This year’s British blackberry season is expected to last until November, far beyond the traditional hedgerow season, growers have revealed.
Modern growing techniques now ensured the soft fruit was available from April until November, with British blackberries now enjoying a 36-week season with peak production now underway, said trade body British Berry Growers this week.
These techniques included picking blackberries from plants that are just one year old to securing the most flavourful fruit, and placing plants in cold stores to artificially extend their winter dormancy and prolong fruiting once they are placed in the cropping fields.
The changes meant this year’s season had produced a high-quality crop with sweeter and larger fruit, BBG added.
“Shoppers this year will be able to enjoy sweet and juicy British blackberries well beyond hedgerow season thanks to the advanced techniques of our growers,” said Nick Marston, chairman of BBG. Whether eating them in their natural state or using them in a recipe, you can enjoy blackberries that are consistent in their excellent taste and appearance thanks to the hard work and innovation of British growers.”
Bramble hedgerow blackberries are typically smaller and do not have the flavour profile of expert-grown berries.
Shop-bought ones are carefully bred by pomologists while hedgerow blackberries are made up of around 300 wild subspecies with varying degrees of sweetness and bitterness, making the harvest more inconsistent.
This comes following news that a good crop of blueberries has been boosted by new pollination strategies, according to growers. Blueberry growers were concerned that the sixth-wettest July on record would negatively affect the crop, but claimed bumblebee pollination schemes had prevented this.