Tayberries – Have You Ever Tried Them?
Tayberries, a hybrid of the blackberry and raspberry, were developed by the Scottish Crop Research Institute and named after the country River Tay. If you've not tried them, you need to as they are really delicious.
The Latin name for these delicious fruits is Rubus X.
They are a rather deep red color, almost purplish. The fruit can be up to 5 cms in length and is usually ready for harvesting during July through August, possibly even a little later.
They are fabulous to eat – either have them on their own or with some double or perhaps clotted cream.
As they are quite fragile, these fruits aren't often sold commercially. Your best chances of buying them is at a Farmers market.
The other option is of course to grow tayberries yourself.
Tayberry plants are very vigorous and for an average garden you'll probably only need one plant.
If you have a vegetable patch, an idea is to train them alongside your raspberry or blackberry plants, or indeed other fruit bushes. That way if you want to protect them all with netting you can can do so more easily.
They will grow reasonably well in almost all soils and a plant may well last for 15 years or more.
The best soil is a medium, well-drained one with plenty of organic matter.
Plenty of water is required, particularly in summer when the fruits are developing.
Whilst the plant will grow in the shade, the best berries will be produced in the full sun.
When should you plant a Tayberry?
The best time to plant is mid-October. At this time of year the soil is still quite warm and there is sufficient moisture to keep the new canes happy.
Alternatively you can plant in mid-March, as long as the soil is not water logged or frozen.
How do you plant Tayberries
You'll need to plant about 2.5m or 8ft apart.
Dig a hole so that the crown of the roots remain level with the soil surface. Spread the roots out in the hole, cover with soil and firm down with your hand.
They are ideal to be planted against a wall or fence. They can also be grown in a container.
How does the fruit grow?
The fruit forms on one-year old canes. This means those canes that grew last year will fruit this year.
Whilst the fruit will be ready to harvest through most of July and August, when you pick the berries do it on a dry day when they are nice and ripe, plump and juicy.
In autumn, after you have harvested the fruit, cut out all the old canes that have borne fruit. You then need to train the new ones into place so they are ready for the following year.
A final thought or two!
Don't confuse tayberries with raspberries, as I did.
As well as tayberries, did you know there are wineberries, boysenberries and loganberries too?