Blackberry is quite common in Europe and America, its berries have been taken for food since ancient times. As a horticultural crop, blackberries have been cultivated since the end of the 19th century. Garden varieties are especially popular in Germany, the Baltic countries, England and the USA.
- what is attractive about culture,
- how to choose planting material and prepare the soil,
- basic rules of care.
Blackberries have a very pleasant aroma and taste, their juice is rich in vitamins and minerals, and quenches thirst well. The berries contain a large amount of vitamins of the PP, B, C groups, carotene, pectin substances. This allows the berry to be used not only as an ingredient in culinary products, it is a valuable product that is used for the prevention and treatment of many diseases.
The benefits of culture
Although experts say that growing blackberries is not difficult, in fact it will require extensive knowledge of planting, caring for and propagating a crop. From my own experience I can say that the plant is rather "picky" about the place of its growth. With the best intentions, the purchased seedling was planted in a sunny place protected from the wind. Even with good fertilizing and watering for the first two years, the bush grew poorly and slowly, did not bloom and did not bear fruit. Only in the third year, the plant began to actively move into the shadow falling from the dogwood growing nearby (whoever saw this tree knows that the shadow from it is thin, the tree is translucent). It was during the third summer that long branches appeared on the bush, which overwintered very successfully, gave excellent flowering and a luxurious harvest of large, shiny and fragrant berries at the beginning of summer.
In the middle zone of European countries, the plant feels quite comfortable. It looks very attractive, its beautiful leaves and flowers, the branches bent over from a bountiful harvest look picturesque. Blackberries should be planted near fences or fences, otherwise you will have to build supports for it. The culture calmly tolerates winter cold, does not suffer much from spring frosts. Bushes should not be planted deeply, in a well-lit place. Blackberries need good watering, but wetlands should not be allocated for planting them.
Gardeners are often interested in how many bushes should be planted to provide their family with this tasty source of vitamins. Of course, you should analyze your needs and preferences in terms of yield - you can count on getting up to 10 kg of berries from one bush, of course, subject to all the useful tips for care. The most popular varieties among gardeners: Agavam, Wilson Earley, Thornfrey, all of them are of American origin.
Choosing planting material and preparing for planting blackberries
Blackberry seedlings are chosen according to exactly the same criteria as raspberry seedlings. It's okay if the stems of the plant are not straight, but somewhat curved. Before planting, the soil is carefully dug up, weeds are removed from it. The optimal planting time is early spring. Seedlings planted in autumn often die due to frost. When planting winter-hardy varieties in autumn, the soil should be well covered with peat or humus, it is desirable that its layer reaches fifteen to twenty centimeters.
The landing hole should be made large, at least 40 cm in diameter, about the same depth should be. When planting, it is advisable to add superphosphate - up to 150 g, potassium sulfate - 40-59 g, compost - about half a bucket. All this is well mixed with the soil. A seedling is placed in the hole, soil is poured onto the roots and slightly compacted. The soil level should not exceed the height of the root collar of the plant. Then it is well watered, mulched and pruned at a height of 25-27 cm.
Plant care rules
- The soil around the bush should be loosened, cleaned of weeds, watered and fertilized in a timely manner.
- Watering is carried out during the growth of shoots and the formation of berries. Dry warm autumn requires subwinter watering.
- Fertilizing a plant, provided that all the fertilizers recommended for planting have been applied, will not be required in the first years of its life. In subsequent years, fertilization should be mandatory. It is recommended to enrich the soil annually with 5 kg of humus, 100 g of superphosphate, 30 g of potash fertilizers. You can also use watering with infusion of water on poultry droppings.
- Mulching the soil will help retain moisture and slow the growth of weeds near the bush.
- In the fall, all fruiting stems should be cut off; in the spring, the frozen upper parts of the shoots should be removed.
- Blackberries are more resistant to diseases and pests than raspberries, but in principle they can also suffer from them.
- It is propagated by root suckers.