Blackberry – ‘Kiowa’
Q: A few weeks ago on your radio show you mentioned a new blackberry with large fruit. Can you tell me where I can get plants?
A: I heard about the blackberry from Dr. Gerard Krewer, Extension Service fruit specialist. He showed photos comparing the fruit size of ‘Arapaho’ and ‘Gem’ (two excellent choices for a blackberry trellis) and the newest one: ‘Kiowa’. The berries of the first two were the size of your thumb or a bit larger. ‘Kiowa’ fruit ranged between taw and golf ball in size! The new blackberry is the result of a berry breeding program at the University of Arkansas and it seems to be a real crowd pleaser.
‘Kiowa’ is very thorny and is a fast grower. Ed Bottoms, of Bottoms Nursery, says it should be planted no closer than six feet apart initially. Although it is classed as an erect plant, you’ll need a two-wire trellis to keep the canes off the ground when fruiting occurs. ‘Kiowa’ sources: Pike Family Nursery (many locations); Bottoms Nursery (770-884-5661), Ison Nursery (770-599-6970).
For more information on building a blackberry trellis and managing the fruit visit Home Garden Blackberries