By: Amy Grant
Loganberries are succulent berries that are delicious eaten out of hand or made into pies, jellies and jams. They don’t ripen all at once but gradually and they have a tendency to hide underneath leaves. So when do loganberries ripen and exactly how do you harvest loganberries? Let’s learn more.
When to Pick Loganberry Fruit
Loganberries are an interesting berry in that they are an accidental hybrid, a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry. They were first discovered in the garden of James Harvey Logan (1841-1928) and were subsequently named after him. Since their inception, loganberries have been used to hybridize boysenberries, youngberries, and olallieberries.
One of the more hardy berries, loganberries are sturdier and more disease and frost resistant than other berries. Because they do not ripen all at once, are difficult to spot amidst the foliage and grow from thorny canes, they are not cultivated commercially but are more often found in the home garden.
So when do loganberries ripen then? The berries ripen in the late summer and look much like blackberries or very dark raspberries, depending on the cultivar. Loganberry harvest time is fairly lengthy since the fruit ripens at different times, so plan on picking the fruit several times over the course of two months or so.
How to Harvest Loganberries
Before harvesting loganberries, dress appropriately. Like blackberries, loganberries are a tangle of thorny canes hiding hidden gems of fruit. This requires armoring yourself with gloves, long sleeves and pants as you go in to do battle with the canes unless, of course, you’ve planted the American thornless cultivar, which was developed in 1933.
You will know it’s loganberry harvest time when the berries turn a deep red or purple towards the end of the summer. Loganberries, unlike raspberries, do not pull free easily from the cane to indicate ripeness. The time of year, deepening color and a taste test are the best ways to determine if you can begin harvesting loganberries.
Once harvested, loganberries should be eaten immediately, refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for later use. This homegrown berry can be used just as you would blackberries or raspberries with a flavor just a bit tarter than the latter and packed with vitamin C, fiber and manganese.
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The loganberry (Rubus × loganobaccus) is a hybrid of the North American blackberry (Rubus ursinus) and the European raspberry (Rubus idaeus).  
The plant and the fruit resemble the blackberry more than the raspberry, but the fruit color is a dark red, rather than black as in blackberries.  Loganberries – which were an accident of berry breeding by James Harvey Logan, for whom they are named  – are cultivated commercially and by gardeners.
This page has a table below that tells when each fruit or vegetable is normally ready to be harvested in South Africa! We also have a page with links to our own simple instructions on canning, freezing and drying many fruits and vegetables, such as how to make jam, apple butter, applesauce, spaghetti sauce, salsa, pickles, ketchup or freezing corn.
South Africa Pick-your-own calendar Typical dates - Varies by farm and season
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Harvest and Preserving Tips
- Loganberries ripen on the plant mid to late summer. Berries ripen quickly and are highly perishable. Pick frequently and discard berries that have rotted on the canes to prevent diseases. Check under leaves for ripe berries.
- Hold the berry carefully between your thumb and forefinger and pull. Berries should be allowed to darken to a deep purple before picking. Taste berries and harvest when they are sweet. At their ripest and sweetest, berries are plump and turn the deepest color. Expect to harvest at least twice per week.
- Keep berries in a shallow container, around 3 berries deep. Quickly cool berries in the refrigerator after picking. Properly stored, berries can keep for 3-7 days.
- Loganberries may be frozen or used for preserves.
How to Grow Loganberry in the Garden
Choose a sunny and sheltered position for your loganberry, in well-drained soil. Your young loganberry bush should flower in its second year as the fruits develop on woody, one-year-old canes.
Decide how to you want to grow your loganberry plant. If you have the space, offer its canes some kind of horizontal support. You can tie the canes onto a wire firmly attached between two fence-posts and train the canes along it.
Left to its own devices, a single loganberry bush will produce up to 10 canes (vines), each capable of growing 6 feet up in the air before sweeping downwards in a wide arc. Each cane can easily grow 10 feet or more in a single season. This makes the whole plant a bit unruly. So it is better at the offset to decide what shape you want your plant to be and prune unwanted canes off as you see them grow. One single cane, properly supported and netted to protect it from birds, can provide more than enough loganberries for you and your family all summer.
