Bulletin No. 57 New Series January, 1932
The Young erry
Roy Clyde Weidler
State of Florida
Department of Agriculture
NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner
t,. j I O. 0<* C.. TIr1ALAAIcr.Z r*oOcG
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Nathan Mayo, Commissioner of Agriculture..................Tallahassee
ROY CLYDE WEIDLER
T HE YOUNGBERRY, during the past several years, has
sprung into much favor throughout the nation. Its rapid
growth, its large luscious fruit, its marvelous and delicate
flavor and its exquisite color have won for it an enviable
The Youngberry adjusts itself admirably to almost any
climate, and is being grown successfully in many sections of
America. It thrives with remarkable vigor in Florida. So well
is the Florida soil and climate adapted to the growth of this
berry, that it promises to become one of the Sunshine State's
most valuable crops.
It can be planted on any kind of well drained soil. It grows
rapidly, throwing out sturdy vines 10 to 30 feet in length. It
yields a prodigious crop of fruit which ripens in Florida during
the latter part of April or the first of May, and continues to
bear often well into July. The berries average four to six times
the size of an ordinary raspberry, and, when ripe, are dark
cherry carmine in color, and in flavor resemble very strongly
the red raspberry.
HISTORY OF THE YOUNGBERRY
The Youngberry is a hybrid, originated in 1905 by Mr. B.
M. Young of Morgan City, Louisiana. It is a cross between
the Loganberry and the Austin dewberry. Some of the original
plants were given to Mr. J. F. Jones of Jeanette, La.. who later
took them to Pennsylvania. In November 1921 Mr. Jones sent
a few of the plants to the United States Department of Agri-
culture for testing. These plants, upon fruiting, attracted
instant attention, and were immediately propagated and sent
out to growers for trial. California and the Pacific Slope
region have been first to cultivate the Youngberry on a large
scale, and in many sections its popularity has supereeded that
of every other berry.
THE GOVERNMENT RECOMMENDATION
The United States Department of Agriculture, in its Year
Book of 1927 tells us that "The Youngberry is remarkable for
its dessert and culinary qualities, vigorous growth and disease
resistance. Its fruit is large, deep wine color, juicy, sweeter
4 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
and richer than the Loganberry or Lucretia dewberry.
plants are more vigorous, propagate more freely, and are i
resistant to disease than either the Loganberry or dewberr
ITS MANY USES
Youngberries are delicious with fresh cream and st
For pies they are unexcelled. In California they head the
of fruit pies, and command a price five cents higher than
other pie made. Youngberry jelly is crystal clear and I
and the dark wine color and the rich red raspberry flavor
pleasing characteristics. They lend themselves delightful
canning processes, requiring less sugar than other fruits,
producing most excellent results.
The commercial value of Youngberries appears most pi
ising. Local markets should consume all the Youngbel
that can be raised for many years to come. Bakeries doub
will be eager to receive them for pies, and the housewife
the caterer will seek them largely for their tables. As a di
Youngberry juice is in great demand wherever it has been u
It is equal or superior to that of the Loganberry. One ga
of berries makes a trifle more than a half gallon of juice.
juice can be cold packed in bottles, and sells for approxima
$3.00 per gallon.
Youngherries should be planted in the best soil availh
Good drainage and a liberal supply of humus bring best res-
They will grow on poor soil, but as they will pay the gro
as well as any crop he can raise, and better than many, 1
are entitled to the best possible environment and care.
soil should be well prepared before the plants are set.
plant grows a deep root and is able to secure moisture f-
a considerable depth, and is therefore not injured by ordil
The best time for planting Youngberries in Florida is f
November to May, although they can be safely set out all
any month in the year. Plantings made during the sum
months, however, must be thoroughly watered to insure I
establishment and good growth.
Plants should be set 7 to 10 feet apart in rows the s
distance from each other. In commercial culture the r
should be farther apart if trucks are to be driven between
rows for harvesting the crops. The vines grow from 10 t(
feet in length, and plants must be set far enough apart to a\
crowding. The rows should run north and south so as to al
equal sunshine on both sides of the vines.
