Berries & Grapes

for Orange County

Laguna Hills Nursery

25290 Jeronimo Road

Lake Forest, CA 92630

949-830-5653

 

Blackberries, Raspberries, and their hybrids

Most varieties of bramble berries grow and produce fruit in Orange County. The key is to choose the varieties that consistently produce a good quantity of good quality berries with few disease problems.

These plants require ample sun to insure sweet fruit. They also enjoy sandy soil and ample moisture.

These plants grow long arching or trailing stems (canes). Stems are normally thorny. Vigorous growth can easily overwhelm the small garden if not maintained. Main harvest is in late spring and early summer on last year’s growth. As these 2nd year canes are fruiting, new canes are sprouting from the base. These will bear fruit the next year. Some varieties will produce a fall crop on this new growth (everbearing varieties). Canes die and are removed following the spring crop.

Blackberry plants are spaced 4-8 feet apart and are usually grown on a trellis or fence. Each fall old fruited canes and young spindly canes are removed and the sturdiest of the current year’s canes are cut back to 6-10 feet long.

Raspberry plants are closely related to blackberry but differ in that the fruit separates from the core when picked. Cultural requirements are similar. Raspberries are planted 2—4 feet apart. The canes are fairly stiff and don’t require much support. Year old canes are usually headed at 3-5 feet iii the winter.

Apache Blackberry Very large high quality fruit on upright growing thornless stems. Highly productive and resistant to anthracnose. This U of Arkansas needs more local testing.

Autumn Bliss Red Raspberry Everbearing The large berries are firm with excellent flavor. Harvest in early fall and late spring. Needs further local evaluation. This is the top rated raspberry from Maine to Miami.

Black Butte Blackberry Very large fruit to 2" long. Very good quality. Long hearing season. From Oregon.

Boysenberry Blackberry-Raspberry hybrid Large black fruit with fine flavor on a productive thorny plant. Train like blackberry. POPULAR.

Dinkum Red Raspberry Everbearing Large fruit with good flavor. Vigorous plants need no support. Harvest in late spring and early fall. Needs further local evaluation. From Australia.

Golden Harvest Yellow Raspberry Everbearing Large bright yellow berry with good flavor and quality. Disease resistant. Harvest in late spring and fall. Needs local evaluation.

Navaho Blackberry Medium to large fruit of outstanding quality on erect thornless stems. Ripens mid-summer. Needs further local evaluation.

Nova Red Raspberry Medium to large dark red fruit with firm flesh. Very good flavor. Immune to yellow rust. Some everbearing tendency. From Nova Scotia.

Ollalie Blackberry-Raspberry hybrid Large black fruit with fine flavor on a vigorous productive thorny plant. Train like blackberry. LOCAL FAVORITE

Summit Red Raspberry Everbearing Medium size dark red firm fruit with excellent flavor. Less thorny than most raspberries. Rot resistant. Need local evaluation.

Thornless Boysenberry Similar to boysenberry with smaller lVu it on a somewhat less productive, but thornless, plant.

Triple Crown Blackberry Medium size fruit with firm high qualilty flesh on

trailing thornless stems. Needs local eva I uat i on.

Tulamcen Red Raspberry Very large bright red fruit with good flavor. Long harvest season in summer. From Vancouver. Needs local evaluation.

 

Blueberries

Southern Highbush Blueberries can do very well in Orange County. These varieties from Florida love our climate, but hate our soil and require ample moisture. Provide proper soil by growing blueberries in Laguna Hills Nursery Acid Mix (peat moss and pumice).

Blueberry plants are deciduous bushes distantly related to Azalea. Berries are harvested mainly in late spring and early summer. These varieties are self-fertile, but a substantially larger crop results from pollination from a different variety.

Emerald Large dark blue fruit with firm flesh and excellent quality. Upright plant to 6’ tall. Ripens very early. From U of Florida. NEW!

Georgia Gem MCR 200. Medium size berry with firm flesh and very good quality. Upright plant to 6’ tall. Misty MCR 150. Very large fruit with firm flesh. Upright plant to 6’ tall. From U of Florida.

O’Neal MCR 200. Large fruit of superior quality especially the ‘blueberry’ flavor. Spreading plant to 6’ tall. From North Carolina. OUTSTANDING!

Santa Fe MCR 300. Medium size fruit of excellent quality. Unusually high production when cross pollinated. Upright plant to 6’ tall. From U of Florida. NEW!

Sharpblue MCR 150. Large fruit of fair to good quality. Bushy, ornamental plant to 6 feet tall. The most popular blueberry in Florida. From U of Florida.

