How to manage a Loganberry plantPosted By: rocket veg Category: Plant Care, Seasonal Tips
My magnificent loganberry, a beast of a plant, finally finished fruiting at the end of July. It has been a wonderful year for all kinds of soft fruit, helped by lots of warm sun and welcome rain to boost growth and plump up the berries. Once the loganberry season is over, the long stems quickly turn brown and the leaves wither and fall. It’s a sad sight, but all is not lost - for while all this has been going on, the plant has been busy producing shoots around the base and these quickly grow into long, stems which will bear next season’s crop of fruit and therefore need treating with care.
How to grow and train a loganberry
If you are thinking of growing a loganberry, firstly make sure that you choose a sunny spot with enough space to allow the plant to stretch out its long stems which can grow up to 10 feet in length. Before planting, dig plenty of well-rotted manure or rich compost into the soil so that the plant gets off to a strong start. A loganberry plant will need to be grown on strong frame – sturdy uprights, such as timber posts, 2m above ground and a metre or so apart, with wires or canes on which the stems can be tied so that they run from side to side. I planted my loganberry in the middle of the framework and spread the stems out in both directions, but it’s fine for the plant to be at one end with the stems all going one way. The new shoots begin to appear from the base of the plant in May and once I spot them, I do my best to tie them out of the way of the way on a temporary basis so as to allow the fruit to ripen on what are now the old stems.
Your loganberry will indicate when the time has come to prune it, a straightforward task which involves cutting off the old, dark stems – the ones which have fruited this season - just above the ground. Once done, have fun tying the new stems to the framework using soft garden twine, spacing the stems to allow light and air to reach the fruit when it begins to develop next spring. If this sounds complicated, don’t be put off: like all plants which need pruning to encourage fruiting or flowering, it’s simply a case of sticking to plan, asking others for advice if need be.
Which loganberry to grow
Bearing in mind the eventual size of a loganberry and the manner in which it has to be pruned and trained, I recommend planting a thornless variety - LY654 being most dependable. If you have an allotment, there is bound to be someone on the site who has a loganberry and might give you a shoot which has rooted in the soil. Once planted, it takes two seasons for a loganberry to reach maturity and produce its first crop of luscious, deep pink fruit – the perfect filling for a Pavlova or turned into coulis for loganberry semifreddo, or made into wonderful jam. Maybe don’t bother and simply pop the berries into your mouth while picking!