How to Grow Loganberries



loganberries
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Days to germination: Grown from seedlings
Days to harvest: 1 year
Light requirements: Sun or light shade
Water requirements: Regular watering
Soil: Can tolerate a range of soil types
Container: Suitable in a large enough pot

Introduction

The loganberry has a bit more of an interesting history than most other garden berries. It’s a relatively modern variety of fruit, which resulted from an accidental cross between a raspberry and a blackberry. The plant is named after the horticulturist who first create it, James Logan. Loganberries look a lot like blackberries, or very dark raspberries depending on their variety.

Because the berries mature at various times on the bush, the loganberry has yet to gain commercial popularity. It remains a uniquely home-grown berry. You can eat them fresh off the bush, or cooked just as you would any raspberry or blackberry. The fruit is a little more tart or sour than a raspberry, but is also high in vitamin C, fiber and manganese.

Transplanting

You’ll be starting your plants with seedlings or cane cuttings. These should be planted in the late autumn or very early in the spring to give your plant the best start.

Choose a sunny location that is sheltered from the wind. Loganberry vines can be brittle, and they don’t stand up to high winds very well even with support. An area with fertile soil is ideal, but loganberries are very tolerant of even poor soil. If necessary, dig in some compost when you are planting your seedlings.

Loganberry vines can grow between 6 and 8 feet long, so plan your spot so that they have room to grow without shading other nearby plants in future years. You can always trim the ends to keep the canes shorter if you prefer.

The canes of the loganberry tend to vine more like their blackberry ancestors so they will need a bit of support to keep them from getting out of control. Their vines aren’t as flexible as the blackberry, so they don’t bend well. You may want to train your loganberry vines up a trellis rather than along horizontal wires like raspberry.

Don’t wait for the plants to get large to try and install a trellis. You’ll just damage the roots as you do so. Space out your seedlings between 4 and 6 feet apart, and put up your support at the same time.

Growing Instructions

To get the most out of your loganberries, you will have to tend to the bushes each season and prune out the old canes. After planting, you can leave your plants alone for the first year but be prepared to start cutting each season after that.

Berries grow on year-old canes, so you can get rid of any branches that have produced fruit because they won’t do so again. After you’ve picked your berries, cut those canes back to ground level. You also want to prune just to keep the bush from getting too large. A big bush doesn’t mean more berries, so keep it under control. Ten to 12 canes will produce well.

Besides the pruning, you should keep your bushes watered during dry spells and give them a good feeding with complete fertilizer each spring.

Containers

Loganberries aren’t the best for containers, but if you keep it well-pruned you should get a decent harvest out of potted plants. A large pot will work, at least 2 feet across and a foot deep.

Just like in the garden, you want to prune out any old canes. But instead of a 10-cane bush, keep your plant down to a more manageable level of 5 or 6 fruiting canes.

Give your plant a dose of fertilizer each spring, or a top-dressing of added compost.

Pests and Diseases

Loganberries are generally quite sturdy and resistant to many pests, but a few of the problems with raspberry plants can also effect your loganberries.

Raspberry leaf spot fungus can make as much trouble for your loganberries as for your raspberries. You will see small spots of dark green start to spread on the new leaves. These spots will grow and eventually the infected piece will fall out, leaving a damaging hole in the leaf. A few infected leaves won’t cause much harm, but a new plant can end up completely defoliated if it’s not taken care of.

Spray your plant with a typical fungicide when you see it happening, and cut out the spotted leaves. Any infected leaves that have fallen off should be raked away and destroyed as well.

Dryberry is a bit more specific to the loganberry. Its caused by a tiny mite that lives in the buds of your plant. The mites will start to feed on the fruit as it develops, leaving you with some berries with dry or dead sections in them. Treat your plants with insecticide around the time the fruits are starting to form to combat the problem.

Harvest and Storage

A loganberry bush that has been pruned down to about 10 canes will produce 10 or more pounds of fruit each year. The berries will turn a deep red or purple when they are ripe, usually around late summer.

Unlike raspberries, loganberries do not pull free of their “core” when you pick them off the bush. You can’t use this is as a way to gauge the ripeness of the fruit.

The berries will ripen at various times, so plan on going out to pick fruit several times in order to get all the berries you can. The fruiting season can last up to 2 months. Watch out for the thorns when you harvest, the vines are quite prickly. Loganberries have an annoying habit of producing fruit under the leaves, so you have to poke around the bushes in order to get all the berries. Wear gloves and long sleeves.

If the thorns are too much hassle, try planting a thornless variety like American Thornless. They tend to produce less fruit but can be more enjoyable to manage.

Use up your fresh berries quickly, but they will stay fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. For longer storage, freeze your loganberries, and use them in cooked dishes for up to a year. After you thaw them, they will be quite soft and not really suitable for “fresh” eating.

9 Responses to “How to Grow Loganberries”

  1. Peter Hartley  Says:

    Reading the article on Loganberries I don’t see any mention of what is the best PH level for them?

  2. Jacqueline  Says:

    Thanks for the excellent article. Now, where would I buy such a cutting? I’ll have to check the Internet.

    I have blackberries growing in the ground and blueberries in large tubs. I think I want to try some loganberries. Every summer I end up with striped arms due to scratches. My blackberries are vicious but delicious.

  3. Lynne  Says:

    Thanks, i think you covered all i need to know.I just hope mine fruits this year. Last year i nearly threw it out.It was in a pot and it looked dead to my husband, but i hung on to it in the hope it would come good when planted in the ground.We now have a few new shoots but growth is slow.Fingers crossed it will fruit.

  4. Logangrower  Says:

    I have heard allusions to the idea that the thornless varieties can thorn if they are “over-cultivated”. Is there truth to this and if so, how do you “over cultivate” so I can avoid it?

  5. Richard Fairfield  Says:

    The thornless loganberries are a hybrid plant so the fruit won’t necessarily produce an identical plant; any fruit which fall on the ground produce plants with thorns. I’ve never persevered with one to see whether it fruits.

  6. Violet Thompson  Says:

    I have just got some loganberries and planted them in the ground. I would like to know how to stake them as they are free standing at the moment and as your article said they are rather weaker than the raspberries which I have had in my garden for years.
    Thank you. Violet

  7. penny spiers  Says:

    We have a wonderful loganberry plant (about 4 years old)which has been very prolific for the last couple of years. This year, however, the fruits, although abundant are rounder and black, like blackberries. Has our plant reverted to blackberry and is there anything we can do about it?

  8. john otton  Says:

    My Loganberries has a throw back
    the cane is simler, Leaves are short squash
    one berry in the middle or center of the leaves like a posey

  9. Maurice Smith  Says:

    I planted a new loganberry bush this past April 14′. My vines grew at least 10′ long and looked very healthy. Problem is that it never bloomed. Any ideas on why and what I should do to correct the problem. Very disappointed with my results so far. Plenty of the correct fertilizer was used and constant watering. I have 3 stems that are a minimum 10 ‘ long but not a single bloom. 12/2/14
    .

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