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Blackberries - characteristics of varieties

Photo of different varieties of blackberries

Characteristics of blackberry varieties will allow you to find exactly the variety that meets all the gardener’s requirements. The blackberry is a shrub of the raspberry genus, often found with distinctive thorns. The territorial distribution of blackberries is extensive: it grows both in the middle zone and in the Caucasus.

The color of the berries depends on the selected variety. In Russia, varieties with black berries are mainly grown, less often with dark red ones. There are American varieties with white or yellow berries.

Blackberries are not just a close relative of raspberries, they actually have a lot in common with them. The shrubs are similar in the appearance of the plant, as well as in the type of berries. But there are still differences in the structure of the fruit and agricultural techniques. Blackberries are less demanding to care for than raspberries.

When landing, the main thing is to choose the right place. It should be on the sunny side, well protected from the wind. Blackberries do not like waterlogged soil, so care must be taken to ensure that planting is carried out away from ponds and wetlands.

Tip: In order for the seedlings to take root better and survive the winter, they need to be planted in the spring.

To minimize risks, it is better to purchase seedlings from a nursery. Favorable nursery conditions allow you to grow a high-quality plant that will have a good survival rate in your area.

During the season, it is necessary to loosen the soil and remove weeds so that the plant feels freer and has enough nutrients. In subsequent years, blackberries require more careful care. For upright varieties, additional supports are needed so that the branches are not damaged by bad weather and under the weight of the harvest.

Blackberries respond well to fertilizers applied in spring and autumn, and the soil is mulched with compost. For feeding they use: humus, ammonium nitrate, superphosphate, potassium fertilizers.

Many varieties of blackberries do not have good winter hardiness and need to be covered during the cold period. This is due to the fact that during the selection of blackberries, southern varieties were used. Currently, there are winter-hardy varieties that can withstand temperatures down to – 30°C. For northern regions, it is advisable to choose cold-resistant varieties adapted for the given area.

Blackberry varieties for southern Russia

For the south of Russia, it is recommended to choose blackberry varieties from representatives of shrubs with a small number of thorns:

  • Agavam. Vertical shrub. The berries are small and resemble wild blackberries. The riper the berries, the sweeter they will be. Does not tolerate transportation well.
  • Laughton. An upright variety in the form of a powerful shrub. The berries are large and ripen late. The yield of the variety is good.
  • Erie. Compact shrub with medium-sized thorns. Large berries. The variety has good yield.
  • Taylor. A remontant variety with good yield. The berries ripen late.
  • Karaka Black. New Zealand variety of new selection. The berries are large, glossy with good taste. Productivity is high. The berries tolerate storage and transportation well.
  • Loch Tay. A thornless blackberry variety with good yield. The berries are large, regular in shape and sweet in taste.
  • Chief Joseph. Shrub with well-developed lateral branches. Productivity is good. The berries are large in size and have a pleasant taste with a slight sourness.
  • Black Butte. An early variety with large, elongated berries. The productivity of the variety is high. The bush has almost no thorns.

Blackberries - varieties for the middle zone

Blackberry varieties for the middle zone are characterized by good resistance to frost:

  • Apaches. An erect variety with no thorns. The berries are large, black with shine. The taste characteristics are high. Has high productivity.
  • Black satin. Semi-creeping variety. A powerful shrub with strong, strong shoots without thorns. The berries are medium in size, but the variety's yield is good. The taste of the berries is sweet with noticeable sourness.
  • Ruben. Vertical shrub. The berries are large, sweet, and transport well. The yield of the variety is high.
  • Thornfree. The bush has no thorns. The berries are large and juicy. Productivity is high. The variety resists diseases well.
  • Chester. Semi-cresting shrub. The berries are large, strong and dense. The taste of the berries is sweet and sour. The variety has high yield.

Blackberries - varieties for Siberia

Blackberry varieties for Siberia are the most resistant to winter cold and spring temperature changes:

  • Eldorado. An erect shrub with powerful bushes with small thorns. The fruits are large, oblong in shape. The berries ripen early. The taste characteristics are high. The variety has good yield and resistance to frost.
  • Snyder. The variety has good productivity. The berries are small, but ripen early and have a pleasant taste. Resists frost well.
  • Triple Crow. Early ripening variety. The berries are large, round, black. The taste of the berries is sweet and sour, reminiscent of cherry or plum flavor. The yield of the variety is average.
  • Darrow. An erect shrub with small thorns. The berries are large and have a sweet and sour taste. The variety can withstand severe frosts.

Warming blackberry seedlings for the winter

Insulation of blackberry seedlings for the winter must be carried out without fail. Especially if the plants are outdoors and the winters are long and cold.

Blackberries were brought from southern countries, so they require additional shelter. Many gardeners neglect this procedure, considering it too labor-intensive and ineffective. In fact, proper preparation for winter will ensure the seedlings a long life and a high-quality harvest.

Tip: You need to purchase only frost-resistant varieties to avoid problems with the plant.

Blackberry seedlings begin to bear fruit only in the second year. Young shoots have not yet had time to become woody, and therefore are especially sensitive to cold. If you do not prepare blackberries for winter, there will be no harvest next year. Proper care of the plant in the summer-autumn period will already significantly affect preparation for winter. If the plant did not need additional care, weeding and loosening were carried out regularly - this means the bush is healthy and can successfully overwinter.

All damaged branches must be removed in the fall. The stems are then tied together, carefully bent to the ground and secured. Hooks or wire can be used for fastening, but it is important not to injure the young stems. Upright varieties can be prepared for tilting in advance by removing them from the support.

Sawdust, humus, and hay are used as shelter. You can lay coniferous branches on top, but in spring the plant will require more oxygen and the needles will need to be removed before active sap flow begins. The branches are sprinkled with snow on top.

For additional protection, non-woven materials based on roofing material or polyethylene film are used, since organic cover may not be enough.
When using organic matter, you must keep in mind that it can attract small rodents and also be a source of disease.

Sheltering blackberries is a simple process, but necessary in harsh climates. It is important that the climatic conditions are combined with the characteristics of the selected plant variety.