Cultivation and Culinary Uses of Loganberries

Cultivation and Culinary Uses of Loganberries

Loganberries are a fascinating hybrid fruit that seamlessly blends the qualities of raspberries and blackberries. Originating from the late 19th century, this unique fruit has become a beloved addition to many British gardens, praised for its robust growth, high yield, and versatility in the kitchen. 

Loganberries are the result of an accidental cross between the red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) and the blackberry (Rubus ursinus), discovered in 1881 by James Harvey Logan, a lawyer and amateur horticulturist from California. Unlike many hybrids that fail to take root in the annals of history, loganberries thrived due to their vigorous growth and abundant fruit production. They quickly spread to various parts of the world, including the United Kingdom, where they found a perfect climate and soil for flourishing, and in places such as can be found to this day. 

In Britain, loganberries are particularly appreciated for their adaptability and hardiness. They can grow in a variety of soils and withstand the British climate, making them an excellent choice for both amateur gardeners and commercial growers. Over the years, loganberries have gained a reputation not just for their easy cultivation, but also for their distinctive tart-sweet flavor, which lends itself to a myriad of culinary applications.

Planting and Growing Loganberries

Choosing the Right Location

Loganberries thrive in full sun but can also tolerate partial shade, especially in hotter climates where some afternoon shade might protect them from scorching. When selecting a planting site, it’s essential to choose a location with good air circulation to minimize the risk of fungal diseases, which can affect loganberries if conditions are too humid.

The ideal soil for loganberries is well-drained and rich in organic matter. Sandy loam or clay loam soils with a slightly acidic to neutral pH (6.0 to 7.0) are perfect for their growth. Before planting, it’s beneficial to enrich the soil with organic compost or well-rotted manure, enhancing its fertility and moisture-retaining properties.

Planting Techniques

Loganberries can be planted either in the autumn or early spring. When planting in autumn, it’s crucial to allow enough time for the plants to establish their roots before the onset of frost. Early spring planting, after the danger of frost has passed, is also an excellent time as it allows the plants to take advantage of the growing season.

To plant loganberries, make a hole that is large and deep enough to hold the root system without crowdedness. To allow the plants enough of area to spread and get enough sunlight, space them two to three metres apart. Backfill the hole with soil, gently firming it around the plant’s base, after inserting the plant. To help settle the soil and remove any air pockets, give the plants lots of water.

Supporting Loganberry Canes

Loganberries produce long, trailing canes that require support to prevent them from sprawling on the ground. A sturdy trellis or wire system is ideal for this purpose. Erecting a trellis of about 1.8 to 2.4 meters in height provides sufficient support for the vigorous growth of loganberries. Secure the canes to the trellis as they grow, ensuring they are evenly spaced to promote good air circulation and light penetration.

Care and Maintenance

Watering and Mulching

Loganberries require consistent watering, particularly during dry spells, to ensure they produce plump, juicy fruit. It’s best to water deeply and infrequently, encouraging the roots to grow deeper into the soil, which enhances the plant’s drought resistance. Mulching around the base of the plants with organic material such as straw, wood chips, or compost helps retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.


A balanced fertilizer applied in early spring as the plants start to grow is beneficial for loganberries. Use a fertilizer with equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to promote healthy growth and fruit production. Over-fertilizing with nitrogen can lead to excessive vegetative growth at the expense of fruit production, so it’s essential to follow the recommended application rates.


Pruning is a critical aspect of loganberry care, helping to manage the plant’s growth and improve fruit yield. Loganberries fruit on two-year-old canes, so it’s important to distinguish between the canes that will bear fruit and the new canes that will replace them the following year.

After the harvest, prune out the canes that have borne fruit, cutting them back to ground level. This encourages the growth of new canes, which will produce fruit the next season. In late winter or early spring, thin out the remaining canes, leaving the strongest and healthiest canes spaced about 10 to 15 cm apart along the trellis. This thinning process reduces competition for light and nutrients, leading to larger and more abundant berries.