THE YOUNGBERRY 5
'oungberries, in Florida and all far Southern states, should
.rmned twice each year. The first operation takes place
prior to harvest time, and the second immediately
shortlyy before berry ripening time all cane growth of the
ent year may he pruned out. This may be done one week.
weeks or several weeks prior to harvesting, at the discre-
of the grower. These early cn;ies are of no great value,
use just as soon as they are ett out new canes agaill spring
rom tlhe crown of the plant, and ample growth for the fol-
ng year's fruiting is made before dormancy in the fall.
:he other hand, these early canes, if unprumned, become,
use of their rankness of growth, effective sun barriers
fearingg with normal fruit ripening, and also offer a most
)>Is hindrance to harvesting, as well as a stubborn obstacle
altivation. If these early canes are allowed to grow they
a become ( qite large and long-, and will not produce as
li fruit tlie following year as will tlhe younger and shorter
s that come forth alter pruning. Naturally, in the colder
ates, where the growing season is shorter- than in Florida.
where fruiting occurs in the late summer or early fall, the
or current year's calnes are never cut. Only vines showing
ssive growth, or having "suckers" are ever pruned.
oungberrics bear this year's fruit on last year's vines.
before each year, after fruitage, or about the middle of
all the old vines that have borne fruit should be taken
u off the trellises and cut off close to the roots. These old
4 should be gathered and burned. Thus once eaclh ear.
ely, immediately after fruiting, the plants are practically
ided of all vines. The current year's canes have been cut
ist prior to harvesting, and the old canes soon thereafter.
condition affords tile grower a splendid opportunity to
vate the soil, repair trellises, substitute new plants for any
clings,-in short, to put his entire plantation in thrifty
r for the subsequent growth and the following harvest.
'he new vines that will become the following year's bearing
s. may be allowed to lit on the ground until January, when
should be put up on the trellises preparatory to the com-
iew crop. Some growers prefer to put their new canes on
trellises as soon as they attain suitable length, although
practice is not approved by experts who contend that such
edure often results in diminished fruit production.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
The fertilizing problem is always a local one which each
grower must solve for himself. Florida soils are often lacking
in the elements of fertility, and the application of a complete
fertilizer is usually necessary.
Three distinct processes of fertilizing for the first year are
recommended. The first is made as soon as the newly set
plants have become well established and are putting on fresh
leaves. Dairy farm or hen manure is most suitable as an initial
stimulant to new and vigorous growth. If these are not avail-
able, goat manure offers a splendid substitute. Care should be
taken that manure thus used is old and well rotted, as fresh
manure applied close to the plants and roots will probably burn
and damage them. A liberal application of muck is also helpful.
A second application of fertilizer is made at the time the
vines are tied to the trellises, usually in January. If commer-
cial fertilizer is used, it should contain 3% nitrogen, 10% phos-
phoric acid, and 8% potash. The quantity to be applied
naturally varies with the types of soil and with different grow-
ers. The usual application is about 500 to 700 pounds to the
Another application of fertilizer containing A large propor-
tion of nitrogen should be made as soon as the old vines have
been cut off. Old barn yard manure, used in liberal quantities,
is most highly recommended. The purpose of this application
is to induce vigorous growth of cane for the next season's crop.
It should be noted, however, that while the primary purpose
of fertilization is the stimulation of vine growth, it is also
possible to obtain too much cane growth and foliage. This
should be carefully watched, and where the tendency of any
plant is toward excessive foliage and canes, the nitrogen con-
tent given to that plant should be reduced.
After the first year, of course, the initial application of
fertilizer which was made shortly after setting the new plants,
is not needed. Each grower will be able to regulate his own
amounts to the general conditions of his plantation.
In practically all sections the canes are trained to wire
trellises. These are made by setting posts about 30 feet apart
in the rows, along which not less than two nor more than four
wires are strung. Posts should be at least seven feet in length,
and set two or two and a half feet in the ground. When three
wires are used they are strung along the posts at levels of
about 21/., 3 and 5 feet from the ground. If two wires are
used they are placed about 2 and 4V1 feet from the ground.
No. 12 or No. 14 wire is best suited for these trellises. Small
sticks or laths may be used between the posts to support the
Two distinct methods of training are in common use,-the
weaving system and the rope system. When the weaving sys-
tem is used, each cane is woven separately on the wires, and
the largest possible fruiting surface exposed to the sunlight.
When the rope system is used, all the canes are brought up to
the top wire in a bundle and then wrapped around the different
wires in subdivided or smaller bundles. Thle weaving system
requires much more labor in putting up tlhe canes, but many
competent growers consider that the largest yields of fruit
follow tile continuous use of this system.
