The best varieties of blackberries
Blackberry varieties in their variety
To date, more than two hundred varieties and varieties of blackberries have been bred and described, and almost all of them are available to gardeners in different parts of our world. Blackberry varieties are generally familiar to many lovers of fruit and berry crops, and in our country, according to forecasts, very soon these bushes will become much more popular than their close relatives - raspberry bushes. In nature, blackberries are also quite common, since they are relatively unpretentious when it comes to the area in which they grow. But, again, agricultural technology and care are important components, and depending on the variety, they may differ in their techniques and characteristics.
Due to the fact that there are thorns on the branches and shoots of many blackberry varieties, the blackberry thickets become an impassable obstacle for many. Because of the thorns, plants are not easy to care for. Wild varieties of blackberries can be found in ravines, nearby rivers and lakes, streams. This culture is excellent for moisture, and at the same time, in cultural conditions, the gardener must try hard to create the most comfortable microclimate for planting.
Biological features of the blackberry crop and the origin of blackberry varieties
Let's list some biological features and characteristics that very well reflect the whole essence of a given culture, its features:
- many blackberry varieties tolerate frost remarkably, especially in some regions of our country. But here it should be borne in mind that the frost-resistant qualities of blackberries are much lower than if we talk about raspberries - a close relative of our main character
- blackberry is a creeping dwarf shrub, the height of which can vary from one and a half to two meters
- in the wild, you can most often find a blackberry called gray. It is so called due to the fact that all parts of the plant and the berries themselves are covered with a fairly dense whitish bloom, and it is because of this that the plant has a bluish tint. The plaque is not easily erased even with mechanical stress, it is very dense, it also acts as a protection of the landing from harmful external influences
- wild blackberry grows mainly in humid areas, and can also take root well in lowlands. The berries are large and juicy, quite tasty, although the sourness is very clearly felt in the taste characteristics
- after the shoots of the second year are cut out of the bush, young shoots should be bent above the ground, leaving about thirty centimeters from its surface. With the onset of winter, it is also worth pouring some snow on top of the shoots to protect the plantings from negative effects. If we talk about the high properties of frost resistance, then more upright varieties and stems have this quality.
- when the gardener removes old shoots, he must also remove weak, diseased, dried branches, branches that thicken the crown of the blackberry, cut out damaged and non-viable branches.By winter, it is worth leaving a bush on which there are from six to eight strong stems, which will become the basis for the life of the bush, but already in the next season.
Of course, we are interested in considering the varieties of blackberries and their features and characteristics. This is what we will do in the next part of our article.
The best varieties: a detailed description of blackberry varieties
Blackberry Is a culture that has become very popular these days, and it came to us from America. The most important feature of the plant is that its shrubs are very powerful and strong, the yield is at a high level. The berries are juicy and large, their sweetness cannot be compared with the taste characteristics of many other fruit and berry crops, and this is a fact. In addition, the fruits of the cultivated forms are much larger and tastier than the fruits of the wild forms of the plant. Next, we will give a description of the most famous hybrids and varieties that are found today in modern gardening, we will list their advantages and disadvantages.
Blackberry varieties: Black Satin
Let's start with a description of a variety called Black Satin. This variety is really very popular, it has its own advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses, but it still remains one of the most popular varieties among all the others. The bushes of the variety are very tall and strong, there are no thorns on the branches and shoots, due to which it becomes much easier to care for the bush, and also easier to harvest. The bushes can reach a height of five to seven centimeters, the height will largely depend on how the gardener himself takes care of the planting, whether agricultural techniques and all the subtleties of planting and care were followed. At first, after planting in open ground, branches and shoots grow exclusively upward. When their height becomes more than one and a half meters, then a gradual horizontal growth begins, the bush turns from erect into creeping. In this regard, the gardener must make sure that the bush is tied up, otherwise it will start to wither, hurt, and the amount of harvest will drop sharply. As for the root shoots and offspring, there are none at all. Years are attractive in shape - they are round, black, have a bright glossy shine, their weight varies from four to eight grams. The tassels include from ten to thirteen berries. It is worth noting that at the top of the shoots the berries are sometimes twice as large as those at the very bottom.
Berries ripen much earlier than many other blackberry varieties, and this is the huge advantage of black satin as a variety. From about the second half of the summer season, the gardener can harvest, which will be quite long - until about the end of September. The bush can produce up to twenty kilograms of berries, but only if the gardener has followed all the rules and regulations of agricultural technology and plant care. Variety can grow and on an industrial scale, and on very small private household plots. But it also has some drawbacks, which also need to be paid attention to:
- the variety has a very low level of winter hardiness
- not all berries can ripen before the most severe frosts occur, which means that about 15% of the harvest can be lost
- berries are very poorly transported over long distances
Blackberry varieties: Brzezina
Brzezina - the second variety of blackberries, which will be discussed in this article. In terms of external characteristics, this bush is practically no different from other varieties of blackberries. The maximum yield of fruits begins about the third year after the gardener has planted the blackberries in the open ground. Brzezina is a tall blackberry bush, as it can grow up to three meters in height, but at the same time it is enough to simply care for it in any conditions.It is worth remembering that it is best not to bring the shoots to more than two meters in length, and for this the gardener should plan to regularly prune the shrub. A distinctive feature of the variety is the following: the variety does not form root shoots, and this point should be borne in mind when the gardener plans to acquire this particular variety for planting and subsequent reproduction of blackberries.
