[NAFEX] Doyle Blackberry

Don Yellman don.yellman at webformation.com
Tue Apr 4 06:46:39 EDT 2006


My experience with the Doyle blackberry has been much more positive than Hector's.  I have been growing Doyle, more or less side-by-side with Triple Crown for 6 years now, after have rid myself of various thorny blackberry varieties (Darrow, Shawnee, Cherokee etc.).

Here in northern Virginia, the Doyle is a blackberry producing machine, outproducing TC by a factor of four or five.  Doyle berry panicles are much larger than anything else I have seen, and will continue to ripen large quantities of berries at least 10 days longer than other varieties.  I started with four Doyle plants, and by the third year those plants produced over 25 gallons of blackberries.  We filled the freezer with them, and I made blackberry wine, using over 5 gallons of pure juice.  I have had no sign of disease on either Doyle or Triple Crown here, which was not true of the thorny varieties, which regularly suffered from crown gall, and various wilts, including, I suppose, anthracnose.  They seem bulletproof to diseases here.

The quality of the Doyle berry is not quite up to the Triple Crown standard, since it produces a slightly smaller berry, which makes it seem a little seedier.  And it can be more tart than some other varieties unless allowed to fully ripen on the canes.  But this is true to some extent of all blackberries, and if you want a lot of berries for jelly or winemaking, or just for freezing for winter consumption, Doyle is hard to beat for the sheer volume of berries it will produce.

Both Doyle and Triple Crown require a very strong and tall support trellis to achieve their maximum design potential.  Mine is over 6 feet tall, using treated 4x4's supported by 2x4's across the top, and three No. 9 wires stretched across at appropriate heights.  Both are vigorous growers, TC slightly more so than Doyle, and will grow thick main canes nearly an inch across at the base in rich soil.  The more mulch you can give them, the better they like it.  I use stable manure right from the riding stable.

I would expect you to be able to winter over Doyle pretty well in northern PA, although there could be a little tip dieback.  This is not, however, a serious problem if the main canes stays healthy, since these berries fruit on laterals that grow in rapidly in spring.  Floricanes can and should be removed fairly promptly after fruiting so you can keep them out of the way of incoming primocanes.  Don't buy too many of these plants, since they tiproot so readily you will soon be able to make all you want of your own.  I pull them out and discard them all the time.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

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