What is Youngberry?
Youngberry (Rubus ursinus) is a fruiting deciduous perennial shrub. It is part of the Roseaceae family and was developed in 1905 by a famous fruit grower, Byrnes M. Young while working in Morgan city, Louisiana. It is a cross between a Dewberry and a Blackberry. Grown similar to a blackberry, the youngberry is grown on a trellis. Tie the stems loosely to the line so they do not get damaged by the wind and are not trailing on the ground. They should be planted in a full sun position however in warm climates they should be protected from hot afternoon sun. They fruit during November to January where the ripe fruit is a deep purple almost black colour. Youngberries will need a few years to get established and you will get the best harvest after a couple of years growth.
Benefits of Growing Youngberry
Youngberries can be eaten straight from the bush or cooked into sauces, jams, tarts and all other types of delicious desserts. They have a vigorous growth habit and have a good disease resistance.
How to Grow Youngberry
Cool to Sub-Tropical.
Height: 1.5m, Width: 1-2m
When To Plant Youngberry
Plant in Winter.
They like a rich, well drained soil. Prior to planting dig through well broken down animal manure, blood and bone or complete fertiliser into the soil.
How To Plant Youngberry
Plant in full sun, 1.5-1.8m apart with with the plant crown at soil level. Make sure you have something to tie the stems to like a trellis or wire construct as the youngberry canes need support.
Youngberry Plant Care
For optimum fruit production youngberry canes need to be kept well watered. They will benefit from mulching in Spring to conserve moisture in Summer and keep roots cool.
As growth starts in Spring apply a complete fertiliser and a compost of well broken down animal manure.
Birds will be your main problem during fruiting time so you can place a net over your canes to prevent birds eating your berries.
During Winter or when fruiting has finished prune out the weak, damaged canes to make way for healthy new growth. Around ten stems per plant is ideal.