The Rubis Prime-Ark Freedom is a thornless Blackberry Plant that grows large sweet berries, is easy to care for, and can produce fruit within the first year after planting. Prime-Ark Freedom Blackberries grow in an upright, clumping form and are tolerant of many soil types, including clay. Plant them in full sun within USDA Zones 4 to 8, give them medium water and a well-drained location, and you will be rewarded with crops of delicious Blackberries year after year.
Prime-Ark Freedom Blackberries are cold hardy down to 0ºF, and their blooms are a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds. These easy to grow primocane Blackberries are self-pollinating and bloom in spring and summer. They have deep green leaves, and are considered to be fast growers. Prime-Ark Freedom Blackberry plants can be grown in the ground or in containers, and while a single plant will make fruit, you will probably want a few growing in your edible landscape so you can have plenty of berries for eating fresh, baking, and sharing.
Rubis Prime-Ark Freedom Blackberry Care
In addition to growing big, juicy, exceptionally sweet Blackberries, Prime-Ark Freedom Blackberry plants have another advantage for growers. Prime-Ark Freedom bushes bloom and grow fruit on new canes, unlike other Blackberries that typically only produce fruit on canes that are two years old. That means that you will be harvesting Blackberries a year quicker from these plants. Not only that, but Prime-Ark Freedom Blackberry plants bloom in both the spring and again in summer, so you get two harvests each year as well.
Prune the canes back to between six inches and a foot tall at the main plant’s base after all of the summer fruit has been picked, but before new growth appears in early spring. Late fall or winter is a good time to prune your Prime-Ark Freedom Blackberry plants. The plants are small, and one mature Prime-Ark Freedom Blackberry plant will be between 4 or 5 feet tall and 3 or 4 feet wide. When choosing a planting location, be sure to give the plants enough space for growing and harvesting, such as spacing of 6 feet between plants.
Rubis Prime-Ark Freedom Blackberry Harvesting
Pick Prime-Ark Freedom Blackberries by hand when berries are black or deep red. The darkest berries are the sweetest, but if you are using the fruit for baking or making preserves, you may wish to include a few red or purple-red berries into the mix for tartness. Since Prime-Ark Freedom Blackberry plants are thornless, they are a great berry plant for gardeners with little helpers such as children or grandchildren. Growing and harvesting your own Prime-Ark Freedom Blackberries really is a gardening activity that anyone can enjoy.
After picking Blackberries rinse them with cool watewr, allow the berries to dry, then store them in the refrigerator. Blackberries can be stored in plastic berry containers with holes for ventilation, or in typical plastic food storage containers with the lids left partially open. Avoid stacking Blackberries more than three deep in the containers to keep from damaging the delicate fruits. You can also freeze Blackberries. Arrange the harvested, rinsed, and air-dried berries in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes. Then you can transfer the Blackberries to a freezer bag or plastic container with lid, and freeze for long-term storage.
Prime-Ark Freedom Blackberry plants are deciduous, so they drop their leaves in fall and throughout winter. This is the best time to prune the canes. In spring new leaves and shoots will arrive and the canes will bloom in late spring for the first crop. Mulch Prime-Ark Freedom Blackberry plants with pine straw or woodchips to help prevent weeds from becoming established around the plant bases.
The best time to fertilize is as soon as the new spring growth appears on the previously pruned canes. Use fertilizer formulated for brambles or berries, and water in well. Apply fertilizers in the amounts suggested by the manufacturer, and do not over-fertilize. Over-fertilizing Prime-Ark Freedom Blackberry plants can cause them to grow more leaves, and bloom fewer flowers (and make fewer berries). You can also feed your Prime-Ark Freedom Blackberry plants with organic compost at any time.