Blackberry Navajo - variety description, characteristics, planting and plant care

By its taste, useful properties of berries and undemanding care blackberry is not inferior, and in many ways even surpasses its relative raspberry. In addition, many breeders have bred many studless varieties, which is an undoubted advantage of culture. One of these varieties - Navajo - was bred by agricultural scientists of the University of Arkansas. Now it is popular not only among American amateur gardeners, it is also preferred by Russian summer residents.

Blackberry Navajo: description and characteristics of the variety

Blackberry is a very productive crop. It is grown with pleasure both on an industrial scale and in household plots around the world. The only significant drawback of the plant is a huge number of thorns. One of the tasks of scientists-breeders of the University of Arkansas was the development of new hybrids that do not have spikes. These include the Navajo variety obtained in the late 80s of the last century.

The berries of the Navajo blackberry are not too large, their weight ranges from 4 to 7 g

Compared to other blackberry varieties and hybrids, the Navajo berries are not too large, their weight ranges from 4 to 7 g. However, the fruit is not too large, compensated by the huge number of berries that ripen on one bush. On average, their number reaches about 500 pieces.

Navajo is the name of an Indian tribe. All hybrids of the blackberry series, which appeared as a result of breeding work by specialists from the state of Arkansas, received their names in honor of the Indian tribes. Among them can be noted varieties Arapaho, Chiroki, Apache and so on.

Blackberry shoots of Navajo grow straight. In height they exceed 1.5 m. Glossy berries have a moderately sweet taste. The ripening period is extended for a month, the fruits ripen in August - early September. Bushes without thorns, so manual collection is easy and painless. Berries are ideal for fresh consumption, for freezing or for making jams, pies, drinks and so on.

In season, the bush of the Blackberry variety Navajo is strewn with berries

Table: Characterization of Navajo Blackberry

Mass of one berry4–5 g, individual fruits weigh up to 7 g
Appearance of berriesShort-conical fetus
TasteModerately sweet, 4 points out of 5 according to the tasting score

Table: The advantages and disadvantages of Navajo Blackberry

Self-fertility (pollinators are not required).The hybrid is demanding of the sun and heat.
High productivity, you can collect up to 6 kg from the bush.Productivity falls under adverse weather conditions (high humidity, low air temperature).
Excellent transportability of berries. Commercial and taste lasts about 5 days.Too many root siblings.

Video: review of blackberry varieties Navajo, Black Satin, Karaka Black, Ruben

Landing Nuances

The Navajo blackberry is undemanding to care for, but still it must be planted according to all the rules. If you select the most suitable place and fertilize during planting, the plant will present its owners with fragrant berries every year.

Choose a place

When choosing the location of a blackberry on a site, gardeners should be guided by some features of the culture. Blackberry is a light-loving plant, so it is recommended to choose a sunny place for it. It also grows well in partial shade, but with a lack of sunlight, the berries will grow smaller and the shoots will stretch.

Blackberries are recommended to be planted in a row in a sunny place

It should also be taken into account that the crop does not tolerate excessively moist soil. At the planting site of the blackberry, the depth of the groundwater should be at least 1 m, otherwise the plant may simply die. Blackberry is considered an unstable crop. The area for planting seedlings should be well protected from sudden gusts of wind from all sides.

Plant blackberry

Unlike other crops that are recommended to be planted in the fall, blackberry seedlings are best planted in early spring so that the aerial parts of young plants do not freeze in winter.

Experienced gardeners advise planting blackberries in a row along the boundary of the plot, stepping back from the fence 1.5 m. Between the plants in the line, you must leave a distance of 1 m, since the variety Navajo has a large shoot-forming ability.

Pits for planting blackberries are prepared 2 weeks before the expected date

Pits for seedlings are prepared 2 weeks before the expected date of planting. Dig holes with a depth and width of about 40 cm. A nutrient substrate is laid on the bottom (the upper fertile layer of the earth mixed with humus or compost and mineral fertilizers). Soil is poured on it without fertilizer so that the roots of the seedlings do not “burn out”.

Step-by-step instructions for planting a blackberry

  1. Moisten the earth in a prepared landing pit.
  2. Place the seedling in the middle and spread the roots.
  3. Sprinkle the root system with soil so that the growth bud, located at the base of the main shoot, is buried no more than 2-3 cm. If you deepen it, then the beginning of fruiting may be postponed for a year.

    Growth kidney should be 2-3 cm deep

  4. Around the seedlings, make holes, moisten and mulch with humus or rotted sawdust.
  5. Blackberries give a lot of overgrowth and are capable of capturing nearby territories in a short time, therefore, planting must be limited by digging slate sheets along a row, and this must be done not only from the side of your site, but also next to the fence.
  6. Drive a peg near each bush, to which you will subsequently tie long blackberry shoots. Or make a trellis by digging in the posts on the sides of the row and pulling two rows of wire at a height of 50 cm and 1 m from the ground.

    Blackberry shoots are high, so they need support

Care Rules

The agricultural technology of Navajo blackberries is uncomplicated. If you planted the plant according to the recommendations, then the next year the first berries will appear, and in the fifth year the Navajo bushes will give the largest yield. The main tasks of the gardener when growing the crop will be the formation of bushes, abundant watering and preparation for winter.