Brzezina is a hybrid blackberry variety that has some features that are best known in advance so that later these features do not come as a surprise to the gardener himself. Super early blackberries came to us from their homeland - from Poland. The fruits begin to ripen actively at the very beginning of July, while the bush itself can grow quite quickly, there are no thorns on the shoots and branches, so it is very easy to care for the variety. The taste characteristics of the variety are very high, since the berries are incredibly sweet, and although there is sourness, it does not spoil the sensations of planting at all. Berries also have an attractive presentation, so they are often grown for more widespread use and sale. The berries are slightly elongated, black, have a bright attractive shine, and the berries always attract buyers, so they remain in value. The advantages of a blackberry variety called Brzezina are that the variety is very resistant to frost and frost, to temperature extremes, and despite this, the hybrid gives a high yield, the fruits ripen quite quickly. Also, the variety has high immunity and resistance to diseases and attacks from pests, berries are easily transported over long distances without losing their external qualities and taste.
Of course, it is worth talking about the disadvantages of this variety. Berries can get burned if the bushes are in direct sunlight; if the winter or the year turned out to be very cold, then the bushes should be additionally covered, otherwise they may be damaged or even die; a very plentiful harvest is formed only in the third year after the bush was planted in open ground, until this moment there is no harvest at all, or the berries are tied, but they are very small, tasteless. It is also worth paying attention to the fact that the Brzezina blackberry variety gives very little root growth. Because of this, it is difficult to propagate the plant in the most convenient way - vegetatively, and the gardener will have to look for completely different ways and methods to preserve the variety and its characteristics.
Blackberry varieties: Natchez
Natchez - This variety is considered the largest among the rest. The berries are slightly elongated, practically have the shape of small cylinders, the length of the berries can be five centimeters, and the diameter reaches three centimeters, which makes them very large and distinguishes them from other varieties of this crop. The Natchez variety features such traits as:
- erect shoots, do not lie on the ground
- due to the fact that the plant can reach high levels in height, it is best to grow this variety using trellis
- there are no thorns on the branches and shoots, so the plant is very easy to care for and harvest
- bushes in height can reach almost three meters, if the gardener provides them with all the most favorable conditions for growth and development
- the variety is very large-fruited, and the berries themselves are very juicy and tasty, aromatic, ripen much earlier than many other blackberry varieties.
Blackberry varieties: Karaka Black
Another variety that arouses enough interest and attracts attention is Karaka Black. The native land of this variety is New Zealand, the plant is covered with thorny thorns. At the same time, this is an early ripening variety, the berries are formed oblong, the taste characteristics are evaluated at a very high level. The fruits are quite attractive from an external point of view, they are elongated, and their tip is slightly tapering.The berries look very unusual and interesting, and for this reason they really managed to fall in love not only with gardeners, but are also in great demand among buyers who have berries available in markets and supermarkets. The fruits are colored in a deep black shade, one berry in weight can reach almost ten grams, and the length of the berry is five centimeters. But, again, such excellent results can be achieved only if the gardener was attentive enough to agrotechnical subtleties and features, if he looked after the plantings and did everything possible to achieve an excellent and high-quality result.
A distinctive feature of this variety is that the berries can easily be transported over long distances, and can also be stored for a very long time. If the gardener observes all the caring rules and rules of agricultural technology, then it is possible to collect up to twelve kilograms of high-quality and very tasty fruits from one bush per season. The fruits ripen gradually, it takes them about two months, but the wait will fully justify all the wishes and expectations of the gardener himself, so it's definitely worth it.
The first fruits ripen in the first half of July, fruiting is long, until autumn. This prolonged fruiting makes this variety very outstanding and profitable when we are talking about domestic cultivation of a crop, as well as growing a blackberry variety in small backyards. The height of the bush reaches five meters, the branches and lashes of the variety are quite flexible, so that it is quite easy to care for them and prepare the bush for the winter period, for shelter. If we talk about the shortcomings of the variety, then it should be borne in mind that these are very spiked shoots and branches, as well as a low level of resistance to frost and sudden changes in temperature. Shires are not very large, but there are too many of them, and therefore sometimes it is not easy to care for a plant, not to mention harvesting - it is also difficult. So the gardener should arm himself with strong gloves so that the spike does not cause cuts and damage to the gardener himself.
