also, my main priorities are good, sweet taste and firmness. Size and productivity would be pluses, too. Any variety recommendations?

Answer: The hardiness zones are based on average minimum temperatures and wind can certainly affect the microclimate for your garden. For instance, a sheltered spot can be substantially warmer than a windy one. The hardiness confusion probably stems from variances between different varieties of blackberries and other brambles -- some are simply much more cold hardy than others. Probably the best source of information about varieties that do well in your local area are your County Extension (662-3141) and local gardeners.

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