sadiplod - everything about berries and their cultivation

Blackberry varieties, planting and care

Photo of blackberry varieties

Let's look at the main points of planting and caring for blackberries, as well as which varieties of blackberries are best to plant on the site.

Blackberries are a close relative of raspberries. At first glance, their berries are very similar in shape and size. However, they differ in color, fruit structure and other characteristics.

Blackberry is a perennial shrub whose shoots and stems are covered with thorns. The leaves are compound, 3-5-leafed. The flowers are large racemose inflorescences. Harvest ripening occurs between August and September. The fruits are a complex drupe of purple-black or dark red hue.

Blackberries have good yields, and the berries stay on the branches for a long time without losing their taste. The berries are dense and tolerate transportation well.
People called blackberries hedgehog berries because they had thorns, and many beliefs called blackberries the tears of titans.

Blackberries are extremely healthy and contain a large amount of vitamins and minerals. They are able to cleanse the body of heavy metal salts and fight cancer.

The berry grows in central Russia, the European part and the Caucasus. The plant is distinguished by good resistance to diseases and unpretentiousness in cultivation.

Types of blackberries:

  • Upright
  • Creeping
  • Wicker
  • Thornless
Different species differ in the length and strength of the shoots. The specifics of caring for them may vary. Not all varieties can support the weight of the crop, so they need either good pruning or special support.

Optimal blackberry planting scheme

The blackberry planting scheme is quite simple, but may have features depending on the chosen variety. Blackberries are generally a heat-loving plant, although there are also frost-resistant varieties. The shrub grows well in open sunny areas; even a little partial shade will not harm it. Blackberries grow on almost any soil, with the exception of sandy ones. Feels good on fertile loams with a lot of humus. Groundwater should not lie close to the soil surface. The soil must have the ability to pass oxygen well.

Important: On carbonate soils, the nutrition of blackberries will be significantly deteriorated.

The site should be protected from the wind, as strong winds will interfere with pollination.

You must first treat the area to remove excess debris and possible pathogens.

Blackberries are planted in the spring before sap flow begins. In the southern regions, it can be carried out in the fall, but this must be done before frost, so that the plant has time to get stronger. In this case, only winter-hardy varieties are selected, and the soil is covered with mulch for the winter.

For planting, you need to choose a sunny place well protected from the winds. The planting hole should be about 40 cm deep, at the bottom of which compost and mineral fertilizers are placed.

It is desirable that the seedlings have a closed root system. When choosing a seedling, you need to pay attention to its appearance and condition. Seedlings must have a good root system without damage or signs of dryness. The seedling must be deepened into the hole and watered abundantly. In this case, the growth bud should not be buried more than 3 cm into the soil, otherwise the plant will not be able to bear fruit for a long time. The tree trunk circle can be mulched with peat or sawdust. The distance between neighboring bushes should be about 3 meters, depending on the selected variety.

Blackberries have shoots that begin to bear fruit in the second year, after which they die. Bushes often require additional support in the form of pegs or the installation of a trellis.

Proper care of blackberry plants

Caring for a blackberry plant involves timely watering, pruning, creating additional support and fertilizing.

Unlike raspberries, blackberries have a longer root system, so you can water them less often. Depending on weather conditions, the watering schedule can vary from once a week to once every two weeks. However, the soil should not be dry, otherwise it will affect the harvest.

Fertilizers for blackberries should be applied in the third year. The shrub loves a variety of feedings, so it is better to choose complex fertilizers rather than stop at one. Blackberries are very responsive to potassium-phosphate and nitrogen fertilizers. Periodically, the soil should be mulched with manure, peat or compost with a layer of about 10 cm.

If blackberries begin to bloom in the first or second year, then it is better to remove the inflorescences to give the plant the opportunity to strengthen the roots. In the second year, you also need to shorten the stems to one and a half meters.

Tip: The cut is made in such a way as to move a few centimeters away from the nearest bud.

Preventive pruning, in which damaged branches are removed, is carried out in the spring. Thinning can be done in early summer. In this case, young shoots are removed and the density of the plant is controlled.

To better position the branches and protect them from damage under the weight of the crop, the branches are molded. The uniform arrangement of plant parts on trellises allows them to receive a sufficient amount of light from all sides and better withstand bad weather. The branches are attached to the trellises in the direction of growth. For fan molding next year, the branches are bent in the other direction.

Blackberries produce a harvest in the third year after planting. The first harvest will not be large and will be about 5 kg per bush. In subsequent years, the yield will increase and can reach up to 25 kg.

The best varieties of blackberries for the garden

Different varieties of blackberries for the garden have their own characteristics of appearance and care.

Blackberry culture came from South America, but it has only recently become widespread. A very popular type of blackberry among gardeners is the semi-cresting one, since the berries of such a shrub are more tasty and juicy.

Creeping or climbing blackberries are not intended for northern latitudes and freeze already at a temperature of -7°C.

Upright blackberries require frequent pruning and their berries do not have such a pronounced taste and aroma as creeping varieties.

There are also hybrids of blackberries and raspberries, formed as a result of natural crossing.

The most promising blackberry varieties are:

  • Ruben. The variety has good frost and drought resistance. The berries are very juicy and sweet, the harvest is easy due to the absence of thorns.
  • Thornfree. The variety has no thorns. The berries are large, juicy with a sweet and sour taste. The bush requires additional support. It resists many diseases well. This is one of the best varieties of blackberries.
  • Smoothem. The shrub has good winter hardiness and disease resistance. The branches do not have thorns. The yield is good - up to 10 kg per bush. The berries are sweet with a slight tartness. The variety is suitable for mechanical harvesting.
  • Evergi. Creeping blackberry. The variety has good resistance to some diseases. There are thornless varieties.
  • Boysen. Hybrid of blackberry and raspberry. The fruits are large, about 8 g, with a dark cherry color. The variety has average frost resistance.

Chemical composition of blackberries and their medicinal properties

The chemical composition and medicinal properties of blackberries will help you get to know this unique and valuable berry better. Blackberries are low in calories and amount to about 30 kcal.

Blackberries contain vitamins, organic acids, disaccharides, anthocyanins, tannins, fiber and other macroelements.

Blackberries have an anti-inflammatory effect and are indicated for use during colds. Berries strengthen capillaries, relieve joint pain and intestinal disorders.

With regular consumption of blackberries:

  • Sleep is normalized and the nervous system is restored
  • The number of atherosclerotic plaques is reduced
  • Improves the course of gastric ulcer
  • Heavy metal salts are removed
  • Metabolism improves
  • Memory is strengthened

Blackberries regulate the level of hemoglobin in the blood and have a general strengthening effect on the body. To a sufficient extent, blackberries have the ability to fight cancer and diabetes.

It is not recommended to eat a lot of blackberries for people with high stomach acidity. If you have diseases of the kidneys or gastrointestinal tract, you should use this berry with caution.

Blackberries are contraindicated in case of individual intolerance and allergic reactions.

Blackberries are extremely useful for any age, so they deserve to be in your summer cottage. In addition, the plant does not require special care skills.