If the gardener noticed that the leaves of the plant began to gradually turn yellow, then this does not mean that the plant is sick with something. The fact is that yellow leaves are a common occurrence for the Karaka black variety, so do not worry, unless, in addition to yellowed foliage, there are no other signs of diseases that may be typical for blackberry crops. After a while, the yellowness disappears, the leaves become bright and green again, and this indicates that the crisis or danger has passed. It is also worth listing a few more features of this variety, since the information will be quite relevant for experienced gardeners, and especially for those who have decided to plant this plant for the first time on their site:
- if you plant a blackberry bush in a shaded place, then it will not receive as much sunlight as it needs. And for this reason, the berries will not be so tasty - acid and viscosity will prevail in the taste characteristics.
- many gardeners have repeatedly emphasized that among many other varieties, it is Karaka black that is blackberry, which is most attacked by such a pest as aphids
- aphid colonies are very fond of settling on younger shoots, since the bark on them is thinner, and it is easier to suck out all the most useful and nutritious properties of the plant from it
- the plant is of medium strength. In general, the shoots are very thin, green and creeping. In the autumn, they can paint in a red tint from the side which they are directed towards the sun. But in general, even such external fragility does not make the plant fragile or malleable, if we talk about immunity.
For the winter period of time, the blackberry bushes of this variety must be covered, since the winter hardiness of this variety is at a very low level. One of the features of this variety is that berries can be transported over long distances, and they are stored for a very long time, if you create the most favorable conditions for them. Creating conditions is the prerogative of the gardener himself, for which he is responsible, because everyone wants to get an excellent fertile and tasty result.
Blackberry varieties: Thornfree
Thornfree is a variety that also gives plants of medium strength, the shoots at the planting are quite compacted, erect, the twigs can be slightly faceted. The color of the shoots is fresh, green, bright. But after the very first autumn frosts have passed, the color of the shoots immediately changes - they become reddish, and they also look very decorative. The underside of the leaves has thorns, although it cannot be said that they are very abundant - rather, they are still quite sparse. The flowers are painted in a delicate pink color, large, when the bush begins to bloom, it becomes a real decoration of any area.
The root system does not lie very deep, and it can generally develop in a horizontal plane, very close to the surface. Plants do not produce root suckers, so vegetative propagation is almost impossible, but Thornfree can be propagated by apical rooting, which also looks quite interesting. The variety has several significant features that you should pay special attention to:
- the berries are quite large, their shape is elongated, original, stands out among many other plant varieties, which attracts buyers. The fruit's taste is simply wonderful and is rated at the highest marks.
- the yield of the variety is super-high - from one bush, subject to the rules of care and agricultural technology, you can collect up to twenty kilograms of berries, one brush can contain from fifteen to twenty berries
- the variety can be bent down for the winter to shelter from frost, but this is done with great difficulty. So it is worth being very careful not to harm or damage the plant with such manipulations.
- the variety has absolutely no thorns on the branches and shoots, which is also not only its advantage, but also a feature.
Blackberry varieties: Chester
Chester variety Is a very sturdy plant with very dense branches. Also, there are thorns on the branches and shoots, which can make it difficult to care for the plantings. The color of the shoots is green, but in the autumn, the shoots can be painted in a more brownish tint. Plants are quite tall, their height reaches almost 2.5 meters, if the gardener observes all the rules of agricultural technology and plant care. The berries are large, the mass of one reaches ten grams, they are quite tasty, sweet with a pronounced sourness, which does not spoil the overall impression of the harvest at all. Berries are oval in shape, the yield is very high if the gardener observes all the rules of agricultural technology. From one blackberry bush in one season, it will be possible to collect up to 19 kilograms of very tasty and high-quality fruits. The root system is woven, has horizontal growth and development, root suckers are sometimes formed, but in very small quantities. Fruit ripening occurs in mid-July, the fruiting itself is abundant and prolonged, but this is exclusively a plus of this variety.
The crop can be very generous, it is annual, the gardener can also stimulate the yield of the bush by pruning. Everything will also depend on the fact that the flowers of this variety are completely insensitive to possible morning frosts, which are sometimes observed in the spring, when the weather has not yet had time to finally settle, and the flowering of the bushes has already begun. The berries ripen from July 8-10, and ripening continues almost until the very end of August.
The fruits should not be kept on the bush until they are fully ripe, it is best to harvest a few days before the berries reach full ripeness.The taste of overripe blackberries becomes very sweet, cloying, and this is not always liked by gardeners, who generally have a great attitude to planting, but in general, they pay the most attention to taste characteristics. Berries that are grown for sale or for subsequent processing must be harvested a few days before they are fully ripe. It is best to collect them before the coloration turns to a deep, dark, black hue. The earlier the berries are harvested, the more sour they will be, but they can ripen during storage or transportation, and in general they will survive these processes much more calmly and more favorably.
