If you only have space for one Hybrid berry, the Tayberry is the one to go for as it has such a divine sweet and aromatic taste when picked fully ripe, is large in size, fruits prolifically, and is reliable. Bred in Scotland, this is basically a cross between a Raspberry and a Bramble or Blackberry, and is very thorny. A thorn-less variant is the Buckingham Tayberry, but it seems to be less prolific than the original Tayberry.
They are vigorous plants, needing some 4 sq m of space, on a fence, wall or trained on wires. This space can be reduced by tying in the fruiting growths in a circular pattern. I have grown a Tayberry on a wall using a rough circular pattern. It has produced very early, big crops of fruit for some 25 years with very little attention or feeding. Any reasonably fertile, well drained soil is adequate.
They should be picked when they are fully ripe as shown on the left hand dark maroon fruit, and not while they are still raspberry coloured, as shown on the right hand side. The central plug stays within the fruit when picked, just as happens with a Blackberry fruit, rather than a raspberry.
Pruning is effected by cutting out the wood that has just fruited in late summer, and tying in the new growths to fruit the following year. Do not cut off the new growths or you will not have any fruit the following year!
Pests and diseases are not a problem, apart from Birds and the Raspberry Beetle. I prefer not to use a spray against the Beetle. For Raspberry Beetle photos see Raspberry.
The fruit is best used fresh, still warm from the heat of the sun, with cream, or low fat dairy products. If it is intended to store the fruit for several days, pick the fruit preferably when it is dry, and put it in the fridge in an open container, as soon as possible.
Second quality fruits can be turned into jams, jellies, ice-creams.
To store for the long term, consider freezing the whole berries, or freezing or bottling the fruit juice.
LOGANBERRY This berry still appears in the catalogues but is not a patch on the Tayberry for taste. The Loganberry has a sharp taste and is really only suitable for cooking and freezing. It has however been used in breeding programs for other hybrid berries.
It should be cultivated in a similar manner to the Tayberry.