Tayberries (Rubus fruticosus) are a cross between blackberries and raspberries, which are both delicious and packed with plenty of nutritional value. This hybrid berry is as big as a large raspberry and is a pretty magenta or maroon colour. It’s juicy and a little tart, which gives it a depth of flavour that’s quite irresistible.
Using the Berries
Because they are juicy and sweet with a hint of tartness, tayberries are a fabulous choice for fresh and cooked dishes. They are also high in vitamin C and antioxidants.
Here are some ways to enjoy your ripe berries:
- Chop them up and add them to Greek or flavoured yoghurt.
- Pour fresh cream over them and top with crumbled meringue or grated chocolate.
- Boil them with a little water and sugar and reduce it down to a syrup or jam.
- Spoon some cooked, sweetened tayberries over your oats or ice-cream.
- Blitz them with a little water and cucumber, and add them to soda water for a refreshing non-alcoholic drink. Add gin or vodka for a kick.
- For a great health drink, liquidise plain yoghurt, tayberries, strawberries and banana. Top with chopped nuts.
- Make a tayberry pie and top it with fresh, whipped cream.
How to Grow Tayberries
Get your healthy tayberry plant from our nursery or via our online shop and experience the deliciousness of this rewarding bush. Tayberries are neater than blackberries in that they don’t spread quite as much or as quickly. They’re hardy and give a generous amount of berries after two years.
You can plant your bush any time of the year. If planted just before or after winter, the bush should send up a few new canes by the following spring. By the following summer, these canes should bear some juicy fruits.
Tayberries can be planted in a pot or in the garden. They thrive in well-drained soil and need a wall or wires on which they can grow and cling. Choose a spot with plenty of sunshine.
Because tayberries grow fairly vigorously, it’s important that you give them enough space. If you are planting more than one bush, leave about 1.5 metres all around each plant. Make sure that the soil is well-draining and dig a hole about 50x50x50cms. Plant in slightly acidic soil using a bag of acid compost or add a bag of our berry mix into compost or your regular soil
Once you have planted your bush, water it well. For the first year, it will be necessary to water the plant generously. Add a general fertiliser to the soil to give your tayberries as many useful nutrients as possible so that they thrive. Put pine bark mulch around the base of the plant to help the soil to retain its moisture. This mulch can be reapplied every 3-4 months.
As they grow berries and sprout canes, it will be necessary for you to guide the growing plant onto a trellis or nearby fence if there isn’t a wall for them to lean on. Otherwise, the bush may collapse under its own weight.
They are resistant to most bugs and diseases, which means that they require very little in the way of maintenance. You may want or need netting to protect them from birds, but this isn’t always necessary (especially when the plant is growing vertically up a wall or fence).
Picking and Enjoying Them
Leave the stalk on the berries that you pick (as you do when you pick strawberries). You can eat them fresh or freeze them for future use.