Blackberries, cultivation on the site and varieties. Part 1
Blackberry is my favorite!
Juicy, tasty and with a simply intoxicating aroma, blackberry fruits ripen when we already begin to miss fresh berries, because most berry bushes have ripe fruits earlier, and there is no trace of them left. Blackberries are delicious not only fresh, they are ideal for any homemade preparations, which, by the way, are not only amazingly tasty, but also very useful!
From the forest to the garden
Blackberry - a very convenient culture, the first harvest will not keep itself waiting long, even a small bush, which is not more than three years old, gives the first fruits. Quite often, blackberries are confused with raspberries, and this should not come as a surprise, because they are really similar, but there are also differences. And the very first thing is in the volume of the harvest: for blackberries it is several times larger, perhaps because it blooms later than raspberries and does not fall under frost, or maybe because it is a more drought-resistant crop.
In general, blackberries are not a novelty, people have been using its berries for a very long time, but then they were harvesting exclusively from wild plants, but now the collection is mainly from personal plots, since there are almost no wild blackberries left. For a long time, berries picked from wild plants suited people, but in the middle of the 19th century, the first attempts to cultivate blackberries began to be made, and in the USA the first varieties of the culture, already loved by many, were created.
And in Russia the first such work with blackberries was Ivan Vladimirovich Michurin, he began to conduct active breeding work aimed at obtaining varieties. Around the beginning of the 20th century, the first achievements appeared, and they were so successful that its varieties, a century later, can be found in the plantings of amateur gardeners. One of these cultivars was the Izobilnaya variety. However, the blackberry nevertheless gained the greatest popularity not in our country, but abroad. For example, in the USA, Germany, the Baltic States and England there are now very solid industrial plantations of this culture.
What are blackberries good for?
First of all, of course, the rich composition of its fruits, because they, especially varietal ones, contain more than 9% sugars, many useful organic acids, and also have vitamins, the amount of which reaches 300 mg%. Among other things, blackberries are also rich in natural sponges - pectin, of which there are about 2% in fruits, there are also fiber, tannins, and anthocyanins. Do not forget about the presence in fruits of the most important mineral elements for humans. These are potassium, iron, phosphorus, calcium necessary for bones, as well as manganese and copper. People, confirmed by frequent colds, should not forget about the presence of vitamin C in the fruits and leaves of blackberries, and the leaves contain up to 270 mg%, which is four times more than in lemons and five times more than in oranges.
In addition to using the fruit for food, blackberries have been used and are still used as a medicine. Absolutely all parts of the plant are used for this. So, in addition to fruits, fresh and dried leaves are infused and brewed, which serve as an effective diaphoretic, make a decoction of the roots to gargle with colds and to strengthen the gums, leafy plant tops, brewed like tea, help cleanse the body and relieve the effects of mild poisoning.
Blackberry, in which biologically active substances are found, helps to strengthen the walls of capillaries, prevents the development of atherosclerosis, and reduces inflammatory processes in the body. Along with all the above positive properties, blackberries are also an excellent honey plant, its honey helps with colds, relieves coughs and normalizes body temperature.
But even this does not end with all the advantages of blackberries. She, as a culture with a powerful root system, can be successfully used if it is required to strengthen slopes that are prone to water or air erosion. It can also be used in landscape design as a decorative culture. And this is all due to the fact that at the beginning of summer its bushes are covered with snow-white flowers, and closer to autumn they are hung with berries shining like coals.
Features of culture
The characterization of blackberries, of course, would be incomplete without mentioning the biology of this culture. You need to know that this is one of the brightest representatives of the Rosaceae family, belonging to the genus Raspberry and the subgenus Blackberry. In general, there are quite a lot of wild species and forms of blackberries in natural plantings - more than five dozen. However, among this variety, the gray blackberry stands alone, it grows in the European part of Russia, occupies the foothills of the Caucasus, the valleys of Central Asia and is found even in Western Siberia, where it sometimes forms real impassable thickets.
They were in no hurry to introduce blackberries into the culture, apparently, there were enough natural plantings, and they were afraid of it, frankly, because it can grow so much on the site that it will be very problematic to lime it later. However, in the middle of the 19th century, the form "garden blackberry" appeared and was introduced into culture, which became the progenitor of most varieties known and cultivated to this day.
