Following in the illustrious path blazed by the highly popular ‘Loch Ness’ and easily the equal of that superb variety, Loch Tay features the advantage of a much earlier fruiting season, its rounded jet black fruits start to ripen in late July and continue through most of August. They are quite firm in texture so manage to shrug off summer downpours with ease and will last well in good condition on the bush if you don’t get around to harvesting them. The flavour is very good and sweet, and the completely smooth spine free canes feature the same semi-upright, compact habit of Loch Ness. Can be grown quite simply as a self supporting bush on its own, planted 4′ apart, incorporated into a row of raspberries or even grown in a container. Loch Tay is a highly worthwhile accompaniment to the Loch Ness and also the best early season thorn free compact Blackberry.
Eventual height: 1½m (5ft). Eventual spread: 2m (7ft). Cropping season: late July/August. Self fertile.
*Bareroot – November to March is the ideal time to plant bare-root plants. These are plants that have been grown in open ground, then dug up for dispatch and planting during the dormant season. They are called ‘bare-root’ plants as they are supplied with no soil around their roots. They will come packed in damp compost to stop the roots drying out and should be planted as soon as possible. As long as the compost is kept damp planting can be delayed for a few weeks if necessary.