Garden blackberry: care at different times of the year, including the first year after planting

Large-fruited garden blackberry is a very popular berry culture in Europe and America. Many of its varieties can produce high yields in the southern regions of Russia, and the most winter-hardy ones - even in the middle lane. However, for this it is necessary to make efforts, observing the rules for the care of blackberries. .

The main biological features of garden blackberries

Blackberry is a light-loving shrub that grows well in almost any soil, except for too heavy, very acidic and marshy. It is considered a relatively drought-resistant, unpretentious plant that easily tolerates summer heat. But to obtain a plentiful crop, regular watering and top dressing with organic fertilizers are necessary.

Blackberry - unpretentious high-yielding shrub

By type of growth and propagation methods, blackberry varieties are divided into three groups:

  • Kumanika - plants with erect shoots up to three meters high, very prickly and relatively winter-hardy. They give a lot of root offspring, used for reproduction. The tops of the shoots do not root.
  • Rosyanka - plants with creeping shoots up to two meters long. The initial wild forms are prickly, there are modern varieties without thorns. Root offsprings give very little, multiply by rooting the tops of young stems. In the middle zone of Russia and even in some places in Siberia there is a local wild blackberry of this type. However, garden varieties based on American species have low winter hardiness.
  • Transitional type, which includes most modern varieties of complex hybrid origin. Plants with or without thorns, semi-spreading stems or erect stems with strongly drooping tops. Winter hardiness is low. The tops of the stems are rooted, the number of root offspring depends on the particular variety.

Blackberry shoots have a two-year development cycle. In the first year, the shoot actively builds up mass, in the second year it blooms and bears fruit, after which it dies. The blackberry blooms in the first half of summer. In many varieties, this period is extended for two months or more. The flowers are large, white or pinkish, melliferous.

Blackberry flowers are very beautiful

Due to prolonged flowering, the ripening period of the berries is also extended, which is a definite plus for amateur cultivation and a minus for industrial culture. Most American varieties are difficult to grow in central Russia, not only because of insufficient winter hardiness, but also because of too late fruiting. Berries just do not have time to ripen before the start of frost.

Blackberry does not ripen at the same time

Seasonal Blackberry Care

Blackberries are very unpretentious, difficulties in its cultivation arise only in areas with harsh climates, where shelter for the winter period is required.

Video: Blackberry Care

Spring work

If the blackberry was sheltered for the winter, immediately after the snow melts, the shelter is removed, and the overwintered stems are tied to the trellis. After awakening the kidneys, all dry stems are cut out, the frozen tops are shortened to a healthy part.

Under each bush make half a bucket of compost and 1 tablespoon of superphosphate and potassium sulfate. The ground under the bushes is carefully loosened no deeper than 5 centimeters. Deep digging should be avoided so as not to damage the roots. It is very useful to mulch the soil with a thick layer of any organic matter.

Summer chores

During the summer, the blackberry plantation is regularly weeded by weeds. To reduce their number, you can mulch the aisles between the rows with black roofing material or agrofibre.

In the absence of rain, blackberries are watered once a week in a bucket of water for each bush.

Blackberry bushes on the trellis should be well lit by the sun, so they must be thinned out

At the beginning of summer, young shoots are normalized, leaving no more than 5–6 most powerful and conveniently located on each bush. All extra shoots are cut out at the very surface of the earth. As they grow, they are tied to the trellis, trying to ensure uniform illumination of the entire bush.

Plant Care in Autumn

Immediately after picking the berries, all fruiting shoots are cut under the root without leaving stumps. If you don’t shelter a blackberry for the winter, at the beginning of autumn you can shorten the tops of the annual shoots for better ripening of the stems.

Blackberry stalks cut under the root

Cover BlackBerry Care

Most modern blackberry varieties withstand frosts of no more than -20 ° C, so without shelter they can grow only in the southern regions. In regions with more severe winters, annual shoots bend as low as possible to the ground for wintering under the snow. Do this before the start of stable frosts, while the stems easily bend. On a covered blackberry, shortening of annual shoots is not used so that the stems do not become too thick. In varieties with fragile branches, it is necessary to tie young shoots to the trellis in an almost horizontal position at the beginning of summer, so that in autumn it is easier to bend them to the ground.

In areas with frosty winters, blackberries are bent to the ground for the winter

Not only winter frosts are dangerous for a blackberry, but also aging from dampness during thaws. Therefore, additional insulation (coniferous spruce branches, fallen leaves, agrofibre, polyethylene) can be arranged only at a steady temperature below 0 ° C.

Features of agricultural technology in the first year after planting

In the middle zone, blackberries are planted only in spring, in the south it is possible in early autumn. Immediately after planting, the stem is cut shortly not higher than 10 centimeters above the soil level. If in the first year a bush of blackberry suddenly blooms, the flowers must be cut off. Over the summer, 2-3 fairly powerful young shoots should form, all the extra ones are immediately removed. A young plant needs more frequent watering compared to adult bushes, since the root system is still weak. In the heat without rain, pour 5–6 times a month half a bucket of water per bush.

Care for different types of plants

Features of care for different varieties of blackberries depend on their type of growth, winter hardiness, pricklyness and the number of offspring.

Kumanika

The group of erect blackberries (kumaniki) includes old American varieties Flint and Agawam with winter hardiness of -35 ° C, successfully grown without any shelters in the suburbs and in the Southern Urals.

