I’m venturing out of the world of vegetables and herbs for today’s spotlight, which is all about one of my favorite fruits: Apache Blackberry. Regular readers will know that I am a big fan of Apache. This thornless blackberry produces lots of large, sweet, and juicy berries. And the thornfree canes stand upright on their own and don’t need trellising, which makes it easy to grow.
Apache is one of the varieties developed out of the University of Arkansas blackberry breeding program. It was released in 1998, and I first planted it a few years after that at my old place in Kentucky. It did well there, and when it came time to plant blackberries here at Happy Acres, Apache was on my very short list. It quickly became our favorite, outshining another Arkansas variety we planted called Arapaho, and beating my old standby Triple Crown which is about half the size of Apache and has semi-erect canes that are prone to flopping over.
Right about now in late May our Apache plants are still flowering, and some of the earliest blossoms are starting to develop into berries. Apache typically starts ripening around the first of July here, and we continue to get berries for about a month.
Not all of the berries are as large as the ones in the below photo, but the big berries aren’t rare either. And of course, big berries do make for big harvests. In 2011, our six Apache plants produced 30 pounds of berries.
In our garden, the Apache blackberry has proven to be an all-star performer for us. If you’re looking for a thornless blackberry for your garden, you might consider giving Apache a try. I hope you’ve enjoyed this Saturday Spotlight, and I’ll be back soon with another variety.
To see my other Saturday Spotlights, visit the Variety Spotlights page.