The variety has several significant features that you must pay special attention to, especially for novice gardeners who do not yet have experience in growing blackberry bushes:
- this variety is unpretentious and does not put forward special requirements for planting and subsequent care. In addition, the bushes feel very good even on depleted and poor soils, without losing the possibilities of normal growth, development, and even more so fruiting. But it will be better if the bush is planted in loam, sandy soil. An excellent fertile result will be obtained if the bushes are planted on muddy or alluvial soils, and the moisture of the soil and air is moderate
- it is not worthwhile to add additional fertilizing or moisture, as the plant will begin to build up green masses, and it will not have enough strength and energy to bear fruit and even to bloom. Top dressing and moisture are regulated in accordance with a schedule that should be set by the grower himself and not damage the plantings.
Blackberry varieties: Tripple crown
Triple Crown - this shrub is very strong, and it also has excellent endurance to any conditions. The homeland of the bush is America, but its popularity quickly spread to different parts of the world. The branches of the plant are straight, grow upwards, slightly faceted, short and do not bend in any direction. The fruits are formed in abundant quantities, they are very tasty, round and rather large, although breeders, comparing this variety with others, say that the fruits of this variety are medium-sized rather than large. Average yield - about twelve kilograms of high-quality and tasty fruits can be harvested from one shrub per season. Sometimes the fruits can dry out even before they ripen, but this usually happens if the gardener did not follow the rules of agricultural technology, and if he did not take care of the planting properly, then the plant reacts in this way. Due to the fact that the variety is very resistant to temperature extremes and frosts, you can not even cover the bushes for the winter, they will still calmly endure this season, with minimal losses.
We list some of the features of this variety and the advantages over many other blackberry varieties:
- berries ripen in the very middle of the summer season, although in general ripening is prolonged
- if you suddenly plant a plant in a shaded place, then the bushes will not be able to receive enough sunlight. Because of this, the taste characteristics of the plant may deteriorate markedly - the berries will become very sour, almost tasteless and rather small.
- there are gardeners who notice that this variety can be attacked by aphids, and basically these pests settle first on young shoots, and then completely affect the entire plant. So it is necessary to identify pests in time so that it does not come to the death of the planting or the loss of the entire crop as a whole.
- the plant has medium strength, but even because of this it is very strong, although the shoots are thin, but stable. At first, they have a bright green color, and then, closer to the onset of autumn, the shoots turn reddish, so the bushes also look very decorative and attractive.
Blackberry varieties: Agavam
Agave - North America is considered the birthplace of this variety, but very soon after the appearance of this variety, it spread to different territories around the world. Bushes are erect, do not spread, branches are covered with thin thorns. Therefore, when a grower is tending a plant or harvesting a crop, it is best for him to protect his hands with very thick and heavy gloves so as not to injure himself. The berries are deep black in color, and at the same time their size is very large - the weight of one berry reaches eight grams. Taste qualities of berries are high - they are sweet, there is a slight sourness, which, as it were, balances the taste, making it less cloying and more attractive. Also, an incomparable aroma emanates from the berries, which is also its hallmark and advantage over many other varieties. The yield is very high - with proper care and in a good season, the plant can produce from one shrub to twelve kilograms of berries.
Without additional shelter for the winter, the bush as a whole can feel satisfactory, but sometimes the tips of the shoots can die off, but even this does not affect the yield level. That is why by the winter period you can not bend the shoots at all, this will not affect them and their condition in any way. The berries begin to ripen abundantly at the very beginning of July. If the weather is dry and very sultry, then the berries lose their juiciness, and here a lot will depend on how the gardener himself looked after the plantings, whether he gave them enough moisture, watering, and generally looked after the shrubs so that they felt not only satisfactory, but also gave an excellent yielding quality result.
The features of this variety are the following characteristics. Firstly, the cultivation of this variety is undoubtedly profitable, since the yield is stable every year, at a high level, and pests and diseases very rarely affect this planting, so it feels very good. You should also not be afraid of other influences from the outside, since they do not at all affect the level of the crop and its quality. Secondly, the plantations of this blackberry variety can give a very plentiful and high-quality result, and the bushes can grow in the same place for ten to twelve years, they will still feel great even in weakened or depleted soils. Thirdly, caring for a blackberry of this variety consists in the fact that once a season the trunk circle needs to be well loosened and all weeds removed. At the end of each season, the grower cuts out painful or weakened shoots, as well as old shoots that are unlikely to yield any harvest. It should also be noted that with the onset of frost, it is recommended to bend young and tender shoots to the very surface of the soil. They are also fixed, fixed in this position; for fixing, you can use homemade or professional hinges and hairpins. Branches bent to the surface of the ground must also be protected with a covering material. It can be a layer of straw, agrofibre, a layer of weed vegetation, which had time to dry out by this time. In general, this protection will be enough for this variety in order to survive even very strong and severe frosts and sudden temperature changes. In the spring, when stable weather is established, the protective layers are removed, and the shoots are lifted from the ground and tied to trellises so that they continue to develop and stretch in length. This variety just needs to tie the bushes to the trellises, so this task should not be ignored. A blackberry plantation can bear fruit successfully in the same location for many years.It will be possible not to interfere with the condition of the soil at all, but it will be possible to periodically update the top layer so that the planting feels as comfortable as possible and gives abundant fruiting.