Old winter-hardy blackberry varieties produce plentiful yields of medium-sized but tasty berries

The main disadvantages of the varieties of this group are: spiny stems and the formation of numerous root offspring. The berries are medium-sized, but ripen early in the middle of summer, and fruiting is very plentiful. These varieties are usually planted along the edge of the garden, instead of a fence.

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In the south, a wild blackberry of this type is one of the most difficult to eradicate weeds.

Erect blackberry tied to a simple trellis on the same level

Tying upright varieties is very simple, for them the simplest trellis from one or two parallel rows of wire at the same height is suitable. But bending them to the ground is almost impossible, the stems are too thick.

Flint is an old American variety. I’ve been growing for 20 years. Kumanika. The shoots are erect, strongly branching, powerful, with faces, with spines sparse, but they are more scratching than stitching, soft in the year of shoot growth. Rounded berry weighing 5-7 g, sweet, absolutely acid free. Productivity 10 and more kg / bush. The root system is pivotal, propagated by shoots. The tops also take root, but the roots to frosts are only 2-3 cm and they are few. The main plus is frost resistance, up to -40 ° C, I have never froze. It is advisable to put a supporting trellis, there are so many berries that the thickest stem bends and the berry lies on the ground. It blooms very beautifully, the flowers are white, large, it turns out a solid white tent.

Oleg Saveyko

It surprises so many negative reviews about the taste of blackberries Agawam. Can not fully ripened berries. When the berry is already black, it’s not a fact that it is ripe, you still have to wait, I spit it myself so that I planted it when I first got acquainted with high-quality blackberries. Agave is a rather tasty variety, not much inferior to my two others - Thornfrey and Triple Crown, and they are very tasty for me. Or maybe some clones, or the climate is very influential, or the soil.

Archie17

I also tried berries of a number of varieties of blackberry-raspberry hybrids. None of them in our conditions accumulate sugars more than Agawam; in my opinion, they are less tasty from here. Although, as you know, it tastes and color ... From there I planted five heels of Agawam bushes in my third garden (roamed the republics and regions). Why it is not market, this has already been written. Strongly prickly, indomitable in the root offspring, and again, in my current conditions, it is not very much in demand in the market. As for the clones: since this culture, propagated, as a rule, by root offspring, is vegetative, it eventually accumulates certain deviations from the original sample, that is, it inherits them from specific mother plants.

old grandfather

Prickly blackberry

Sharp spikes are a big problem when growing prickly blackberry varieties. When trimming and tying them, it is necessary to wear durable canvas gloves (knitted work gloves do not protect from thorns). It is important to thin out bushes in a timely manner, avoiding thickening, so as not to injure hands when picking berries.

Varieties without thorns

Varieties of blackberries without thorns are quite understandable in popularity. Caring for them is much easier due to the lack of spikes. This group includes the Thornfrey variety and numerous varieties with the word “tornless” in the name. Unfortunately, all of them have low winter hardiness and can grow only in the south without shelter.

The Tornless version may differ from the initial prickly variety not only by the absence of thorns, but also by other parameters - the ripening period, the size and taste of the berries, and their color.

Thornfrey in my conditions is not entirely problem-free, but also a non-laborious variety. Shelter is necessary for the winter, however, very carefully. Well, a lot of berries go unripe in the winter, but there’s enough “to eat” from the heart.

Buttercup

I have been cultivating Thornfrey for over 10 years. Very tall and fruitful. Responsive to care, likes watering and feeding. I planted a row of 40 m, it has 18 bushes. It puts up beautifully with partial shade, we really like the taste and there are no problems with the berry in implementation. In winter, everything above the snow cover freezes. Mice love to gnaw buds in winter. Last winter, I froze the entire row, in the spring I cut everything at the level of the soil and hushed with straw, did 3-4 plentiful irrigation, began to grow in late July, the bramble was saved!

Antipov Vitaliy

Wicker blackberry

The bulk of modern blackberry varieties are of the climbing or semi-climbing type. Climbing blackberry (mildew) almost does not give root offspring, but its thin creeping stems are easily intertwined, forming impenetrable thickets.

Modern blackberry varieties with very large berries grow well only in the south

This group includes most popular varieties with large and very large berries. Their common disadvantage is low winter hardiness and late ripening. Without shelter, they can grow only in the south. Shelter culture of the earliest varieties from this group is also possible in the middle lane.

Tapestries for a wicker blackberry are arranged from several rows of wire located in one vertical plane. When distributing stems on a trellis, it is very important to prevent their entanglement and thickening. The sometimes encountered recommendation to braid young shoots around a trellis is applicable only to southern regions with an overt culture. With sheltered cultivation, young shoots are tied to a trellis in several places, so that in autumn they can be easily removed and lowered to the ground.

When tying climbing blackberry varieties to trellis, it is important to avoid thickening and entanglement of the stems

Repair Blackberry

Relatively recently, the first repairing blackberry varieties appeared, giving two crops: the first on young annual shoots, and the second (very early summer) on overwintered shoots. All varieties of this group (Reuben, Black Magic, Prime Ark Freedom) are characterized by low winter hardiness, therefore they grow well only in the southern regions. Harvest on annual shoots ripens very late, which also prevents them from moving to the north, where the berries disappear due to the onset of frost.

Garden blackberry is a very promising berry crop, especially for the southern regions of Russia and Ukraine, where particularly favorable climatic conditions allow the cultivation of modern large-fruited varieties without thorns. But even in areas with a more severe climate, it will be possible to get good yields of blackberries of old winter-hardy varieties, given the nuances of their cultivation. .

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