What is "garden blackberry"? It turns out that like a blackberry with a dove it is a shrub with perennial shoots. The development cycle of these shoots is interesting. It is two-year-old - in the first year of growth, buds are laid, and in the second year, fruiting occurs and the subsequent death of shoots. As for the height of the plant, it varies depending on the growing conditions: on poorer soils, where there is a lack of moisture, plants sometimes barely reach a meter, but on fertile soil, in an open place with plenty of moisture, the bushes can stretch up to a record seven meters! A characteristic feature of "blackberry" shoots is a whitish waxy coating and a fairly large number of thorns of impressive size. Blackberry leaves have a varied shape, they can be trifoliate, complex, but more often quintuple. In their sinuses, two or three buds are most often laid, one of which is noticeably larger than the rest - this is a generative bud, which will form flowers, and then fruits.
The buds swell and start growing quite early - already at the beginning of May, but only after a month and a half flowering begins. The flowering period is quite long, at this time snow-white, rather large, self-pollinating flowers bloom, which are folded into an inflorescence - a panicle or a brush. The first fruits begin to color around the beginning of August, and in the middle of this month, individual specimens are already, as a rule, ready to be harvested. Mass harvesting of fruits is usually carried out in September. In general, blackberry varieties require a much longer ripening period than raspberries: even early varieties give the first fruits only 30-35 days after flowering.
According to the type of growth of the bush, all blackberries are divided into kumaniks - growing straight, and mildews - creeping plants. There are, however, varieties of blackberries that have an intermediate bush shape. In general, if we talk about the erect form of blackberries, then it is in many respects similar both in biology and in the way of reproduction with the raspberry we are familiar with.
Blackberries grow on various types of soil, however, on fertile, rich in humus, yields are higher. Blackberry also succeeds well on medium loamy substrates, as well as on loose and air-permeable soils that have a neutral reaction. Blackberries do not like, perhaps, areas with stagnant moisture, and the level of groundwater should not be higher than one and a half meters to the soil surface.
As already mentioned, breeding work with blackberries is underway, and it is quite successful, because a fairly large number of varieties of this crop have already been created, but the overwhelming majority of them are the result of the activities of US breeders. In areas of our country, you can now see cultivars with erect shoots, first of all, these are Agavam, Darrow, Erie, Wilson Earley and Ufa local. We also have creeping varieties, such as Abundant. Gardeners also hold the thornless cultivars in high esteem, for example, Thornfrey.
Irina Guryeva, Junior Researcher, Berry Crops Department, VNIIS named after V.I. I.V. Michurin.
Photo by the author
Features of growing in the regions
It is possible to highlight the characteristic features of the climate for each region, which must be taken into account when growing blackberries. But within the same climatic conditions, there are differences in location (for example, the site is on a mountain, near a river or in a lowland). Other factors, such as shading, the location of buildings, prevailing winds, etc., also affect the development of plants.
Blackberry culture in Belarus
In Belarus, there are two wild types of blackberries - gray (ozhina) and kumanik - as well as many cultivated varieties. The flowering period here stretches from the end of June to the second half of July, and the ripening of berries does not begin until August. In order for blackberries of earlier varieties to ripen, it takes at least a month and a half, for later varieties - over two months. Plants bear fruit best on the south or southwest side of the plot, which is illuminated by the sun for most of the day.
Garden blackberries bloom profusely and for a long time - almost until the end of July
The greatest harm to blackberries from this region is caused by a blackberry mite, and the most common disease is overgrowth of bushes.
Gallery: pests and diseases of the Belarusian blackberryThe blackberry mite is a very small insect and can only be viewed under a microscope. Tick-infested blackberries are completely unsuitable for human consumption. Overgrowth is a dangerous viral disease in which the shoots become thinner, become dwarf
Growing blackberries in Ukraine
Blackberries are grown in large quantities in Ukraine. Local gardeners are more willing to choose late varieties that ripen in the very last days of summer. The berries are harvested in the region throughout September. More than two hundred varieties of blackberries have become widespread here.
