Blackberry Giant - a high-yielding hardy grade
It is rare to find cultivated blackberries in our personal plots. However, gardeners who love to experiment with pleasure grow this berry and really appreciate it for its pleasant taste and nutritional properties. Garden blackberry compares favorably with wild species with yield and fruit size. It is no coincidence that one of the varieties was called Giant.
History of Blackberry Giant
Blackberry belongs to the genus Rubus, which includes about 200 natural species. America is considered the homeland. It was there that in the 19th century they began to cultivate blackberries thanks not only to the decorative qualities of the bush, ease of care, but also to the taste and unusual aroma of the fruit. New varieties and hybrids more resistant to cold climates were bred. The new culture brought from overseas in the 20th century became widespread in Europe. The first who in Russia drew attention to the value of a blackberry was I.V. Michurin. As a result of long work, he developed new varieties adapted to our climatic conditions.
Now in the world there are more than 300 varietal representatives of culture.
Blackberry Giant is famous for its large berries and frost resistance.
Blackberry Giant is valued for an unprecedented yield - during the season the bush gives about 30 kg of berries. In addition, it has high frost resistance, tolerates frosts up to -30 ° C without damage, so it can be cultivated not only in the south of the country, but also in regions with cold winters.
The giant forms a sprawling bush 1.5–2.5 m with strong flexible shoots. In June, large white inflorescences appear on the stems. Thanks to late flowering, buds are not damaged by spring frosts, which has a beneficial effect on productivity.
Powerful blackberry shoots Giant form a bush up to 2.5 m
Fruiting occurs in the second year. It lasts from July to the end of September. The fruit is a combined drupe. The shape is elongated, conical. At the beginning of ripening, the fruits of the blackberry are green, then brownish, then acquire a red-brown hue. In ripe berries, the shiny skin becomes black-purple.
Blackberry Giant is sometimes confused with the English variety Bedford giant. The main difference between the species is the size of the berries: in Bedford they are smaller, weighing 7 g, in the Giant - much larger, up to 20 g.
The juice of the fruit is dark red; the taste is dessert, sweet and sour, delicate, with a pronounced blackberry aroma. Ripe berries are consumed fresh, frozen, dried, jam, jam, jelly, compote, liquor are prepared, added to desserts and pastries.
Blackberry is a storehouse of vitamins, useful minerals, its use helps to normalize pressure, strengthen immunity, improve metabolism, and heal wounds. This berry is a natural substitute for aspirin, so it has long been used to reduce fever and relieve colds.
Blackberry Giant - a fruitful variety, up to 30 kg of berries can be collected from a bush per season
Among the disadvantages of the variety, only intolerance to dry soil is noted: a lack of moisture negatively affects the quantity and quality of berries. This makes it difficult to grow varieties in arid areas.
In order to feast on a blackberry every year, you should first take care of the seedlings and correctly plant.
When to plant a blackberry
Blackberries are planted in spring and autumn. The best time is early spring, before the start of the growing season. Seedlings have time to root well during the season and get stronger for the winter. You can plant a blackberry at the end of the season, but you need to do this 2-3 weeks before the onset of cold weather, otherwise young plants may die. Autumn planting is preferable to carry out in the southern regions. Seedlings in containers can be planted all season.
Blackberry seedlings in containers can be planted throughout the growing season
Best place for bramble
Blackberry Giant - photophilous plant, prefers to grow in areas well warmed by the sun or in light partial shade. The soil is not particularly demanding, but it is not suitable for heavy clay and wetlands, the best conditions are loams with a slightly acid reaction.
It is necessary to bring peat and sand (per 1 m2) into clay soil. On sands and sandy loam soil, blackberries can grow, but will require the introduction of large doses of organic matter in the form of mulch and watering. The bramble is usually placed in places protected from the cold north wind - along the fence, not far from outbuildings.
It is better to plant a blackberry along the fence to protect from the wind
Selection of seedlings
Garden centers and nurseries now offer a large assortment of cultivated blackberries. There you can choose exactly those varieties that are zoned to local conditions, get expert advice on caring for plants. Experts recommend purchasing 1-2 year old seedlings with a well-developed root system. One-year-olds should have two stems 5 mm thick and a formed bud on the roots. Two-year-olds must have at least 3 main roots 15 cm long and an aerial part 40 cm high.
If the bark is wrinkled, and the flesh under it is brown, it means that the seedling has been dug for a long time, it has already dried up and is unlikely to take root.