One grower in California, where the Youngberry has had
a longer test than in Florida, reports an average of 20,000 half
pint boxes to the acre for three consecutive years. Another
reports 80.000 boxes from 51i, acres sixteen months after plant-
ing, and 92,000 boxes the second year. giving an increase of
more than 12,000 boxes the second over the first yeaar. These
crops netted the growers more than $1,000.00 per acre.
As the vines ordinarily grow longer in Florida than they
do in California, the reasonable expectation is for larger yields
here than there. In fact several local growers, with smaller
acreages, harvested in 1930 larger quantities in proportion than
the California yields. Florida fruit also ripens more than one
month in advance of the California crop.
Propagation of new plants is best effected by the utilization
of the new canes in the late summer or early fall. The tips
of the canes are directed straight downward and are buried
3 to 31/, inches in well moistened and well prepared soil. These
will take root and form new plants which can later be sep-
arated from the canes and set out as independent units. Old
canes do not produce as thrifty plants as the new canes, and
attempting to propagate by layering or burying the nodes in
the ground for new shoots i,; unsatisfactory.
During the first season vegetable intercrops that require
frequent cultivation early in the season and which do not
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
continue beyond August, may be grown between the rows.
Some growers sow a cover crop through the plantation, to be
turned under at maturity. Besides adding humus to the soil,
such crops prevent the land washing during heavy rains that
may fall during the summer months.
Thus far the Youngberry has maintained a remarkable
resistance to disease. While immunity from pests and plant
afflictions generally prevails for some time in new hybrids,
the Youngberry seems permanently destined to a life of free-
doin from any of the ravages that harrass other types of
This does not mean, however, that growers should relax
their vigilance along these lines. Vines should be examined
carefully from time to time, and preventive administered at
the slightest evidence of any infestation. It is a wise preeau-
tion to refrain from planting Youngberries close to other types
of berries, and especially blackberries, so as to obviate any pos-
sibility of a transfer of any kind of infection to the former.
In Florida it has been discovered that in some isolated
instances the common "leaf roller" during attacks upon its
regular prey, such as bougainvillea, roses, etc., has attempted
to include Youngberries in its activities. The result has been
negligible, and the stay of the pest has been short. Should
these appear, however at any time, they can be easily con-
trolled by a thorough dusting or spraying of the leaves with
arsenate of lead or calcium arsenate at standard strengths.
Ordinary bordeaux mixture should also prove effective. These,
of course, should not be applied near fruit ripening time.
The Youngberry is at its best when it is fully ripe,-when
it reaches the color change from the bright to dark red or wine
color. Much of its commercial and culinary value depends
upon proper and efficient methods of picking and packing.
When destined for the fresh fruit market the berries must
be picked several days earlier than when they are to be canned,
evaporated, used for jellies and preserves, or crushed for juice.
They should be firm, and the entire surface deep red in color.
In a properly matured condition they will part from the stems
readily and without necessity of severe pressure from the
picker's fingers. Berries are most efficiently picked when the
pickers use three instead of two fingers.
THE YOUNGBERRY 9
All overripe and injured berries should be placed in separate
cups and not mixed with the properly ripened sound fruit
intended either for the local market or long distance shipments.
Berries should never he sorted in the boxes. Pint boxes are
ordinarily used, and the wise grower will supply his harvesters
with modern equipment including waist and hand carriers and
clean firm boxes.
Berries should he cooled quickly after pickiiig, and their
destination determined in accordance with their condition. If
they are to be evaporated they should le very ripe when picked.
If they are to be canned they should ,e taken from the vines
while still firm but thoroughly ripe. If they are to he used in
the manufacture of juice they should be allowed to ripen on
the vines more than if intended either for the cannery or the
evaporator. The fully or dead ripe berry will Ie almost black,
and is then past the stage for market handling, but is at its
best for table or lhoue use, or for converting into juice.
THE TIIORNLESS YOU'NGBERRY
A recent a;chievtement iin Yoiiaglcrry development is a
thlornless plant, entirely devoid of birallmbles, alnd( slmoothi; a a
grape vine. Comfort in handling the canes; a hIirger harvest
due to greater ease ill reaching and picking the fruit: hardy
calls and (greater fruiting surface are somile of thie outstanding
merits and advantages claimed for this new marvel.