Prime-Ark® Freedom Blackberry
Blackberry, Prime-Ark® Freedom
Scientific Name: Rubus 'Freedom'
History/general species info: A variety developed by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture in 2013, and is the world’s first thornless primocane-fruiting blackberry. It is intended primarily as a home garden or localmarket plant.
Characteristics: Erect. Vigorous. Thornless. Fruits twice a year. Tolerates clay soil. It has very large fruits with good flavor, and is very early ripening. Exceptional fruit size, good flavor, excellent disease resistance, great heat and humidity tolerance. As a primocane-type blackberry, the Prime-Ark Freedom can produce two crops per year.
Flower: yes, white
Planting / Care: Choose a well-drained, sunny location with no standing water. Prepare the soil before planting by mixing compost or other organic matter in with the soil. Work the soil deeply. Space canes 3 feet apart in rows 6 feet apart. Dig each hole to twice the size of the root mass. Plant blackberries 100 feet away from red raspberries.Transplants need good root-to-soil contact. Do not press too hard because that can cause soil compaction and root damage. Gently water around the root ball to settle the soil and drive out air pockets. After planting be sure to mark the plants with plant labels so you know where they are and what varieties they are. Apply 2-3” of mulch to retain moisture and prohibit weed growth.
Fruiting season is in summer: July, August or September. Fruit will not continue to ripen after picking so be sure to wait until fruit is ripe before picking. The fruit will ripen from red to black, but do not pick them as soon as they turn black, wait 3-4 days and pick when the color has a dull appearance. These will be the sweetest fruit. Pick in the morning or evening, when temperatures are coolest. Expect to harvest at least twice a week for several weeks. For more detailed information click here.
Size and Spacing: 5 - 6 feet tall and wide
Pollinator needed to bear fruit: self-pollinating
Prime-Ark® Freedom by Arkansas Extension