How to plant a blackberry
Use bush or linear types of planting blackberries. In the bush method, plants are planted in pits 45 cm deep and wide at a distance of 1–1.3 m. With a linear method, trenches are dug 45 cm deep and 50 cm wide, leaving 2 m between rows. Rows should be arranged from north to south. Before planting, you should also install the supports: the blackberry grows rapidly, the overgrown shoots are better to lay on the supporting structure.
For spring planting, the site is prepared in the fall, for autumn - in 2-3 weeks. The earth is dug up, leveled, weeds are removed. They are seasoned with humus (1.5 kg \ 1 m2), superphosphate (100 g), potassium sulfate (30 g) or ash (100 g). Previously, the seedlings are dipped for an hour in a solution with Kornevin, which stimulates root formation.
Step-by-step landing process:
- At the bottom of the pit, nutrient soil is poured.
- A sapling with well-spread roots is placed. Plants from the container are planted with the ground.
Sapling roots need to be well smoothed
- Sprinkle the seedling so that the growth bud is 3 cm below the soil level.
- Be sure to shake the plant so that voids do not form, tamp the soil.
- During spring planting, shoots are shortened to 35 cm.
- A circular watering hole is formed and 5 liters of water are added there.
After planting, the seedling is well moistened
- After absorbing moisture, the soil is mulched with hay, humus.
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Video: how to plant a blackberry in 2 minutes
Blackberry agricultural technology
This culture is unpretentious, it is only necessary to regularly water, feed, remove weeds and excess shoots.
Watering and loosening
The blackberry is demanding on watering, it needs a lot of water to grow shoots and pour berries. To maintain the necessary level of soil moisture, a bramble is watered once a week with 10 liters of water per bush. Plants especially need moisture during the period of intensive growth and fruit formation. In drought with insufficient watering, the berries become small, fall off. In October, water-loading irrigation of landings (20 l / bush) is mandatory.
Blackberries especially need moisture during fruit formation
Waterlogging is detrimental to the plant: moisture, stagnating in the soil, can cause the development of infections and rot, the formation of new shoots will drag on until late autumn, and the winter hardiness of the blackberry will decrease.
During the season, the soil under the bushes and in the aisles must be loosened and weed. Weed plants inhibit the development of shoots and reduce yield. Between the rows, loosening is carried out to a depth of 12 cm, near the bushes - in the surface layer, not deeper than 8 cm, so as not to damage the roots. Such an agricultural method allows not only to improve the air exchange of the soil and fight weeds, but also to destroy the location of pests. After watering and loosening, the earth is mulched with straw, sawdust.
Fertilizers are necessary not only to feed the plant with nutrients, but also to eliminate diseases and pests that are inevitable in adverse weather conditions. On well-tilled soil, for the first 2 years in the spring, blackberries are fed only with nitrogen fertilizers (10 g of urea \ 5 l \). On poor soils, it is recommended to carry out leaf feeding with Kemira Plus (20 g / 10 l).
A balanced composition of fertilizing allows you to get a yield increase of up to 30%.
During the formation of the fruit, the plant needs potassium (30 g of potassium sulfate / 10 l at the rate of 6 l of solution per 1 m2). Mineral fertilizer can be replaced with ash (200 g / 1 m2). For autumn digging, superphosphate (35 g / 1 m2), nitrophosphate (30 g / 1 m2), potassium sulfate (30 g / 1 m2) are introduced into the soil.
Agricola - vitamin complex for berry crops
Organics are also used annually as top dressing: in June, aqueous solutions of mullein (1:10), chicken droppings (1:20), humus is scattered under the bush in autumn.
The appearance of plants can be judged on the lack of nutrients. Weak shoots, small fruits, yellowing of foliage indicate nitrogen deficiency, leaf veins turn yellow, berries dry out - lack of iron, brown rim on leaf blades - low potassium, leaves turn red, by the middle of the season fall - lack of magnesium.
Blackberry leaf redness is a sign of magnesium deficiency
Installation of the support
Usually, blackberries are grown on a trellis - the garter of the bushes allows you to protect part of the crop from contact with the ground, provides uniform sunshine and the purge of the bush, without creating conditions for the development of the fungus. In addition, the bushes laid on the trellis look very decorative during flowering - they create a solid green carpet, decorated with large fragrant flowers.
Blackberry on the trellis creates a solid green carpet decorating the plot
Berry bush formation
When forming a berry bush, it should be borne in mind that blackberry shoots have a two-year development cycle: in the first year they grow, lay buds, bear fruit and die off in the second year. Therefore, in the fall, the seedling branches are cut, weak and damaged are removed. A blackberry bush is made up of 8-10 strong and healthy shoots. Usually stick to a fan formation. In the spring, after removing the shelter, the branches are raised to the trellis in an upright position, young growing shoots are placed parallel to the ground. In autumn, the central prolific stem is removed, leaving 8-10 young strong horizontal shoots.