Blackberry varieties: Thornless
Thornless - This is a bush variety, which differs in that very thick and heavy shoots are formed on the bush, which hang down under their own weight. The growth force of this variety is very high, during the summer period, shoots from scratch can grow to almost two meters 9, of course, taking into account the fact that the gardener will comply with all the caring needs of the plant and agrotechnical rules). The whole plant, all its parts are abundantly spiked, therefore, when caring for the planting, it is worth using protective gloves and special clothing. To make it easier to care for the plant, it is recommended to tie the bushes to a wire so that they are not unnecessarily thickened, and to make it easier to care for and harvest the resulting crop. This type can be used as a hedge, especially if the gardener does not really want to meet uninvited guests on his own plot. The yield is quite abundant - from one blackberry bush, you can collect up to ten kilograms of tasty and high-quality berries per season. The fruits are round, black in color, large - the weight of one berry can reach six grams. At the same time, the fruits have good taste, which have already been appreciated by tasters and experts. Ripening of berries falls in the second half of July, fruiting is long - within a month the berries will still ripen. The variety has several characteristic features that are worth paying special attention to:
- the variety must be tied to trellises - this way the plant will develop better, and it will be much easier to take care of the planting, given its spikeiness
- the bush does not give root shoots and root suckers. The tips of the shoots can root on their own, without outside help from the gardener himself, which is also an undoubted advantage of the variety we are considering.
Blackberry varieties: Navajo
Navajo - the berries of this variety are very beautiful in appearance, have an excellent presentation. They are slightly elongated, painted in a deep black shade, shine in the sun, without any bloom and ebb. Such berries are always highly appreciated by consumers. The average weight of one berry is about nine grams, the berries themselves are oval. They taste sweet with a pronounced sourness that balances the taste, so they really have a lot of merits. In terms of its external characteristics, the bush is exactly the same as the shrubs of many other varieties of blackberries. The maximum return of fruits begins to manifest itself only in the third year after the bush was planted in open ground and began its development and rooting. Plants have high immunity and resistance to stress, and are practically not affected by frost or temperature extremes.
The bush does not form shoots, therefore it is recommended to propagate the Navajo blackberry variety using cuttings, as well as using apical layers. Cuttings can be made from the root segments, which in length will reach almost thirty centimeters. They are best planted in an impromptu cold greenhouse. After the cuttings finally take root, in the next spring period they can already be planted in a permanent place and wait for them to give rooting and growth. The variety has several characteristics that distinguish it from all other blackberry varieties:
- in the third year after the bush was planted in open ground, it finally begins to bear fruit.Already in the fourth year, it reaches the peak of its fruiting, but this happens only on condition that the gardener himself observes all the agrotechnical subtleties and planting needs. Without this, the bush will be weakened and will not give abundant and tasty fruits.
- the plant is strong, hardy, the shoots grow strictly straight and upward, but the shoots and branches are very thorny. The fruits are black, incredibly beautiful and attractive, marketable and taste at a very high level. There are no shortcomings in this variety, and it is indeed one of the most common varieties today. It is used for growing in private household plots as well as for growing on a wider industrial scale. The variety is resistant to frost and sudden temperature changes, it is also resistant to droughts, but if the drought is prolonged, then the fruits may turn out to be not so attractive in their taste, they may be dry, lethargic and not at all juicy. A characteristic feature of this variety is that a huge number of berries are formed on the branches!
Hybrids and other varieties
There are several other varieties of blackberries that are very popular today. These are varieties like Lochness, Polar, Loch Tay, Jumbo, Kiova, Ruben, Black magic... They all have their own characteristics and characteristics, but they also have something in common. For example, a high level of yield, high taste characteristics of the resulting crop, its transportability, the ability to store for a long time and at the same time not completely lose their taste and useful features and characteristics. These are excellent varieties that perfectly tolerate frosts and sudden changes in temperature, which can grow in a variety of, even less favorable conditions from a climatic point of view. The most important thing is that they are not demanding on the composition of the soil, they adapt remarkably to new conditions, some of them need only elementary shelter, if we talk directly about the preparation of plantings for the winter period. In all other respects, these varieties quite calmly tolerate the mistakes of gardeners, and they can be grown even by those people whose experience in planting fruit and berry crops is minimal. Agree, this is a very important feature for many gardeners who would like to learn how to grow plants, but who sometimes may have questions about how and when to plant shrubs, what additional measures they need in order to demonstrate their best yielding qualities. ...
Next, I would like to talk a little about the growth and fruiting that are demonstrated by the blackberry bushes. As a rule, the development cycle of shoots is two years. This is due to the fact that blackberries are generally one of the closest relatives of raspberries. In the first year, the shoots gradually grow, and viable buds are also laid. In the second year, the shoots begin to bear fruit, and after that they die off. It is for this reason that after each fruiting, it is recommended to prune those shoots that have already died, and they will definitely no longer yield a crop.
