Tayberries, members of the rose family, are a cross between loganberry -- which is a blackberry and raspberry cross -- and the black raspberry. Bred in Scotland in the 1960s, and released to the market in the 1970s, tayberries produce fruit that's sweeter and larger than loganberries. A carefree plant, once established, tayberries grow in just about any soil and will even produce when grown in the shade, although bigger and tastier berries are produced when the plant is grown in full sun. The best time to plant your tayberry cane is in mid-October.
Amend the soil in the garden area three weeks prior to planting. Add 4 to 5 inches of compost to the existing soil and use a hoe or gardening fork to mix it to a depth of 10 inches. Level the bed, and water to a depth of 10 inches.
Place a support structure, such as a strong trellis, in the ground, 6 inches away from where you'll plant the cane.
Dig a 5-inch planting hole. Spread the tayberry's roots out on the bottom of the hole and check that the crown will be level with the soil when planted. Add or remove soil to get the tayberry to the proper depth. Fill the hole with soil and use your hands to press it firmly against the cane.
Water the tayberry cane until the water puddles. Keep the soil moist until the plant becomes established, then water only during periods of drought, especially when the tayberry is producing berries.
Prune the cane to 10 inches immediately after planting. Make the cut 1/2-inch above a bud, then use plant ties to secure the cane to the support structure. After harvest, cut bearing stems to the soil. In mid-April, cut 25 per cent of the vigorous growing stems all the way back to provide air circulation for the tayberry plant.
Add 3 inches of compost to the soil once a year. This is the only fertiliser the tayberry requires.
The tayberry bush bears thick, long thorns, so wear heavy gloves and long sleeves when working with it.
Tips and warnings
- The tayberry bush bears thick, long thorns, so wear heavy gloves and long sleeves when working with it.