Pruning and Varieties of U-Pick Berries
The first months of the new year is dedicated to pruning our 12 acre berry patch! This job is done vine by vine, cane by cane, bush by bush and all by hand before the next growing season to insure the best crops. Our Farmers are hard at work year round to bring to you the best tasting and most nutritious seasonal foods.
Pruning the Blackberries
The thornless blackberries are pruned annually, it offers a better picking experience, healthier plants, and bigger, better tasting blackberries. By pruning the bushes in the dormant season, we trim away the old vines forces the blackberry bush to concentrate energy to the remaining vines. Pruning the root suckers of the blackberry bushes that emerge from the crown of the root, retains the integrity and strength of the plant. We prune and we trellis the thornless blackberry bushes to train the plants for a more enjoyable picking experience.
Variety of Blackberries
There are 3 varieties of thornless blackberries in our U-Pick Berry Patch: Natchez, Ouchita, Chester. As each variety ripens at a different time, our blackberry picking season lasts July thru September. The rows are trellised for ease of picking and reach. Of course, there are always enough blackberries ripened for a taste test as you fill your buckets.
Pruning the Raspberries
Pruning raspberries produces higher yields and bigger fruit. Raspberries grow on canes. Once a cane has produced for a season, it will not grow more berries. During the dormant season or winter months, we prune both the primocane and the floricane, which is the cane that blooms and then turns to the fruit. Pruning raspberries produces stronger, more robust canes, allows more sunlight in to the raspberry bush, and helps eliminate heavy moisture on the leaves which can cause mildew or other disease on the bush. Raspberry pruning promotes a more productive and better tasting berry.
Variety of Raspberries
The Berry Patch at Fort Vannoy Farms grows eight varieties of U-Pick Raspberries. By name they are Caroline, Cascade Delight, Kokanee, Tulameen, Nova Red, Lewis, Honey Queen, and Jewel. The Honey Queen is a beautiful golden raspberry with the taste of royalty. Jewel is a large black raspberry with a robust flavor perfect for fresh eating and jams and jellies. Our U-Pick raspberry season is July thru September.
Blueberries grow on bushes and are pruned each year to encourage new growth of the blueberry producing stems. Pruning removes dead or damaged branches and reduces the number of leaf producing stems so that the plant is able to put more energy into flavorful blueberries and not the leaves. This pruning opens up the plant and encourages new stem growth and larger more tasty blueberries. Interestingly, young blueberry plants also need to have the blossoms pruned in the first and second year after planting to nurture a hardier bush structure for a more productive plant and flavorful blueberries.
Variety of Blueberries
The Blueberry Patch will be open for picking for the 2024 season. We are growing Duke, Blue Ribbon, Top Shelf, and Calypso blueberries. Our U-Pick Blueberries will be ready for harvest from Late June thru September. As one variety is finished with harvest, the next variety will be ripening.
Strawberry U-Pick Varieties
Although strawberries require a different approach to pruning, it is no less important to the health of the plant. At the end of the harvest season the berry plants are mowed down. Through the rest of the growing season, they are watered and cultivated between rows to keep pests and plant disease away. Fort Vannoy Farms grows both June Bearing and Ever Bearing Strawberry varieties. We grow 6 varieties of Strawberries. The June Bearing varieties are Ruby June, Chandler, and Puget Crimson. The everbearing varieties are Albion, Seascape, San Andreas. Our U-Pick season for strawberries is Mid-May thru Early July.
While the winter months seem quiet, we use all seasons to take the time, care, and attention to bring to you the best tasting, grown-in-Oregon, nutrient dense food possible. Joins at Fort Vannoy Farms in Grants Pass, Oregon, for the most delicious U-Pick Berries.