Fruiting of blackberries is abundant, especially if the gardener provides the planting with all the opportunities to grow and develop normally. The berries are dark purple, black or red. Most of all, in their shape, they resemble raspberries, but at the same time, blackberries have a completely unique taste and aroma. Today, breeders distinguish several basic forms of blackberries - these are kumanik and dew. Kumanika are erect growing shoots, and most often this particular form is called the true blackberry. As for the dew-grass, it has creeping shoots, and it looks more like a creeping vine, which bears fruit with blackberry berries.Each form should be looked after in accordance with the characteristics and characteristic specific features.
In addition to these forms, you can also find transitional forms of blackberries. In the garden, thorny shrubs are usually placed along trellises, it can be either a single-row planting, or planting bushes in two rows. There should be a distance between the bushes, which is about one meter, and the row spacing should be at least two meters. It is very convenient to place blackberries along fences or near the walls of outbuildings, while the indentation should also be at least one meter so that the blackberry bushes grow and develop correctly, and so that they have enough space for normal and favorable growth and, in particular, for fruiting. In general, today there are several ways to tie a garter at once, and the gardener can choose for himself exactly the method that will best meet his needs and skills:
- a separate garter method, in which the fruiting shoots are directed in one direction, and the gardener separates the young shoots on the other side of the trellises
- a fan-shaped method, in which branches with berries are unbend in turn both to the left and to the right, and new ones are allowed in the very center and wait for the very first berries to appear on them too
- garter with ropes - with this method of garter blackberry, branches with berries are placed strictly along the stretched wire, and young branches are sent to the very center
- method of garter in waves - fruiting branches are located in the lower rows in a wave-like manner, and new ones are recommended to be placed along the upper rows. Of course, again, we repeat that, in general, there are no strict recommendations on how to tie the blackberries correctly, since every gardener can independently decide the style and method of garter for himself.
When blackberries begin to bear fruit, they become very demanding to keep the soil constantly moist. If suddenly there is not enough moisture, then there will be few berries on the bush, and they will not have such attractive taste properties and characteristics. Sometimes, without even having time to fully ripen, the berries crumble from the bush, and the harvest is lost. The plant also does not tolerate waterlogging and waterlogging of the soil, as this leads to the development of rot and other very dangerous diseases, due to which the bush can die. An adult bush can stay in moist soil for a long time, it has already developed immunity, and this will not affect in any negative way. But if young layers are located in a swampy area, then they very quickly die from waterlogging and damping of the root system.
Blackberries are resistant to heat and dry periods, and this is due to the fact that their root system is laid deep enough. Sometimes the roots can develop about one and a half meters deep, so it should be borne in mind that it is best to plant shrubs on a hill so that the groundwater lies as deep as possible, and the roots do not reach them. It is also worth considering the fact that blackberries are a culture that loves the sun very much. It can grow in a slightly shaded area, but this can negatively affect the yield - it will decrease, and the quality of the fruit will become much lower. The berries will not be so juicy and sweet, some will not have time to ripen to the end, which means there are great risks of crop loss. When the bushes are planted in open ground, then it is necessary to provide the hole with a good drainage layer so that excess moisture does not stagnate in the area of the root system, but safely emerges from there. For the rest, blackberries are not the most whimsical or capricious culture, but also do not forget that if the gardener provides the planting with decent care, then it will certainly reciprocate.There is also a minus - many varieties of blackberries have a high level of spikes in shoots and branches, so it is necessary to take care of it with the help of protective thick gloves and protection on other parts of the body - hands and face.
Blackberries are great for eating fresh and also for preparing some dishes. You can cook jam, grind with sugar, and also dry berries. Before you send the blackberry for storage, you need to carefully sort out the berries and assess their condition. Very soft and crumpled berries, berries with damage, with mold are best removed immediately, as they can spoil the general taste characteristics of the crop or the dishes from which they will be prepared. For storage, the blackberries can not be washed, but this can be done when the gardener finally begins to eat the fruits themselves. If it was decided to freeze the crop, then the berries are separated from the stalk, washed, laid out on a towel and dried so that drops of water and its residues do not freeze along with the berries and make their taste more watery.
In order to freeze blackberries, it should be borne in mind that there is a special technique for carrying out this process. The fruits are laid out in rows on a flat surface, and in this form are sent to freeze. After they freeze on the surface - on a board, a tray, then they are transferred to a container and sent back to the freezer. So, in general, it is worth freezing any types of berries so that they do not stick to each other, and so that then it is more convenient to use them for cooking and preserve their external characteristics. There is also an important point - the berries are distributed in disposable containers, since the blackberries will not tolerate repeated freezing - they will lose their external characteristics, lose their taste features, become generally tasteless and useless.
