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Blackberries: growing, pruning

Photo of proper cultivation of blackberries

If blackberries grow on the site, growing and pruning will be a mandatory procedure for caring for the berry crop. Many shrubs tend to grow greatly due to the rapid formation of new shoots, so the plant requires frequent pruning.

Blackberries are unpretentious shrubs that do not require such careful care as raspberries. It has been found in Russia since the 19th century and is easily recognizable by its black berries and spiny stems. Among the people, the shrub was often called “hedgehog berry” and was highly valued for its medicinal properties.

For growing blackberries, choose well-lit places that are not blown by the wind. Plants can be planted in spring or autumn. The soil for planting is suitable both sandy and loamy - it is on this soil that blackberries prefer to grow wild in clearings and forest edges. In one place, a crop can bear fruit for up to 15 years, regularly renewing shoots. Two-year-old shoots begin to bear fruit, after which they must be pruned. When growing, special attention is paid to trellises on which blackberries are arranged like grapes.

It is best to make several tiers and attach shoots to them in accordance with their size. In the first years after planting, the plant needs watering, weeding and loosening. The older the plant gets, the less moisture it needs. Adult plants are watered only when necessary. Blackberries adapt to short periods of drought better than raspberries. The soil is covered with mulch, which reduces the frequency of watering and weeding.

Blackberries respond well to fertilizing. The plant is especially sensitive to a lack of nitrogen and potassium fertilizers.

Pruning is carried out in spring and autumn. In the spring, branches that did not survive the winter well, as well as damaged and diseased ones, are removed. This must be done as early as possible - before the formation of buds. The tops of the shoots often freeze; in this case, they are shortened to the healthy part. In young plants, the formation of shoots is stimulated by shortening them by 5-10 cm. Then in mid-summer the procedure is repeated. In adult plants, the side shoots are shortened by 20 cm. In autumn, fruit-bearing branches, as well as damaged or diseased ones, are removed. Tall two-meter shoots are shortened by several centimeters.

Blackberries, spring care

Spring care for blackberries does not require much trouble, but you still need to take care of the quality growth of the bush. For this purpose, fertilizing is used, which in spring accelerates the growth of shoots and increases the yield of the crop. In spring, nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers are suitable, which can be applied by spraying. To increase productivity, up to 20 g of saltpeter and 10 g of urea are added to the soil. After watering, the soil is mulched with humus or peat.

In spring, blackberries are distributed on a trellis. In each row, supports are installed at a distance of 10 meters from each other. Wire or fishing line is pulled over them in several rows and the shoots are fixed. The branches on which the ovary is formed are subject to the most careful fixation. At the end of summer, under the weight of the harvest, they can be damaged if they are not fixed on the trellis. Young shoots do not need to be fixed.

In early spring, shrubs are also pruned, forming growing shoots and removing frozen and damaged branches.

Blackberries - planting time

The time of planting blackberries depends on the age of the planting material and can affect the development of the plant as a whole. Shrubs can be planted in spring or autumn. Spring planting is preferable for young seedlings. Their root system is not yet strong enough and needs additional development. To do this, during planting, the roots are stimulated with fertilizers: superphosphate, potassium, compost or humus.

Important: If planted too early, the plant quickly grows and does not have time to take root. This leads to a poorly developed root system and a general weakening of the bush.

Spring planting is good in regions with cold winters.

Autumn planting should be carried out no later than a month before the onset of cold weather. Young seedlings have time to take root well and produce a good harvest the following year. Autumn planting is carried out in the southern regions in order to minimize the risk of plants freezing. In the northern regions, when planting in autumn, frost-resistant varieties are chosen that can withstand frosts down to -25° C.

For planting, it is best to choose seedlings from a nursery. High-quality plants will take root well in any planting period, and will also have higher frost resistance and protection from diseases and pests.

Blackberries - growing from seeds

Growing blackberries with seeds is suitable for those who like to experiment. This method of propagation is not traditional, since the resulting seedlings do not always correspond to the characteristics of the mother plant. Despite this, if the seeds are properly prepared, they almost always sprout and sometimes you can get a plant with improved qualities.

At the end of summer, ripe, undamaged berries are selected and dried under natural conditions. Until spring, the seeds are stored in a cool place away from sunlight.
In spring, the seeds are soaked in running or rainwater, stratified and sown in small containers. The soil for planting is fertile and drainable.

Important: Crops must be kept at a temperature not exceeding 20°C.

The seeds are watered regularly, and when the first leaves appear, they are planted in open ground. This propagation method is most often used by breeders. To grow blackberries in garden plots, it is recommended to resort to more traditional methods.

Blackberries: jam - healing properties

The healing properties of blackberries, the jam from which is a real home pharmacy, are revealed in full force when this dessert dish is properly prepared.

Blackberry jam is the simplest and most popular way to prepare berries. In addition to its taste and dietary properties, blackberry jam has anti-inflammatory properties, regulates metabolism, strengthens the immune system, lowers blood sugar levels, and normalizes the functioning of the heart, liver and kidneys. In addition, blackberry jam is useful for normalizing the digestive system, improving sleep and relieving depression, as well as preventing the development of cancer.

Before preparing jam, you need to decide on its consistency and amount of sugar. The less sugar a dessert product contains, the more benefits it will have. The jam can be liquid or jelly-like, seedless or with whole berries - it all depends on individual preference. To keep the berries intact, it is best to avoid stirring when cooking jam. And to prepare a seedless dessert dish, the fruits are ground through a sieve.

If you follow the standard recipe for making jam, you need to take 1 kg of berries per 1 kg of sugar. The mixture is boiled with the addition of half a liter of water.

The classic recipe for making blackberry jam most often does not suit housewives due to its simplicity, so it can be varied by adding apples, citrus fruits, bananas and other fruits. This will give the dish an unusual taste and aroma.