The advantage of culture is resistance to heat, which is especially important for the south of Ukraine. However, local gardeners consider the biggest disadvantage of blackberries to be weak winter hardiness. The climate of Ukraine is characterized by very low winter temperatures in some years. But even if the frosts are light, then the danger is posed by cold winter winds. In such conditions, planting blackberries often freeze out, so the culture needs a mandatory shelter.
Blackberry in the suburbs
Gardeners of the Moscow Region are experimenting with blackberry varieties with great interest. The blackberry variety Agavam enjoys special love, which hibernates without problems even in the northern regions of the Moscow region.
Blackberry variety Agavam has established itself as reliable and resistant to cold
In the absence of severe frosts, blackberries can winter well without shelter. However, given the climatic conditions of the Moscow region, one should not rely too much on a warm winter. New varieties Thorn Free, Black Satin must be covered for reliable wintering.
One of the main conditions for the cultivation of blackberries in the gardens of the Moscow Region is considered to be placed on light and calm areas of the garden.
How to grow blackberries in Siberia
Blackberries are a southern berry and often lack the short Siberian summer. In addition, in Siberia, the culture hardly survives the cold period. When choosing a variety for growing in Siberia, pay particular attention to its frost resistance. The following varieties are best suited for the region:
- El Dorado
The Erie blackberry variety is characterized by high yields and tolerates frosty winters very well.
The lowest temperature that blackberries can withstand without shelter is -22 ° C.
Blackberry cultivation in the Urals
It is quite possible to get a large number of blackberries in the Urals if you choose the right zoned variety. The largest yield of blackberries in the Urals is given by the following varieties:
Blackberry variety Ruben is known for its frost resistance, but does not tolerate heat well.
Particularly noteworthy is the Ruben variety, bred only 6 years ago. A bush with flexible branches, without sharp thorns, bears fruit before winter. But the main advantage is that in the conditions of the Ural region, it is able to withstand low temperatures.
Blackberries are delicious and healthy - plant them in your area. And for this, read how to grow and care for blackberry bushes in the middle lane.
It is best to plant blackberries in the spring. An important step in growing is the selection of a place for planting. Blackberries love fertile soil, a lot of sun, but are afraid of strong winds. The soil should not be waterlogged. This blackberry categorically does not tolerate.
For planting, you need low and healthy seedlings. It is better to maintain the distance between the bushes about 1.5 - 2 meters. For each seedling, a hole is needed, the size of which depends on the root system (about 40 by 40 cm).
For good proper growth, fertilizers will be required:
- superphosphate - 100 grams
- compost or manure - half a bucket
- wood ash - half a liter.
The seedling itself must be carefully examined, the root collar must be found, if necessary, dry branches and dead roots must be removed. The root collar should be deepened 3-4 cm underground.
After planting, you need to lightly trample the ground, then carefully water it. Next, the soil should be mulched.
And the final stage is pruning. As a result, 2-3 live and healthy buds should remain on each blackberry shoot.
Here is such a simple landing procedure.
After planting at a distance of 15-20 from the seedling, it is necessary to drive in a peg to which the seedling needs to be tied. For a garter, you can use a tight rope, but such that it does not damage the bark of the trunk. Tie up, it is better to wind the rope in the form of a figure eight around the peg and trunk.
Blackberry is a moisture-loving plant. Therefore, it must be watered correctly, especially in the first year after planting. Each bush requires 1.5-2 buckets of water weekly. If there is a drought, then water more often. Weeds should be removed at the same time, and the soil around the seedling should be gently loosened after each watering.
For watering - do not use cold water!
For good growth and a rich harvest, all blackberry bushes need to be fed regularly. Every spring, 6-7 kg (bucket) of compost or manure should be applied under the bush. Also requires 50 grams of ammonium nitrate.
At the beginning of June, it is advisable to add bird droppings diluted with water, proportions 1:10. For each bush you need 1 bucket.
At the end of August, about half a liter of wood ash should be poured under each bush. And after the end of fruiting, you need 100 grams of superphosphate.
For safe wintering, all trunk circles near the bushes need to be mulched with peat, sawdust and other organic insulation. The mulch layer should be 3-5 cm.
