Thursday, 7 November 2013


Here's my choice of the best smooth and pleasurable-to-harvest fruit varieties, that won't turn the air blue when it comes to picking your just desserts! An invaluable round-up of recommendations for those averse to prickles and thorns....
Whenever a smooth and spine-free version of a traditionally prickly fruit is released it always causes great excitement. Gardeners are instantly drawn to the less-pain and more-gain aspect of the valuable selections which can sometimes be lucky sports of existing varieties, or may have been bred specifically. Here’s our round-up of the 5 best smooth as silk stockings fruits.
1] RASPBERRY GLEN AMPLE This trailblazing and most-popular variety has combined all the best Raspberry attributes. Huge berry size, the heaviest crop, and ultra-smooth completely spine free canes for sheer harvesting enjoyment!
2] TAYBERRY ‘BUCKINGHAM’ The Tayberry was released maybe 20 years ago which still counts as ‘new’ in the world of fruit growing! It’s enviable crops of decadent purple richly tasting fruit would hang like a blanket all over the plant. The only ‘problem’ was it’s rather nasty spines. So, when along came Buckingham – totally without such hazards, the response was immediately enthusiastic.
3] THORNLESS BOYSENBERRY The Boysenberry is a Blackberry hybrid with glossy black fruits that are almost indistinguishable from a Blackberry - except the flavour is divine! Richly aromatic, it is said that jam made from Boysenberries surpasses all others. The along came a happily spineless sport too which captures these desirable characteristics, only with smooth as silk stems. Plant 8' apart, train along wires such as you would a Blackberry.
4] BLACKBERRY LOCH TAY There are a few thornless Blackberries for gingerly prickle-allergic gardeners. Loch Tay is easily the best producing abundant crops of super-tasty jet black glossy fruits.
5] LOGANBERRY LY654 At the beginning, all Loganberries were prickly. Yes really. Then along came this strangely smooth and innocently without malice spine free selection. It’s rather a pity no-one thought to give it a proper name – LY654 it’s it’s trial-ground moniker.
6] GOOSEBERRY 'PAX' Pax apparently translates as peace, presumably meaning for a more relaxed approach to harvesting than would normally be the case with Gooseberries! Not the first thornfree Gooseberry [that accolade goes to Captivator] but easily the best. Pax is mildew resistant and bears good quality sweet red fruits that can be eaten fresh and also make very good looking jams.
Pictured is Raspberry 'Glen Ample'.

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