How to grow a blackberry without thorns: a description of the varieties and subtleties of care
Not every gardener decides to work with prickly blackberry stems. But the non-studded varieties, giving dark sour-sweet fruits, do not cause inconvenience to a person. In addition, the varietal bezshipny blackberry has several advantages: the crop is larger, the berries are larger, the bushes tolerate drought and frost well.
History of growing blackberries
In the USA, the first blackberry varieties appeared in the 19th century. And it is there, and also in Mexico, that this berry crop is grown on an industrial scale. In our country, the cultivation of blackberries is not the easiest process. Only private and small farms have an interest in berries. Even in the southern regions of the country there are still no industrial plantings of culture.
The blackberry belongs to the genus Rubus of the family Rosaceae. The culture has a close relationship with raspberries, which have long and firmly taken root in our areas. Externally, the blackberry without a spike looks like a picturesque shrub with pubescent leaves divided into three lobes. White, whitish-pink, white-lilac flowers bloom in mid-June. In their place, then greenish fruits are tied. In ripe berries, the color is usually black. Compared to raspberries, blackberries are better tolerated.
The roots of the culture can grow up to 1.5 m deep into the soil, where they are saturated with moisture without any problems. Periods of severe drought are experienced by the plant without difficulty.
The berries of the blackberry do not ripen at the same time, so on the bushes you can see fruits of different colors
Despite the low prevalence in our country, the interest among domestic fruit growers in breeding blackberries (including non-short-witted representatives) is noticeably growing. Some varieties and their hybrids have long been tested for survival in our climate. They feel calm in harsh conditions with short summers and lingering cold. These include varieties developed by American or British scientists.
The variety was obtained in 1966 in the United States. A strong shrub forms multiple half-growing shoots up to 4 m long. In the flowering phase, the bush captivates with the beauty of pinkish flowers. In August, purple-black oblong berries with an average weight of 5 g with a sweet and sour flavor ripen. It is not recommended to overexposure them on branches, since overripe fruits lose their taste, elasticity and shape, become unsuitable for transportation. Productivity - 20–25 kg per plant. Thornfrey is able to withstand colds down to -20 ° C.
Read more about the variety in our article - Blackberry Thornfrey: description of the variety, reviews, especially planting and growing.
Thornfrey has 5 grams of ripe berries.
Variety of Polish selection from among the growing ones. White flowers are formed on the plants, replaced by large round-shaped fruits with a slight acidity and a pronounced aroma. The fruits are solid, so the variety is suitable for mechanized harvesting, industrial cultivation. Fruits appear from mid-July, but you can not taste them until September. The variety has a good indicator of frost resistance - up to -25-300С.
Polar is the best winter-hardy variety with large fruits
The variety was bred by Scottish scientists in 1988. Gained popularity thanks to rather large berries with excellent transportability. The yield of one bush is 18–23 kg.
Loch Ness is valued for large fruits.
An early grade of springless blackberry, bred in England. Branches on a tall (3–4.5 m) plant are semi-growing. The dense berry of Loch Tey is large (5–12 g) and sweet. Productivity is high - 20-30 kg per shrub. The variety is not frost-resistant, it is recommended to shelter shoots at the end of September.
Blackberry variety Loch Tey is not frost-resistant
The shoots of the plant are powerful, up to 5–7 m. The branches initially stretch upward (up to 1.5 m), and then take a horizontal position. You can try the black berries of Black Satin in the second half of August. They are tasty, have a delicate pulp, which is why they do not tolerate transportation. One plant manages to collect up to 20–25 kg of fruit. Black Satin shoots need to be sheltered for the winter.
Black Satin's fruits ripen in the second half of August
A variety with vertically growing stems, created by American botanists. The average weight of sweet, conical-shaped berries is 4–9 g. Fruits do not crumple during transportation. Winter hardiness - up to -200С, it is obligatory to cover the stems before wintering.