Blackberry is a drought-tolerant plant, but it needs moisture during flowering and fruit setting. 10 liters of water should be poured under each bush if there is no rainfall during this period. Note that the blackberry does not tolerate too much moisture.

Pruning bushes

Blackberries very actively form shoots, which thickens plantings and prevents the formation of berries. Because of this feature of the culture, bushes need to start pruning from the second year after planting. There are several ways to create blackberry bushes - the choice of which one to use depends on the location of the plantings and on the gardener's preferences.

Blackberries give a lot of overgrowth, so the bush must be cut annually


Pruning is done in the fall. Cut all the shoots in front and behind the bush. On each side, 3 fruiting shoots are left, and in the middle all the old ones are cut, leaving 3-4 new stems.

Formation of landings by ropes

With this method, fruit-bearing shoots are placed along the wire, and all the stems that grow outside the row are cut completely. 3-4 new shoots are left in the center of the bush.

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Shoots with berries are directed by waves along the extreme row, and young ones make up the second. After fruiting, the first row is completely cut out, and the new shoots become fruiting branches for the next year.

Placing the growing and fruiting shoots separately greatly facilitates the care of plants and harvesting.

Preparing for the winter

Blackberry Navajo is a cover crop. Shoots after leaf fall must be tied and bent to the ground. It is recommended to insulate them from above with spruce branches or special non-woven material.

Keep in mind that blackberry shoots are quite fragile and can easily crack when bent to the ground.

Some gardeners advise laying blackberries on the ground with trellis. To do this, the columns are taken out of the ground and put together with the shoots. This method allows you to protect brittle stems from damage.

Video: Blackberry Care Features

About pests and diseases

Varieties of American breeding, including Navajo, are declared as resistant to common blackberry pests and diseases. Even aphids and gall midges damage them extremely rarely. But still it will not be superfluous to recall the ailments and pests that annoy the culture.

Table: Common blackberry diseases and crop pests

Pest / diseaseHow to identifyHow to fightWhen to treat with drugs
Common spider mite
  • leaves populated by an insect turn yellow, dry and fall in the middle of the season;
  • reduced yield of berries;
  • growth of shoots decreases.
To process infusion of tobacco, garlic or onion peel with the addition of laundry soap. Carry out several treatments with an interval of 7 days. At the first sign of pests.
Blackberry tickThe berries are deformed.
Raspberry beetle
  • holes appear on leaf blades and ovaries;
  • the berries rot.
Treat the bushes with Actellik or Fufanon (the solution is done according to the instructions). Spend 2 sprays with an interval of 10 days.
  1. Before flowering begins.
  2. During the dissolution of the buds.
SeptoriaRusty or grayish-brown spots with a yellow border appear on the leaf blades.Spray gooseberries with 1% Bordeaux fluid (2-3 liters per bush).
  1. Before flowering begins.
  2. After picking berries.
Powdery mildew A loose white coating appears on leaf blades, petioles, ovaries, berries.Pour bushes with hot water (2–4 liters per bush).Immediately after snow melts in early spring.
Spray with fungicide Oxychrome, Vectra, Fundazole (1-2.5 liters per bush).
  1. Before flowering begins.
  2. When tying berries.
AnthracnoseSmall brown spots appear on the leaves. Leaf blades become brittle and turn brown, then curl and fall.Spray the bush and soil under it with a solution of the drug Skor (20 ml per 10 liters of water).
  1. Before flowering begins.
  2. After picking berries.

To prevent the spread of pests and diseases, at the end of the growing season, seedlings that shoot off, as well as branches that are significantly damaged by pests and diseases, must be cut and burned.

Photo Gallery: Pests and Blackberry Diseases

Rusty spots on blackberry leaves - a sign of septoria

When infected with anthracnose, brown spots appear on the plant

Powdery mildew infection is fairly easy to identify by the characteristic white coating

Raspberry beetle damages bushes and leads to loss of crop

When a plant is damaged by a spider mite, the leaves dry and fall

Reviews about Navajo Blackberry

My blackberries are Thornfrey planting last spring and Navajo planted this one gave buds. May already bloom, I saw them for the last time on Sunday. Thornfrey gave thick shoots; their husband bent them to the ground and secured them with a wooden slider. However, they again lift up. If the esteemed Yakimov does not dissuade, I will ask my husband to repeat the procedure. I’m waiting for the shoots from Navajo, so I can also fix it. On weak Navaja, buds should be cut off, but I really want to try. It rains a lot, humus put under it, I hope it will make out some berries, both development and preparation for winter.


Very good and Navajo - sweet, and even that berry, which still holds very firmly. In short, the berry is super.

Sergey Vl

I have 2 grades - Navajo and Thornfrey. They are both late. Fruiting since the end of August and almost all of September. Very fruitful. Bend well. And in the spring I tie to the trellis. I cover with a spanbond.


Navajo is a kumanika with a very good yield, the berry is sweet already in the technical degree of maturity, ripens at the same time as Thornfrey.

marina ufa

A disease resistant variety. Fruits in July to August. The berry is large, sweet, aromatic.


The berries of the Navajo blackberry are not as large as the fruits of other modern culture hybrids, but this indicator is compensated by the yield and excellent taste of the berries. In addition, the studless shoots have an erect shape, so the care of Navajo is very simple and even an aspiring gardener will be able to grow an American variety.


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