In the spring, new loganberry flowering ‘spurs’ grow upwards from the main horizontal vine.
Where to Plant Loganberry
Like all fruiting canes and plants, it is best to purchase and plant out your loganberry in the autumn. Loganberries can be grown inside a greenhouse or outside. While they apparently grow well in USDA zones 5–10, my only personal experience is of growing them inside an unheated greenhouse in Scotland, where they enjoy a longer growing season. As the fruits ripen unevenly, they have an exceptionally long fruiting season when kept in a greenhouse.
As a greenhouse fruiting plant, they are ideal, as it is very easy to train a single cane to grow horizontally along the eaves of a sloping roofed glasshouse. In this way, when it fruits, the loganberries are easily within reach for picking, yet out of the way of other greenhouse plants.
Loganberry flowers form on one-year-old growth. So it is best to allow one new cane to develop each year to grow alongside the cane you allowed to develop the previous year, cutting down the first cane when fruiting is over in the autumn. In this way, you will always ensure you have a healthy, fruiting cane from which to harvest the berries for use in the kitchen.
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I actually only knew about loganberries from when I was young living in Buffalo, NY and would go over the Peace Bridge into Canada to Crystal Beach. There they sold Loganberry Juice -- yum! I am now in my 60s and just went online and ordered some syrup to make the drink here in CA. It's kind of a nostalgia trip, I guess. They also sold a crunchy treat with powdered sugar called a waffle, but it wasn't your typical waffle. Is anybody out there from that area? anon211224 September 1, 2011
I never knew what a Loganberry was until this website. I just heard about it on Shrek 3. Hawthorne June 23, 2011
You know, I'll bet the difficulty in harvesting them is the reason why most people haven't heard of loganberries.
I mean, let's face it, when you say "I bought a raspberry bush" everybody's going to know what you mean. If you say "I bought a loganberry bush", people are going to go, "What's a loganberry?"
As the article says, loganberries are difficult to harvest, so they're not grown commercially as much. Production costs are higher, because it takes more hours to pick the same amount of berries you might get off of a blackberry bush or a raspberry bush, and so the cost of the berries in stores is higher.
Since the workers will probably have to go to more trouble to harvest the loganberries, loganberries pickers probably have higher salaries than raspberry pickers, too.
All in all, loganberries are troublesome enough that most businesses would probably much rather deal with raspberries than them, and so loganberries aren't very available. Which is a shame, because after reading all about them, I really, really want to try one. aishia June 22, 2011
@seHiro - Don't be so sure, seHiro. Remember, humans never actually started to flourish and build big cities and develop our technology much until we stopped being hunter-gatherers and started growing grain crops and cultivating agriculture.
Agriculture is extremely important to a society -- I'm surprised we've let our attention slip away from it so much. People have stopped paying attention to things like how society runs, because everybody wants to just get home from work and relax for a few hours before they have to start the vicious cycle over again.
I for one think learning how to grow more berries and veggies is a fantastic step in the right direction. I got to this article in the first place because I'm researching berries I can grow in the Pacific Northwest, where I live, and loganberries are sounding like a perfect choice. seHiro June 21, 2011
@malmal - Society's not going to crash. People keep saying that, but look at us -- the United States alone has been through many stages in which everybody thought that society as we knew it was going to collapse, and they survived fine anyway.
I'm betting that if anything does happen to the way things are run right now, it'll be due to dwindling resources or war.
If it's war, we really can't do much to help ourselves except grow our own food at home, because if you haven't noticed the United States is packed full of imported things and not that many American-made things anymore.
Now, for dwindling resources, fossil fuels is number one on the list. If we ran out, the world wouldn't end -- we'd just invent new ways to make power!
Honestly, also, I think knowing how to raise livestock like beef cows would be way more useful than learning how to grow raspberries or loganberries or whatever. Just my two cents. malmal June 19, 2011
@TheGraham - Somehow I doubt growing berries is going to sustain somebody's entire diet, but I get what you're talking about.