To increase the quantity and quality of the berries, the blackberries need to be cut regularly.
In April-May, you need to remove old, sick, broken, underdeveloped, frozen or pest-affected shoots. This procedure not only gives the plant correct growth, but also gives a compact appearance. The optimal number is 6 shoots in one bush.
Further, from the middle of July, it is necessary to regularly cut off 8-10 cm tall shoots.After the final harvest, the sprouts that have borne fruit should be removed.
Disease and pest control
Blackberries and raspberries have many similarities, including pests and diseases. Therefore, it is possible to identify and treat diseases in these two plants using the same means.
Didimela, a purple spot, is very common. The main signs are brownish-purple spots around the leaves of the blackberry. As the disease progresses, the cortex can become severely peeled. And wet rot can flow out of the cracks.
To combat, you can spray with various chemicals, for example, Bordeaux liquid (1%) (100 grams per 10 liters of water).
Berries and leaves of blackberries are often attacked by a small gray-black beetle - weevil. Its main features are characteristically gnawed pedicels and eggs on leaves or inside flowers. The main danger is the incomplete ripening of the berries.
To combat the weevil, you can use malofos, metaphos and other drugs. The most effective control method is thorough spraying. You can also use natural remedies for weevil. For example, in 3 liters of warm water, you can dilute 5 teaspoons of dry mustard, and spray the bushes.
It is not recommended to grow blackberries next to garden strawberries. It is because of the preference of both crops by the weevil.
Stem gall midge
A great danger to blackberries is the stem gall midge. It is a small insect that looks like a mosquito. The main features are orange larvae, which overwinter in swellings on the stems of the plant.
To combat them, you need to spray the blackberries with karbofos before flowering. Affected shoots must be removed and burned immediately.
The raspberry beetle can severely disfigure the berries. This insect reaches up to 4 mm in length and is covered with thick yellow-brown hairs. It can be identified by white caterpillars that can live in berries for up to two months.
For prophylaxis it is necessary to spray the bushes with "Fitoverm" in the last weeks of May. Also, sometimes you can not shake the blackberry bushes too much.
Harvesting and beneficial properties
Depending on the variety, blackberries can bear fruit at different times. But the main month of berries is August.
It is recommended to collect delicate berries in a small container so that they do not wrinkle, especially if you plan to transport the crop to another place. Blackberries are very useful, so it is important to properly preserve their valuable properties. For long-term storage, it is best to freeze the berries immediately after picking.
Blackberries can be used to make many delicious dishes, such as confiture, preserves, desserts, and so on. The berry is great for preparing compotes, fruit drinks and other refreshing drinks.
The beneficial properties of blackberries, like raspberries, are a prophylactic agent for colds and febrile diseases.
Now I want to tell you about my experiment. Probably, it was necessary to write about him under the heading "Don't do like me."
Readers often talk about planting potatoes under straw. I decided to try it too, just not under the straw, but under the hay - I didn't have straw. On the lawn (just mowed) I spread the hay in a layer of 10 cm and poured a handful of chicken humus on it every 30 cm. I spread the sprouted potato tubers on the humus - the Krasnonosk variety, as we call it: its tubers are oblong, and one tip is pink.
Sprinkled tubers with humus, and then hay. The result was a bed 50 cm wide and about 20-25 cm high, on which nine potatoes fit (photo 3). Over the summer, I fed chicken manure twice with a solution (1:20) and added ash. As the tops grew, I added hay, as it sat down when watering.
It's harvest time. It turned out that the extreme bushes in the garden gave a crop of freaks - one in one Jerusalem artichoke, all the tubers in growths. Maybe one of the experienced summer residents will tell you the reason for such an anomaly? All other bushes produced five to seven pieces of long and thin tubers. But the most interesting is yet to come.
When I began to remove all that remained of the potato garden from the lawn, I found so many May beetle larvae on the ground under the hay that it’s just awful! Well, here, of course, I myself am to blame: I created all the conditions for the reproduction of the beetle. Warmth, and even good feeding - watering with chicken droppings. For myself, I concluded: do not plant more under hay, it is better to plant in bags.
But there were a lot of cucumbers, peppers, eggplants and especially tomatoes this year, thank God! I wish all summer residents good health and rich harvests!
