Loganberries are a cross between raspberries and blackberries. They have large, cone-shaped dark red berries that are extremely juicy, with a tart, rich flavour. They can be eaten raw but are often used for jam, summer pudding, pies and compotes.
Loganberries are named after James Harvey Logan, who was an amateur breeder of raspberries and blackberries. He discovered this natural hybrid growing in his garden in California in the 1880s, and named it after himself. While the fruits look more like a raspberry, the plants have the rambling habit of a blackberry.
Loganberries are similar to tayberries, which are also a hybrid of raspberries and blackberries. Loganberries have darker, sharper fruit while tayberries have more wine-red fruit with a sweeter taste. Loganberries fruit around three weeks earlier than tayberries.
Loganberries are rarely seen in shops and markets, as they are hard to harvest by machine and have a short shelf life. This means they are well worth growing in your garden or on an allotment. They fruit in July and August, bridging the gap between strawberries and summer-fruiting raspberries, and then autumn-fruiting raspberries and blackberries.
Loganberries are thorny, vigorous plants that take up quite a bit of space but a thornless, more compact variety is available. They are self-pollinating, which means you only need one plant for a good crop – and one plant is often enough for most gardens. Loganberries are fully hardy and should provide good crops for at least 10 years.
How to grow loganberries
Grow loganberries in a sunny spot, in well drained soil. Give them plenty of space as they are large plants; they will need training against a fence or wall, or on a post and wire system. Prune out old stems after fruiting, in autumn. Tie in the new, pale green stems for fruits the following year.
Loganberries: jump links
- Planting loganberries
- How to care for loganberries
- How to propagate loganberries
- Loganberry problem-solving
- Loganberry buying advice
- Types of loganberry to grow
Where to grow loganberries
Loganberries do best in a sunny site, on well-drained soil.
How to plant loganberries
Loganberries are usually planted as bare root plants, between November and March. These are available by mail order or online from specialist fruit suppliers. You might also find pot-grown plants at the garden centre in spring and summer.
Before you plant, put in plant supports – wires against a wall or fence, or a sturdy wooden post and wire system. One plant is often enough for a small garden but if you are planting more, leave at least 2m between plants.
Plant bare root plants as soon as you receive them, unless the soil is frozen. Soak the roots in a bucket of water for a couple of hours before planting. Dig a generous hole that’s around twice the size of the root ball, and add compost or well rotted manure at the base. Plant up to the depth that it was planted at before – the mark should be visible on the stem. Backfill the hole, firm in and water well.
Plant a pot-grown loganberry during spring or summer in a similar way, adding plenty of compost to the soil.
Loganberries often take a year or two establish. Keep well watered in their first growing season, especially in dry weather.
How to care for loganberries
Mulch in spring with well rotted manure or garden compost. You may consider protecting the fruits from birds in summer.
Pruning and training loganberries
Loganberries are often trained into a fan shape, against a wall or fence or tied to a wooden post and wire system. To create a post and wire system, put up strong 2m wooden posts at either end of your row of loganberry canes and run wires between them. Tie the canes to these as they grow. Fix a wooden T-piece to the top of each post to support any bird netting you may want to put over the top.
Prune loganberries in late summer or autumn, after they have fruited. Cut out the older canes, the ones that have already fruited, at the base, leaving new cane (which are pale green) to fruit the following year. Train the new canes onto their supports.
You can also bundle all the new stems produced that year together and tie them to the top wire as a bundle. Once the plant has fruited, cut the older stems down to the ground, untie the bundle of new canes and spread them out to one side of the main stem.
Harvesting and storing loganberries
Loganberries are ripe when they have turned deep red or almost purple. With a gentle tug, the fruit should come away from its white central core. Take care when picking as the fruits are easily crushed.
Loganberries are best picked and eaten on the same day, although you can store unwashed fruits (moisture encourages grey mould) in a single layer in the fridge for a few days. Most berries freeze well – spread them out on a dish to open-freeze, then store in a box or bag for up to two months.
Loganberries are best propagated by layering or hardwood cuttings. The easiest way to propagate loganberries, however is to exploit the plant’s natural tendency to grow a new plant from the tip of a stem that hits the ground. The tip will quickly develop roots and send out new shoots. You may find your plant is doing this naturally; alternatively peg a tip to the ground and wait for it to root before digging up and planting.
Growing loganberries: problem solving
If birds are a problem, net plants in summer to protect the fruits, taking care to ensure hedgehogs or small mammals and birds can’t become trapped in it.
Advice on buying loganberries
- Check that you have the space to grow loganberries. They are large, vigorous plants that need plenty of room and a sunny spot
- For the best choice of varieties, buy dormant, bare root plants between November and March, by mail order or online
Where to buy loganberries online
Loganberry varieties to try
- Loganberry LY59 – the original loganberry. It has thorny stems and is extremely vigorous. Height x spread: 2.5m x 2m
- Loganberry LY654 – a thornless, more compact variety with sweet long, conical fruits. This is the most commonly grown variety. H x S: 1.5m x 2m
- Loganberry LY59 – a thorny, medium sized loganberry with juicy fruits. H x S: 1.5m x 2m