Star MCR 250. Large, firm fruit of excellent quality. Vigorous plant grows 6-10’ tall. From U of Florida.

Sunshine Blue MCR 150. Medium size good quality fruit. Ornamental bush grows 3-4’ tall. Tolerates native soil better than any other blueberry. MOST ORNAMENTAL!

Strawberries

Can be grown successfully almost anywhere in the U.S. They require ample moisture and soil with a high oxygen content. Local farms grow them in a double row 12-18" apart on top of beds raised 18" covered with plastic film. Commercial fields are replanted annually. In home gardens they can produce well for 1-3 years.

There are 2 kinds. Everbearing strawberries produce lightly for most of the year, heavy at times. Spring bearing varieties produce heavily in the spring.

Chandler Everbearing, but heaviest in spring. Large wedge shaped red fruit with firm red flesh and excellent flavor. Highly aromatic. A modern commercial variety that ships well and does not soften rapidly if left in the field. OUR BEST SELLER!

French Woodland ( Fraises de Bois, Alpine) Everbearing. Very small, highly fragrant, extremely flavorful, berries. Red and yellow strains are available. These European strawberries have no runners, but re-seed readily. WHAT FLAVOR!

Quinalt Everbearing. Very large, very sweet, with soft flesh.

Sequoia Springbearing, somewhat Everbearing. Very large, sweet flesh with superior flavor. Does not store well, or hold well in the field. Pick frequently. The flavor by which all new strawberries are compared. VERY POPULAR FOR MANY DECADES.

 

 

Grapes

Grapes are fairly reliable in Orange County. Most varieties are sweeter when grown away from the coast. Grapes require little fertilizer and average water. There are two kinds of commonly grown grapes.

European (E) grapes are the most popular table and wine grapes. They have tender skin and firm flesh. Unfortunately they are susceptible to mildew in most of Orange County which can totally destroy the crop. Most European grapes prefer inland heat.

American (A) grapes have thicker skins, felt covered foliage, and are essentially immune to mildew. Most American grapes will ripen with little heat and many can tolerate some shade.

Hybrid (H) grapes are crosses between European and American varieties. Most are resistant to mildew. Most hybrids have fruit resembling the European parent.

 

Table Grapes

Black Monukka (E) Seedless medium size oval fruit with reddish ptrrple, thin, tender skin and crisp, sweet, juicy, yellow flesh. Ripens mid season.

Canadice (H) Seedless small to medium size round fruit with red blushed skin, rich, vinous flavor of very good quality. Good for table, juice, jelly wine, and raisins.

Concord (Eastern) (A) Seeded large round fruit with thick black skin and flesh. Juicy and sweet with an outstanding foxy flavor. Ripens mid-summer. Good for table, excellent for juice and jelly. Best if grown away from extreme summer heat. RELIABLE. Will produce good fruit with just a few hours of sunlight.

Flame (E) Seedless medium size fruit with red skin and firm, good quality flesh. Good fresh and for raisins. Ripens mid-summer. Best well away from coast.

VERY POPULAR COMMERCIAL VARIETY

Golden Muscat (H) Seeded Large pale golden yellow berries in very large bunches. Excellent muscat flavor. Slightly mildew prone.

Interlaken (H) Seedless Vligh quality green fruit resembling Thompson Seedless. Ripens mid-summer.

Lakemont (H) Seedless Green fruit similar to Interlaken (actually a sibling). More productive than Interlaken, perhaps a bit lower quality.

Niabell (A) Seeded Huge black fruit, perhaps better than Concord. Good for table and juice. Will grow a good crop in light shade! No mildew. EASY

Perlette (E) Seedless large green fruit with tender skin and firm, crisp, mild flesh. Good for table. Ripens mid-summer. Best away from coast, but does not require inland heat.

Venus (H) Seedless medium size black grape with strong foxy flavor. Tight bunch. Very productive, even in part sun. Excellent for table, good for wine. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

 

Wine Grapes

Cabernet Sauvignon (E) Red Wine. Small black seedy fruit with characteristic flavor. For coast and inland.

Chardonnay (E) White Wine. Small round fruit. Used for dry white wine. For coast and inland.

French Columbard (E) White Wine. Medium size yellowish-green fruit. Used for blanding and as a champagne base. Also used in the production of brandy.

Merlot (E) Red Wine. Medium size bluish black round fruit. Fairly productive. Makes a wine similar to, but more supple than, Cabernet Sauvignon.

Zinfandel ‘(B) Red Wine. Medium to large reddish to black fruit. Used for blending and as an intensely flavored, full bodied, varietal.