Vegetable garden additions – Blackberries and more grapes

Vegetable garden covered in snow

I don’t know as gardening season ever really stops on the farm. Sure we’re not out in the garden every day like during the warmer weather (hello, -20 degree windchill and ice storm). But we’re thinking about the next season, monitoring our stores of vegetables and preserves, and enjoying the produce (curried butternut squash soup, yum).

But come February, I feel like it’s more socially acceptable to discuss gardening. I mean, we’re just 40 days away from spring, people. It’s comin’.

My plans for the garden this year are relatively modest compared to last year. Between our raised beds, trellises, hose and gate, the infrastructure is all in place.

The quadrant layout is working for us. So now I’m just thinking about how to fill those quadrants. (Reminder, here was last year’s plan).

Round garden plan for 2016

Top on my list is adding a few more perennials this year, and I’d love your input on what would work best.

You may remember that I tried to domesticate some wild black raspberries, and ended up ripping them out when they ran wild. So I have a row of raspberry trellis that’s empty. My established raspberries reproduce prolifically, so it would be easy to transplant some new canes into the empty row. But I’d love to try something different.

I’m come across Arapahoe blackberries. They’re supposed to be thornless, self-supporting (so not floppy like the wild raspberries), reasonably hardy for the Canadian climate and with smaller seeds.

Seed catalogues

The other addition I’m considering is more grapes. I’m a bit hesitant because I know nothing about grapes, and I’m not sure if the grapes I bought last year are going to be alive in the spring.

I bought eight vines last year, four red (Somerset) and four purple (Sovereign Coronation). In my mind, I’ve always considered 12–an even dozen–a nice number of grapes. Plus, I feel like four green would round out my collection.

Lakemont are supposed to be seedless, store well (my catalogue says “actually improves in cold storage”) and a “superior” table grape.

Anyone know anything about Lakemont or Arapahoes? Any other suggestions of berries or grapes to add to our garden?

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5 thoughts on “Vegetable garden additions – Blackberries and more grapes

  1. I had a thornless blackberry vine at my previous house. I don’t know what variety it was but it produced HUGE berries! They were not very sweet so they weren’t the best for eating off of the vine but they were great for making a blackberry crumble that you added sugar to anyway. I wish I had brought a start with me to this house.

    I would really like to research and grow blueberries. I have never even seen a bush in real life!

  2. Those thornless blackberries sound wonderful! We have zillions of wild blackberries growing around here, but they are mighty thorny. As my six year old son once said with heavy sarcasm I asked him if he wanted me to come pick the especially big ones on the far side of my cousin’s patch with him: “Sure, if you want to get a needle in EVERY PART of your body…”
    There are tons of wild blueberries in Newfoundland, where I’m originally from. They are the small ones, and super flavourful. The bushes are more like a kind of bushy ground cover than actual distinct bushes. But I have no idea what the cultivated ones look like.
    Four purple, four red and four green sounds like a good grape collection. 🙂

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