Apache blackberry fruits tolerate transportation well
It is one of the frost-resistant varieties, can tolerate cold up to -300С. Before wintering, bushes do not drop leaves. They have powerful stems, leaning to the ground. The average yield of a variety is 10 kg per bush; fruiting is intense. Small berries (3 g), the bush is literally sprinkled with them. Glossy sour-sweet fruits ripen from the second half of August until the end of September. Berries have large seeds. In the climate of central Russia for the winter, plants are recommended to be covered by laying branches on the ground and covering them with covering material.
Although the Thornless Evergreen variety is frost-resistant, shoots for winter must still be covered
The bushes of the variety are direct growing, reaching a height of 2 m. In late August - early September, fragrant glossy berries ripen. Fruits with a mild flavor, without the astringency of a blackberry. They do not differ by record high sizes and weigh about 4-7 g. But they have a uniform shape and size, are well stored and transported. Winter hardiness Navajo - up to -200C. In terms of cultivation is considered one of the unpretentious varieties.
Read more about the variety in our article: Growing Navajo blackberries in a garden plot.
Navajo - one of the most unpretentious blackberry varieties
Chester Thornless is an American variety with semi-growing or semi-growing branches. In June, pinkish flowers flaunt on them, and in August in their place - dark berries with cherry or plum flavor. Productivity is 18–22 kg per shrub. Frost resistance at Chester Tornless is laudable: plants calmly survive frosts down to -30 ° C. But it is still necessary to warm them for the winter. It is not recommended to plant plants in very wet and shady areas.
Read more about the variety in our article: Blackberry Chester - a frost-resistant, non-studded variety.
Chester Thornless - American selection
Translated into Russian, the name of the variety sounds like “Triple Crown”. The stems of Triple Crown are half-spreading. One plant is capable of producing crops of up to 15 kg. Bushes are formed due to the rapid growth of powerful stemless stems, the length of which reaches 2 m or more. The black fruits are large - weigh up to 8 g, have a sweet cherry aroma (some taste pick up notes of plum or cherry). Berry picking occurs in August-September. Three undoubted advantages distinguish this sort of blackberry: intensive growth of shoots, distinctive taste of fruits, their juiciness and at the same time density (which favorably affects the transportation). Triple Crown does not shine with special frost resistance - it is imperative to hide shoots from frost before wintering.
Blackberry Triple Crown - Juicy and Dense
Natchez was bred in the United States. It is characterized by large black berries of elongated shape, weighing about 12–16 g. Large drupes resemble eggs. The berries are very sweet, have a moderately dense structure. Strong stems (up to 6 m long) grow vertically, followed by a downward slope. Fruiting lasts from July to mid-August. Productivity from a plant is 13-15 kg. The variety is ideal for amateur breeding.
Natchez variety has very large berries
Each blackberry variety without spikes has its pros and cons. However, on such varieties as Thornfrey, Chester Tornless, Polar, Loch Ness, Natchez the choice of advanced gardeners in central Russia stops more often.
Indispensable conditions for the growth of culture are soil nutrition and the required amount of sunlight. Soils for planting are suitable alkaline, it may be loam with a predominance of humus. Preparing a place for a shipless blackberry begins in the fall. To do this, they dig the earth, remove the roots of weeds, enrich it with humus or compost, ash or dolomite flour. However, the planting of the seedling is always planned in the spring, when the plant can take root better and begin to grow.
The landing procedure itself takes place according to the following scheme:
- Dig holes with a depth of 0.5 m. They are made about 2 weeks before planting.
- The pits are filled with compost or humus, wood ash.
- A seedling is placed in the hole, the roots are sprinkled with earth.
- Water the earth around the plant, pouring at least half a bucket under one bush.
- Trunk circles are sprinkled with mulch, the branches are cut by 4-5 cm.
- Between the seedlings during planting, gaps are observed, the size of which is determined by the varieties of blackberry bushes (1-2 m). In the aisles should remain 2 m.
