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Dewberry, 'Austin'

The 'Austin' Dewberry plant will produce a large crop of berries without requiring much tending. It is commonly used for its edible fruit and it's great for making cobblers, pies, and even jellies. The berries can also be used to make delicious cakes. Large, sweet and juicy, flavorful fruit. The 'Austin' Dewberry ripens early; beginning to form berries in May and extending for 30-45 days. 'Austin' is very popular in the South, produce in mid-June. 'Austin' Dewberry grew from plants that were selections from Native American trailing blackberry bushes that were superior to the original parents in size, flavor and production. Needs some support otherwise it will trail on the ground. It does not grow erect or semi-erect like other blackberries, however, the vines can climb to some extent above older canes which is desirable in keeping the berries lifted out of the dirt. Well adapted to heat, tender in the cold winter climates. In northern climates the vines should be laid on the ground and protected for the winter with straw or other material. This same mulch may be used to spread around the plant in the spring to help prevent sucker growth.

Plant Details +

Botanical Dewberry, Rubus caesius 'Austin'
Height 3'
Spacing Width 3-4 ft. Plant 5 ft. apart
Hardiness Zones 6-9
Foliage Green
Fruit Dark Purple-Black
Harvest Mid-June

General Information +

General Characteristics: Austin' Dewberry plants normally thrive in very poor soils that are well drained, but a little 8-8-8 fertilizer sprinkled above the vines in the Fall will increase the size and number of the berries. Some growers prefer to stake the 'Austin' plants for easier berry picking and cleaner berries. When staked or trellised the 'Austin' berries hang above splashing rain water. First to ripen; sweet, vines close to ground. A cousin of the blackberry! If left to ramble, plants produce a 2- to 3-foot deep tangle of thorny stems. Trellising them can enhance fruit production, or you can train them on fence as a privacy screen. Blackberry-like dark green foliage and early summer flowers have decorative value in the landscape, and the long shiny black berries produced in mid to late summer are scrumptious. Use them as you would any berries in jams, pies, cobblers, turnovers, or just pick and gobble them fresh from the vine.

Planting/Care Instructions +

Planting Instructions: May be planted in any well-drained soil. Dig a hole large enough to encompass the roots without bending or circling. Set the plant in place so the crown (part of the plant where the root meets the stem) is about 3 inches below the soil surface. Cover with soil to the original soil surface and water thoroughly.