In autumn, blackberry shoots cut off under the root
Blackberries give a lot of growth, making the bush thickened and prickly. Therefore, it is necessary when the zero shoot grows to 2 m and the garter to the trellis, the top is cut off. Until the fall, 6–10 lateral branches grow, which next year will yield 3-5 brushes of berries each.
Experienced gardeners advise cutting off lateral shoots by 3-5 buds in the fall or after wintering to get fewer brushes, but with larger berries.
Preparing blackberry bushes for the winter
Despite frost resistance, the Blackberry Giant needs to be insulated for the winter. After pruning, water-loading irrigation and mulching with humus, the branches are bent in an arcuate shape to the ground and covered with agrofibre. Unlike roses and grapes, this crop does not vomit. It is advisable to cover young plantings from above with spruce branches, and in winter to rake snow to the bushes. Under such a blanket, blackberries are not afraid of even severe frosts.
Before the onset of cold weather, the blackberry bushes are covered with non-woven material, in winter they snow
Video: growing blackberries
Blackberries are propagated by seeds, layering and cuttings.
- With seed propagation, varietal characters are fully preserved. Before sowing, the seeds are stratified, then soaked for several hours in a solution of Epin and sown in a greenhouse. In open ground sprouts are planted with the formation of 4 leaves.
- The simplest method of reproduction is with apical layers. The top of the shoot is buried in a groove near the bush, fixed with a bracket and watered. The layer takes root in a month, but it should be separated and planted in the spring of next season.
The easiest way to propagate blackberries - apical layers
- When propagated by green cuttings in mid-summer, shoots are cut into pieces 10 cm long and planted in small containers with a nutritious soil mixture, watered, covered with a film. The greenhouse is regularly ventilated and moistened. After a month, rooted cuttings are transplanted.
Blackberry cuttings with roots are planted in a permanent place
Pest and Disease Control
Blackberry Giant is resistant to many common infections of berry crops . Only occasionally in damp summer does the risk of disease arise. Preventive measures will prevent the appearance of pests.
Table: Giant Blackberry Disease
|Purple spotting||Brown-purple spots form on the shoots, the buds dry out, the leaves wither. The development of fungal disease contributes to the thickening of the bush and high humidity.||Before flowering, treat with a 2% Bordeaux mixture.|
|Anthracnose||Necrotic spots appear on the leaves and stems, the fruits are wrinkled. The occurrence of the disease contribute to long rainy periods. Disease can result in significant crop losses.||Remove fallen leaves.||In the spring, spray with Nitrafen (300 g / 10 l).|
|Gray rot||Mushroom spores quickly spread in wet weather. Outgrowths of gray color form on the shoots, the fruits begin to rot.|
Photo Gallery: Typical Blackberry Diseases
- Purple spotting affects the shoots and buds, the fruits grow small and acidic
- Long rains contribute to the development of anthracnose
- When affected by gray rot, the fruits begin to rot
Table: Giant-hazardous pests
|Shoot aphid||The pest sucks the plant juices, depletes them, which leads to a decrease in productivity.||Aphids are spread over the site of the ants, therefore, in the first place, treatment should be carried out against these insects by the Anteater, Cypermetrin.|
|Chafer||The insect eats leaves, the larvae damage the roots of plants.||Shake off bugs, catch using light traps.||Treat the soil with Anti-Crush in spring (10 ml / 5 L).|
|Blackberry tick||The pest, eating berries, introduces into them substances that prevent ripening. The quality and taste of the fruit are deteriorating, and productivity is decreasing.||Clean blackberries, regular watering and pruning.|
Photo Gallery: Pests Threatening Blackberries
- Shoot aphid, settling in a bramble, depletes plants
- Blackberry mite leads to a loss of 50% of the crop
- Chafer beetle causes great damage to plants
I have a giant, and it’s very scratchy, so I’m cropping and shaping with leather gloves. But everything pays off by the size of the berries, their productivity and unmatched taste.YURI CHERNOV
I like two varieties: Ruben and Giant. We used to have many species in the country, they constantly planted and tried new varieties. Most of all, the family liked these two. There was a repair, and they were trampled, so in the spring they bought it again and planted it. When buying, we were told where and at what height to land. I am glad that these species are frost-resistant, they will not be lost during the winter.Ivan78
Among the many types of blackberries, the Giant variety stands out. Large berries with a pleasant dessert taste will please with their quality and quantity. Another plus of the variety, especially relevant for Russian gardeners, is the ability of this blackberry to tolerate frosty winters painlessly.