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Propagation of a shipless blackberry
There are several options for how to propagate blackberry bushes in the garden.
In early August, the most healthy shoots, one-year-olds, are taken away, they are dug shallow (on the bayonet of a shovel), not separated from the uterine bush. In this case, the tip of the shoot is left free, it is cut off by 10-15 cm to exclude further growth. In the place of digging, a metal stud is installed or pressed down with a heavy object. The digging area is covered with mulch and moisturized regularly. After 2 months, the shoots take root. On the excavated shoots in early October, dense white roots should already be observed. In spring, the seedling is separated from the mother bush and planted in a permanent place.
Another option for digging is to root the top of the shoot at the garden blackberry, after trimming its tip. The following algorithm of actions is similar to the above.
One of the ways to reproduce blackberries without rooting is to root the tops of the shoots
This option is suitable if the mother plant is more than 3 years old. By this time, a developed root system had formed in the bush, from which young root shoots, the so-called offspring, appeared in some places. Since they already have roots, they are simply dug up and planted in another place. The optimal time for the removal of offspring from the mother bush is spring, after the arrival of steady heat.
Each root offspring has roots and can become an independent bush.
Blackberry, ashipless, as well as currant, can be easily propagated by the green parts of the plant, that is, cuttings. This method is the most rational, since 1 seedling is formed from each bud. Harvesting cuttings from annual shoots is planned for autumn.
A shank is a twig no longer than 15 cm long with the presence of 2-3 kidneys. Leaflets from it break off.
- The cutlery is tilted with the apical kidney down and installed in a container with water so that only one kidney is in the water. The container is placed on the windowsill and monitor the water level. As it evaporates, it is added.
It is necessary to ensure that the lower kidney is always in the water
- After a while, a mini-plant with its own shoots and roots will form from a kidney in water.
A mini bush will form on the lower kidney of the handle
- This seedling is cut and planted in an individual glass with a light nutrient substrate, slightly moistening the ground.
Bushes with part of the handle are separated and transplanted into glasses
- After that, the next kidney is lowered into the container with water, repeating the process again.
The fruits of a shipless blackberry, like raspberries, are formed on the side branches of last year's shoots. During the season, the plant forms substitution shoots, which will bear fruit only next summer. Blackberry shrubs need supports, which are poles with a wire stretched between them.
The distance between adjacent posts is 3 m. The wire is pulled in 4–5 rows, leaving 30 cm between them. The first row is raised above the ground by 45 cm.
Blackberry shoots are fixed between the rows of wire
When pruning blackberries, gardeners recommend that you adhere to the following rules:
- Sanitary pruning of bushes is carried out in the spring. Even before the moment of swelling of the kidneys, dried and poorly endured winter branches are removed. The frozen tops of the shoots are cut to a living kidney. Pruning for prophylaxis is carried out for all plants of the plot - both for young animals and for adults.
- Trimming the bushes of the first year of life is performed twice: in the spring (in May) and in the summer (in July). Spring pruning is carried out on new side shoots in order to stimulate their growth. The branches are shortened by 5–7 cm. Summer pruning is designed to shorten the shoots, the length of which exceeded 0.5 m. The branches are pruned by 7–10 cm. The pinched tops allow the branches to grow in thickness, which favorably affects the number of flowers and the future crop as a whole. On young bushes in the summer, all newly formed branches on the sides are eliminated, leaving only 6-8 of the largest.
Blackberries are cut twice a season: in spring and in the middle of summer
- In the bushes, which are more than 2 years old, in the spring, all dead branches are removed, while maintaining strong in the amount of 4-10 pieces. The processes from the sides are cut to 20–40 cm, providing for the presence of 8 to 10 live kidneys on them. During the summer season, all newly emerging offspring from the roots are robbed. Save only spring, which next year will become fruitful. The branches of the current season are shortened to a length of 1.6–2 m. With the small formation of branches of the current year, healthy processes are left, shortening the lateral branches by 2 cm. The deflated bushes are cleaned of branches weakened and affected by pests and diseases. They are replaced by young shoots.