Pest and Disease Management

Loganberries are relatively resistant to many pests and diseases, but they can still fall victim to common garden threats. Regular monitoring and early intervention are key to managing these issues.

Aphids, spider mites, and raspberry beetles are some of the common pests that may attack loganberries. These can often be managed with insecticidal soap or by introducing beneficial insects like ladybirds that prey on these pests.

Fungal diseases such as botrytis (grey mold) and powdery mildew can affect loganberries, especially in damp conditions. Ensuring good air circulation, avoiding overhead watering, and applying organic fungicides can help keep these diseases at bay.

Harvesting Loganberries

Loganberries typically ripen in mid-summer, around June or July, depending on the local climate and growing conditions. The berries are ready to harvest when they have turned a deep, rich red and come away easily from the plant with a slight twist. Unlike some other berries, loganberries are not very firm when ripe, so handle them gently to avoid bruising.

Harvesting is best done in the cool of the morning when the berries are fresh and plump. Loganberries do not ripen off the plant, so it’s important to pick them at their peak ripeness. They can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days, but for the best flavor and texture, they should be used as soon as possible.

Culinary Uses of Loganberries

Loganberries are a versatile fruit that can be used in a wide range of culinary applications. Their unique flavor, which combines the tartness of raspberries with the sweetness of blackberries, makes them a favorite for both fresh eating and cooking.

Fresh Eating

Fresh loganberries are a delightful treat, perfect for eating out of hand or adding to fruit salads. Their juicy texture and complex flavor make them a standout addition to breakfast dishes such as cereal, yogurt, and pancakes.

Jams and Preserves

Loganberries are highly prized for making jams and preserves. Their high pectin content means they set well, creating a thick, spreadable consistency that is perfect for slathering on toast or scones. The natural tartness of loganberries balances the sweetness of the sugar in jams, creating a well-rounded flavor profile that is both vibrant and satisfying.


Loganberries can be used in a variety of baked goods, from pies and tarts to muffins and cakes. Their tartness complements the sweetness of desserts, providing a refreshing contrast that enhances the overall flavor. Loganberry pie, in particular, is a traditional favorite, with the berries’ juicy filling encased in a flaky pastry crust.


Loganberries can also be used to make delicious beverages. Loganberry juice is a refreshing drink, and the berries can be blended into smoothies for a nutritious and flavorful boost. Additionally, loganberries can be used to make wine, which captures the fruit’s distinctive flavor in a delightful, fermented form.

Loganberries in the British Garden

Loganberries have carved out a special place in British gardens, appreciated for their ease of cultivation and bountiful harvests. They are an excellent choice for gardeners looking to diversify their fruit crops and enjoy homegrown produce with minimal fuss.

Benefits for the Home Gardener

For the home gardener, loganberries offer numerous benefits. They are relatively low-maintenance and can produce a substantial yield with proper care. Their ability to thrive in various soil types and climates makes them a versatile addition to any garden. Furthermore, their robust growth habit means they can be used as a natural barrier or screen, adding both aesthetic and functional value to the garden.

Contribution to Biodiversity

Loganberries also play a role in supporting garden biodiversity. The flowers attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, which help with the pollination of other plants in the garden. The dense foliage provides shelter for beneficial insects and other wildlife, contributing to a healthy and balanced ecosystem.


Loganberries are a remarkable fruit with a rich history and a wide array of uses. From their origins as a happy horticultural accident to their status as a beloved staple in British gardens, loganberries have much to offer to both the home gardener and the culinary enthusiast. Their ease of cultivation, generous yields, and versatile culinary applications make them a valuable addition to any garden. Whether you are an experienced gardener or just starting out, growing loganberries can be a rewarding and enjoyable endeavor, bringing a touch of summer sweetness to your home year after year.

Incorporating loganberries into your garden not only provides a delicious and nutritious fruit but also supports local biodiversity and enhances the overall beauty of your outdoor space. With the right care and attention, loganberries will reward you with bountiful harvests and countless culinary delights, making them a worthwhile investment for any garden.

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