You can rub blackberries with sugar - such a dish will retain many useful properties and vitamins, and it will also be an excellent addition to any tea party. For this method, even those berries that were initially rejected by the gardener himself for further use, for example, for freezing, are suitable. To rub the berries, wash, grind one kilogram of berries with one kilogram of sugar. It turns out a delicious treat for children and adults. The berries are left in a dark, cool place for 10-12 hours, because you have to wait for the sugar to completely dissolve. Then this mixture is transferred to storage containers and sent to the refrigerator. You can also freeze this powdered mixture to extend the shelf life.
There are certain storage periods for blackberries, which can be guided by, depending on the type of storage of these berries. For example, fresh berries in the refrigerator are stored for up to twenty days, ground berries with sugar can be stored for about six months. If you freeze the mixture, then it will be stored from a year to one and a half years, retaining both taste and useful properties. If the berries were frozen fresh, then they are generally stored for up to three years, the main thing is not to freeze and thaw them several times, otherwise they will lose any of their properties.
We will tell you a little about how to propagate different varieties of blackberries in order to get excellent results and preserve the traits and characteristics of the mother plantings. This can be done not in one, but in several main ways at once:
- with the help of root suckers
- green fresh cuttings
- dividing the bush into parts
Root offspring is a special young growth that is mainly formed on the root system. Most often, experienced gardeners prefer to remove the root growth, as this can lead to the fact that the planting gradually thickens.But if suddenly there is a need for blackberry propagation, then root suckers are one of the most beautiful and, moreover, free methods, and in general they are excellent planting material, unpretentious and, at the same time, normally take root in the soil. But in order to implement this method, it is also necessary to observe some subtleties. First, you should choose the strongest and most fruitful petioles, which also depart from the same strong mother bushes. Secondly, in May, they must be dug out together with an earthen lump, the height of the processes should be at least ten centimeters. Thirdly, the seedlings are then transferred to a permanent planting site, where they will develop and bear fruit in the future.
Seedlings must be selected according to the criterion of development, and they must also be annual. The shoot thickness should be about one centimeter, the root system should be powerful, without painful signs, the shoot length should be at least twenty centimeters. This method is considered one of the simplest, so that, observing agricultural technology, a gardener who has absolutely no experience in this matter and skills in such an activity will be able to cope with it.
The second way is with green cuttings. It is usually used if the grower seeks to preserve the characteristics of the variety. To do this, it is also recommended to use some recommendations and take into account some of the nuances so that the plantings are successful and meaningful. First, the upper part is cut off from the mother shrub, on which the last couple of buds remain. From a cut cutting, one cutting is made with one viable bud. It must necessarily include a stem, one bud and one leaf. Shoots must be treated with drugs that can stimulate shoot growth and root formation. You can prepare the planting mixture yourself by mixing sand and peat in equal or approximately equal proportions. This mixture is placed in pre-prepared containers for planting seedlings. These are usually paper cups, film cylinders, and other containers that may be suitable for growing the plant. It is best to place seedlings under a film material, where a microclimate comfortable for planting will be maintained. The temperature should be from 22 to 25 degrees, the soil moisture should be 90%, and the air humidity should be up to 100% - these conditions are extremely important for the normal and successful development of plantings, which should gain strength and energy. In about a month, green cuttings will be transplanted to a permanent place, where they will already grow, develop, bear fruit. Further, they can also be multiplied.
By dividing the bush, the blackberry can be propagated when the mother bush needs to be transplanted to a new place or to renew the soil. The bush is carefully dug up from their soil, young and strong shoots are separated from it, the roots should also be strong and good. After that, the bush is transplanted into a new substrate in a new place. At the same time, several young shoots should also be left on the mother bush, which will then give development to this bush, its second youth. Old shoots are removed so that the bush grows and develops normally.
Let's talk a little about the basic rules that should be followed in order to maintain plantings and provide them with the necessary care. It is important to remember that the plant will survive frost better if you remove the entire upper part of the stems from it. Lateral branches that grow in spring should also be shortened and only branches in length from twenty to forty centimeters should be left. In winter, the dewdrop must also be covered with spruce branches or other covering materials. Around the beginning of spring, the bushes are opened to ventilate them and allow them to breathe a little.If the winter was warm, then the bushes can be ventilated even in January and February. If suddenly airing is carried out incorrectly, then you can inflict so-called frost burns on the shoots, and after them, the affected shoots will simply need to be removed.
Mixed as well as upright forms of blackberries can sometimes be made to creep. To do this, they are gradually bent down throughout the season, in particular, it is necessary to work with shoots that have reached half a meter. If you strongly oppress the stem, then you can harm it - this should be done gradually and very carefully, then the plant will not break and retain its health. When pinning, you can create a more compact bush, which will be just as fertile at the same time. After the grower has reaped the harvest, he can remove all the old shoots, since they will no longer bear fruit, but the plant will direct all its energy to develop new, stronger shoots. The root system of blackberries is very powerful, as we have already talked about many times. There is a main large rhizome and additional roots that usually grow directly from underground stems. The roots can be located at a depth of half a meter, and some can go up to a depth of one meter or more.