Video: how to correctly trim a blackberry
Blackberry bushes are irrigated several times per season - after flowering and at the time of fruit growth. The final deep watering is carried out after removing the berries. At the same time, the earth between rows and bushes is loosened in depth by 5–10 cm, after irrigation, sprinkled with a layer of organic matter (4–5 cm). Blackberries have good resistance to diseases and pests. A significant part of them dies during autumn tillage.
The cultivation of blackberry besshipnaya in the suburbs
Among gardeners in the Moscow Region, such thorns without thorns as Thornfrey, Loch Ness, and Thornless Evergreen enjoy special respect. They have an average and above average degree of resistance to the Russian winter. In the Moscow region, during the winter period, rather low temperatures are observed (on average up to -11 ° C, but almost every year there are frosts - up to -30 ° C). This negatively affects the condition of plants with the advent of spring and the future harvest. Despite good winter hardiness, these varieties need shelter at the end of autumn.
Video: growing a shipless blackberry in the suburbs
Growing a shipless blackberry in Siberia
Particular consideration for planting in the Siberian regions deserve the following varieties of shipless blackberries:
- Thorless Evergreen,
- Chester Thorless,
- Chachansk Bestran,
- Oregon Thornless.
Siberian frosts are poorly tolerated by some hybrids of raspberries and blackberries - Tiberberry, Loganberry, Boysenberry.
My garden is in a flood plain, lowland, near a mountain (west of Bashkiria). We have all the cold air from them. I’m silent about winters. Minimum winter temperatures are -35–39. If you wish, everything can be grown or much, just more labor will be required. Agavam kept for 2 years, thorns, offspring, spider mite overcame ... the taste is fresh and grass-grass. Natchez signaling - how not to want such berries, ripened July 17–18, the taste is excellent.Elvir
In the Moscow Region, they are not only trying, but they are already growing blackberries and getting crops. And in principle, it doesn’t matter to you what is growing: Agaveam or Natchez, this is only your choice. There are several excellent early varieties that manage to fully yield in a cool climate. It is one thing to want to grow them, another is not to want, not to try, but to try to talk about what you have no idea. It is very simple, the main thing is to think that you are right and not burst with envy when the neighbors treat you to Natchez, Arapaho or another early and sweet variety. Do not try, do not, you have a spiky and creeping Agawam, but not killed by an atomic bomb. Plant a bush of Agavam closer to the neighbor’s fence, let it strangle the neighboring Natchez, fruiting outrageously huge, early and sweet berries in your field of vision in a year.Marina Ufa
Unmistakable hybrids are definitely suitable (Thornless Loganberry, Thornless Boysenberry, Buckingham Tabberry). You should not count on a large crop (they do not give much, with the exception of Buckingham Tabberry), but everything ripens completely. Buckingham is good in terms of productivity (very high for a hybrid), berry beauty, large-fruited, but the berry is sour. Bossless harvestable varieties: Thornfrey, Black Satin, Smootstem, Loch Ness, Orkan ... they will not have time to completely harvest them, but when planting in an elevated sunny place, on well-warmed soil, the proportion of ripened berries can be significant. Any variety requires shelter for the winter.Yakimov
Blackberry Thornfrey is one of the most delicious, unpretentious and productive varieties that easily adapt to our cold winters. The berry is black in color, fleshy, perfectly resists various sorts of diseases. In one place it can grow up to thirty years. If you provide the bush with good care, the bush will give up to forty roots.Outsider V.
Growing a non-studded blackberry has obvious advantages: high yields, lack of thorns, easy maintenance. If Siberia still needs to look for suitable varieties of culture, then for central Russia their choice is wide.