Yes, the days of being self sufficient are dwindling lately, since all of these huge businesses want people to buy their food products, and people are so busy living life and working that they don't want to be bothered to cook anything for themselves anymore.
I take heart in the fact that there are still communities with old-fashioned farmers who grow blueberries and loganberries and other stuff like that.
Even though berries aren't a sustaining kind of crop, these farmers are bound to know way more about how to grow actual food crops like corn than the average person if and when society has some big disaster and we need to get back to our agricultural roots. TheGraham June 16, 2011
@burcidi - You really are lucky -- I wish I lived somewhere cool enough for a logan berry bush to grow in my back yard, but unfortunately I'm in Arizona. I'm a big fan of berries and growing your own food, and the thought of growing logan berries to make your own jams and jellies sounds so appealing to me.
I think it's really important that people hold onto the old time skills, like how to can your own food and how to use food that grows naturally.
With how much food is processed these days, and how few people actually cook at home anymore instead of just buying things frozen or ordering fast food, I'm afraid cooking and canning are dying arts.
What if we lose all connection with what real food is, and then someday technology has a big failure and we suddenly have to be self-reliant again? The people who can as hobbies will be the ones laughing then. burcidi June 16, 2011
My dad grows loganberries. He works quite a bit on them because they really do need regular care. After they give fruit for that season, the vines die and the root remains. My dad has to support the root and apply fertilizer to the soil throughout the year so that it will sprout again next year. I think that's a lot of work but he enjoys gardening, so he doesn't mind.
Loganberries are really great though. They look like raspberries but have a distinct flavor. You can make the best sorbet with it in the summer. I'm really lucky to have them available in our garden! ShellM89 June 16, 2011
@SarahGrove – Loganberry drinks are definitely delicious. One thing I like about it is that they are not carbonated. Even though it is sweet, the berry flavor gives it a wonderfully refreshing taste. If you ever get the chance to have some I highly recommend it.
I was not aware the loganberries are a cross between raspberries and blackberries. I would love to try growing a loganberry plant. I guess that since we can grow raspberry plants where we live that loganberries would grow here, too.
One of my favorite things for breakfast is our fresh raspberries with our homemade granola and yogurt. It is to die for! I bet it would be good with loganberries, too. SarahGrove June 16, 2011
I loved visiting my grandma in Oregon when I was young. One of my favorite memories is her wonderful homemade loganberry jam on her homemade bread. She would serve it to me every morning, which was my special request.
One of my friends said a favorite treat of hers as a young child was a loganberry drink that her great aunt used to serve when she visited family in Buffalo, New York. I have never heard of a loganberry drink but I bet it is delicious.
The loganberry was derived from a cross between Rubus ursinus (R. vitifolius) 'Aughinbaugh' (octaploid) as the female parent and Rubus idaeus 'Red Antwerp' (diploid) as the male parent (pollen source) the loganberry is hexaploid. It was accidentally created in 1881 in Santa Cruz, California, by the American judge and horticulturist James Harvey Logan (1841–1928).    
Logan was unsatisfied with the existing varieties of blackberries and tried crossing two varieties of blackberries to produce a superior cultivar. He happened to plant them next to plants of an old variety of red raspberry, 'Red Antwerp', all of which flowered and fruited together.  The two blackberry cultivars involved in these experiments were probably 'Aughinbaugh' and 'Texas Early' (a cultivar of Rubus velox),  which were two of the three varieties that Logan had planted in his yard that year.
Logan then gathered and planted the seed from his cross-bred plants. His 50 seedlings produced plants similar to the blackberry parent 'Aughinbaugh', but larger and more vigorous. One was the loganberry the others included the 'Mammoth' blackberry. 
Since Logan's time, crosses between the cultivars of raspberry and blackberry have confirmed the loganberry's parentage, with an earlier theory that the loganberry originated as a red-fruiting form of the common Californian blackberry Rubus ursinus now disproved.  Progeny from Logan's original plant was introduced to Europe in 1897. A prickle-free mutation of the loganberry, the 'American Thornless', was developed in 1933.