When the blackberry gradually becomes obsolete, the plant may stop regenerating altogether, new shoots are no longer formed, and the plant slowly dies. It lives exactly as long as the underground root system can supply new, replacing shoots. Of course, the life cycle of planting also largely depends on the care of the gardener, on whether he followed agricultural techniques and all the requirements for caring for a blackberry crop. Blackberries can also produce a very large number of so-called adventitious buds, which are formed on underground rhizomes - not the main ones, but additional ones. It is from them that the stems are formed, which can then be used for further propagation of the planting, as well as in order to preserve the features and characteristics of the mother shrub in the new planting material. You can also leave fruiting directly in the strip of this row, but this method is not so often popular with gardeners.
Already about the third year after the plant was planted in open ground, the shoots from the roots begin to deepen at a distance of up to 120 centimeters from the mother bush itself. The stems have a two-year cycle, as we have already said, but the rhizome can live for more than one, or even two years. Depending on how much power the plant shows, and also depending on which growing method was chosen by the gardener, during the entire first season, the shoots grow continuously, reaching from 170 to 320 centimeters in height. At the same time, they practically do not give any branching, which is to a certain extent an advantage, and some say that this is also an advantage of studded varieties - without branching, it is much easier to care for and harvest the resulting crop without branching.
The taller and thicker the stems in the current season, the more harvest can be expected from them next year. sometimes strong shoots can develop at high speed due to the added fertilizing and soil moisture. But at the same time, these shoots do not ripen, and there is a high probability that with the onset of frost they will simply die or freeze. This will affect the level of yield, productivity, as well as the quality of the berries. They will be small and tasteless. In the second half of the summer season, summer branches and shoots grow, which do not yield any harvest, and they have a predominantly thickening function. They should be removed along with the stems that have yielded a crop.
Diseases to which blackberries are susceptible.
Experienced gardeners say that most often blackberries are threatened by a disease such as anthrocnosis.
Anthroknosis is a disease caused by fungal spores.The whole plant can be affected by it, but leaves most of all suffer from anthracnose. Signs of the disease appear during prolonged precipitation, in rainy weather, and also if the gardener does not follow agricultural techniques, and watering is excessive. Blackberries in particular do not tolerate this disease very well in excessively humid climates. Grayish specks appear on the leaves, then they acquire a border, the leaves turn into a shade of purple - the look as a whole turns out to be very unhealthy. At the site of damage, the leaf becomes so thin that a hole appears there. Also, fungi are transferred to the fruits, putrefactive sores begin to form on them, the berries grow poorly and crumble, which leads to an obvious loss of yield. In principle, you can take some measures to prevent fungus. For example, in the springtime, all branches that were affected during the winter are removed. If signs of infection are detected, the bush should be treated with fungicides and professional chemicals. It is imperative to study the instructions when using toxic substances, because if you do not follow its instructions, you can harm not only the plant, but also your own health. For prophylaxis in the autumn, immediately after cutting the bush and digging the soil, it is worth spraying the bush and the territory with a solution based on Bordeaux liquid.
Bordeaux liquid is also great for treating a bush with it in early spring, before the growing stages and processes begin. Treatment with fungicides for prophylactic purposes must be carried out in the spring, before flowering. And the second time they are treated with fungicides when the new shoots reach about forty centimeters in length. You can also assign a third treatment, usually it is carried out already when the entire crop has been harvested and the plant is being prepared for wintering.
Also, blackberries can be affected by gray rot, brown and gray spots, rust and phyllosticosis. These fungal diseases manifest themselves almost identically to the manifestations of anthracnose, and they can be dealt with in the same way. After flowering is complete, it is best to treat the bushes with preparations that do not contain chemical components. It can be either biological drugs or alternative methods. By the way, some folk remedies really have a positive effect on planting, they strengthen them, increase the level of immunity and stress resistance indicators.
Separately, I would like to talk about what blackberry pests are. If fungal diseases develop due to not the most favorable external, climatic conditions, then viral infections are spread by the pests themselves. First of all, preventive measures should be taken against aphids, which are very actively developing and multiplying on the plant. If suddenly the gardener reveals signs of aphids on the shoots, then it is best to get rid of the affected part - it is carefully cut and burned outside the site so that the aphid does not spread to healthy branches. As a prophylactic drug, you can use a one percent solution of Nitrafen. Processing is usually planned for the spring, when sap flow has not yet begun and the buds have not yet swollen.
To protect blackberries from harmful effects, plant them as far away from raspberries, strawberries and strawberries as possible, as well as away from nightshade crops. Modern blackberry varieties, in principle, make life easier for the gardener, since new varieties are initially created with the expectation that they will have a high level of immunity and resistance to diseases.