© Author: Nina Shevchenko. from. Ash. Samara Region
Characteristics of thornless blackberry
The closest relative of the blackberry is the raspberry, both of which belong to the Pink family. On a large scale, the cultivation of this crop in our region has not received much distribution, but it is in great demand among summer residents.
Outwardly, thornless blackberry resembles a small shrub with bright serrated green leaves of medium size, divided into 3 parts and "looking" downward. The plant begins to bloom in the first half of June, its flowers are small, pink-purple in color, about 2 cm in diameter. Then, in place of the flowers, small green berries appear, which gradually change their shade, becoming bright purple. This is the signal for full maturity. Ripening occurs unevenly, therefore, berries of various colors can often be present on one bush. The crop yield is quite large and can be several times higher than the yield of its closest relative, raspberries.
The beautiful blackberry has a very developed root system, directed down to 1.5-2 meters. Accordingly, most varieties survive dry times well.
Breeders conditionally divide blackberry crops into three groups, depending on the method of growth:
- Shrub blackberries, characterized by growth up to 2, and sometimes 3 meters. It is possible to distinguish such varieties as Apache, Guy, Orcan, etc.
- Climbing blackberry, characterized by the growth of shoots directed parallel to the ground, their length can reach 4-6 meters. It is possible to single out the blackberry bushy of such varieties as Black Satin, Thornfrey, Loch Ness, etc.
- A semi-growing blackberry, characterized by an initial growth of 0.5 meters, and then the growth of shoots rushes down, thus the Triple Crown variety grows.
Blackberries are most often characterized by a bright dark purple hue, but varieties with yellow or red fruits are also produced. The size varies depending on the species. The structure is dense, with a sweet rich taste, the shape is elongated and conical. Fruiting begins only from the second year.
Blackberries grow in almost any part of Russia: in the Voronezh, Rostov regions and even in the Moscow region. But in each region, the taste of the berries is different. So, in a warmer climate in the Crimea and Kuban, the berries are sweeter - the large amount of sun affects. Berries grown in the Urals and Siberia have a more sour taste. For this region, special more winter-hardy varieties are required, for example, Polar, Ruben, Agavam.
Blackberry non-covering, thornless is rich in vitamins, has a beneficial effect on blood pressure, the digestive tract, the immune system, perfect for baking, stewed fruit, jam, jam.
Karaka Black is a very early blackberry with black berries. It is ahead of almost all blackberries in this group in terms of ripening. The Karaka Black variety produces its first berries 2 weeks earlier than such well-known varieties as Loch Tay and Netchez. The size of the berry is very large. In shape and size, the berry is very similar to Black Butte, but this variety surpasses Black Butte in yield many times over.Yakimov
... I remove prickly varieties from the site. But my neighbor left Karaku Black for the berries (an unusually long shape). I also didn't like the low yield. And the neighbor liked the taste.GalinaNik
With precipitation, all spots (leaves). This means that treatments are needed for prophylaxis ... I have not seen so much on other varieties.Elvir
Karaki Black planted about 17 bushes, two two-year-olds, the rest were planted last year. In winter, he did not cover, not a single bush froze out.Dion
Well, there are no comrades for taste and color. I like Karaka Black, delicious with a pleasant sourness, I like Natchez more (eat honey, and the aftertaste is bitterness like grapefruit). I did not see spots on Karak.Anton Izium
The record holder for large-fruited - blackberry Karak black is valued for its rich fruit taste, productivity and ability to easily tolerate short-term drought. The long fruiting period also attracts: from the end of July to September, you can feast on black berries, make jam and prepare compotes for the winter. To obtain good yields, one should only follow the rules of agricultural technology and carry out preventive treatment against diseases.
Blackberry Osage: features of the variety and the rules for its cultivation
- Full photo
Osage Blackberry Description
Preparing for winter
Blackberry in nature is a creeping shrub with thorny stems and small sour fruits. You can eat them only a handful, and even then without much pleasure. But there is some charm in blackberries, a slight bitterness that distinguishes it from other berries. The varieties of garden blackberries, which are now grown in gardens, are strikingly different from the forest relative, while retaining its advantages.