The tayberry is a similar raspberry-blackberry hybrid. The 'Phenomenal' berry or 'Burbank's Logan', developed by Luther Burbank in 1905, is also a raspberry-blackberry hybrid, but is a second-generation cross (i.e., two first-generation crosses between blackberry and raspberry were then crossed to each other). Other similar hybrids include the nessberry, which is a cross between a dewberry and a red raspberry,  and youngberry, a three-way cross between blackberry, raspberry, and dewberry. 
The loganberry has been used as a parent in more recent crosses between various Rubus species, such as boysenberry (Loganberry × raspberry × blackberry x dewberry),  the Santiam blackberry (loganberry × California blackberry [R. ursinus]), and the olallieberry (Black Logan × youngberry).   The loganberry is part of the ancestral line leading to the Marionberry, a common and popular berry grown mainly in Oregon. 
Excerpt from Santa Cruz County a faithful reproduction in print and photography of its climate, capabilities, and beauties (1896).
The Loganberry, being a variety unfamiliar to people in any other place, I will devote more space to its account than to others. From a circular giving its history I extract these notes:
The Loganberry originated with Judge J. H. Logan, of Santa Cruz, Cal., from whom it derives its name. Several years ago, growing in his garden, were plants of the Aughinbaugh blackberry and Red Antwerp raspberry. The plants, being near each other, had intermixed or grown together. The judge, having noticed that they bloomed and ripened their fruit together, conceived the idea of planting the seeds, from which planting resulted the production of the Loganberry.
He is entitled to all credit for the origination of this noble fruit, which will be a perpetual monument, placing his name beside those of Longworth, Hovey, Wilson and other originators of new varieties of fruit. He has even done more than they. He has produced a fruit or berry entirely unlike any in previous existence, a hybrid or mixture of two fruits, partaking of the characteristics of both of its parents. The Aughinbaugh blackberry, from the seed of which the Logan is supposed to have originated, has pistillate or imperfect flowers, which must have been fertilized by the pollen of the raspberry, producing this most singular and valuable fruit.
The vines or canes of the Loganberry grow entirely unlike either the blackberry or raspberry. They trail or grow upon the ground more like the dewberry. They are exceedingly strong growers, each shoot or branch reaching a growth of eight to ten feet in one season without irrigation, the aggregate growth of all the shoots on one plant amounting to from forty to fifty feet.
The canes or vines are very large—without the thorns of the blackberry bushes—but have very fine soft spines, much like those of raspberry bushes. The leaves are of a deep green color, coarse and thick, and also like those of the raspberry. The fruit is as large as the largest size blackberry, is of the same shape, with globules similar to that fruit, and the color, when fully ripe, is a 'dark bright red'. It has the combined flavor of both berries, pleasant, mild, vinous, delightful to the taste and peculiar to this fruit alone.
It is excellent for the table, eaten raw or cooked, and for jelly or jam is without an equal. The seeds are very small, soft and not abundant, being greatly different from both its parents in this respect. The vines are enormous bearers, and the fruit is very firm and carries well.
The fruit begins to ripen very early—the bulk being ripe and gone before either blackberries or raspberries become plentiful. In filling in a place just ahead of these fruits the market value of the Loganberry is greatly enhanced. In ordinary seasons the fruit begins to ripen from the middle to the last of May. When extensively planted and generally known, this berry is destined to take front rank owing to its earliness, large size, beautiful appearance, superior quality, and delightful flavor, together with its firmness and good carrying or shipping quality.
Mr. James Waters, of this valley, has sole right with this vine.
Due to its high vitamin C content, the loganberry was used by the British navy at the beginning of the 20th century as a source of vitamin C to prevent sailors from getting scurvy, in much the same way as the British did with limes during the late 18th century (hence the American term for the British, "limey"). During this period at the beginning of the 20th century, the largest proportion of loganberries grown for the British navy (roughly 1/3) were grown on a single farm in Leigh Sinton, near Malvern in Worcestershire, England, run by the Norbury family.