Growing fruit in your backyard seems like a good idea – until you put in the work and get only small crops that aren’t even all that tasty. Plant Taste of Heaven blackberry and let it surprise you! We tasted literally hundreds of blackberries and this one was a clear winner. Its big, juicy fruits aren’t just sweet, they also boast a unique, rich flavor that’s nothing like you’ve tasted in a supermarket (or even wild) blackberry. Thornless stems make it easy to care for and a joy to harvest as the delicious berries ripen in mid-summer, and the sturdy canes don’t require staking. Like most backyard fruits, it does take a bit of know-how to prune and care for it properly, but we’ve got you covered with easy-to-follow instructions that help you understand not just what to do but why you’re doing it, making the process straightforward and rewarding.
Why grow Taste of Heaven™ blackberry?
Light: Full sun – at least six hours of bright light each day.
Soil: Rich, well-drained soil ensures high quality and quantity fruit.
Water: Average water needs, water during droughts. Do not allow to dry out during flower or fruit development.
Fertilizing: Apply a balanced fertilizer in late winter or early spring, then again in mid-summer.
Trellising/staking: Taste of Heaven blackberry is an upright/erect variety that doesn’t strictly require staking, though you may find that harvesting the fruit and pruning out the spent canes is easier if plants are trellised or staked. You may also prefer the appearance of a staked plant. If you are growing just one plant, a sturdy trellis from the garden center is probably sufficient; for multiple plants, you may want to implement a larger-scale system like the ones depicted here.
Pruning: Pruning your blackberry is a crucial part of keeping it healthy and productive, and while its pruning needs are a bit more involved than other plants, the process is actually very simple once you understand its unique lifecycle. Taste of Heaven blackberry is a floricane blackberry, which means it only develops fruit on second-year canes in summer. In year one, canes emerge from the crown of the plant and grow tall and leafy; these are known as primocanes. In year two, those same canes are now called floricanes, which flower, fruit, then die. On an established plant, there will always be a mix of primocanes and floricanes so you will get fruit every year. Plants should be pruned three times each year:
Mid-late summer: Once the berries have been harvested, cut all floricanes – those that just bore fruit – down to the ground. Though this may sound extreme, they are going to die anyway, and this allows the plant to put its energy into the remaining primocanes for a better crop next year.
Late winter/early spring: Shorten lateral (horizontal) growth on the standing canes (which have become floricanes since they are in their second year) to 12-16″/30-41cm. If canes are very abundant or congested, thin to 4-8 of the strongest, spacing them evenly throughout each plant.
Late spring/early summer: When the primocanes (growth that emerged from the roots that spring) reach 30-36″/76-92cm, pinch off the tips to encourage development of lateral growth.
When to harvest: Fruits are ready to harvest when they are a deep black and separate easily from the plant, usually mid to late summer, depending on your climate.
Other info: Taste of Heaven blackberry is self-fruiting and does not require a different blackberry variety for pollination. Like most fruit-bearing shrubs, it will take a few years for the plant to mature enough to produce abundant crops, but you are likely to enjoy small amounts of berries before that.
Rubus 'Ponca' PP#33,330, CBRAF
6, 7, 8, 9
Acidic, Average, Moist, Well-drained
|Season of Interest
Early Summer, Late Spring, Summer
Containers, Fruit Production, Herb Gardens, Mass Planting
John R. Clark