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Read Blackberries, cultivation on the site and varieties. Part 1
Naturally, each variety of blackberries has its own advantages, but they also have disadvantages. So the variety Thornfree, along with a large number of advantages, among which the main one is the absence of thorns, there are also very significant disadvantages, for example, poor winter hardiness. The cultivar looks much more interesting against its background. Wilson Earley, it is winter-hardy enough, but there is another misfortune - its shoots are strongly ringed.
As for the taste and mass of fruits, then here is the undisputed leader of the cultivar Agave, whose homeland is the United States. Our variety, obtained as a result of sowing seeds from free pollination, is quite a bit inferior to him - Ufa local... This variety is good for everyone - it has an amazing taste, aroma, high winter hardiness, and therefore we love and respect.
Other, also very common varieties, are at risk due to insufficient winter hardiness for our conditions. These are cultivars such as Lobular, Abundant, Lucretia, Krasnodar and Erie... They require compulsory shelter for the winter. The real record holders for winter hardiness, in combination with the pleasant taste of the fruits and their large mass, include varieties El Dorado and Wilson Earley.
All these varieties are quite easy to purchase in the form of seedlings, because they are available in any nursery, or you can propagate yourself, in this regard, blackberries are close to raspberries.
Blackberry varieties can be propagated by root cuttings and dividing the bush. Erect blackberry is preferable to propagate by root cuttings. To do this, in the early spring or late autumn, root segments are dug out with a diameter of about a centimeter and up to 10-15 centimeters long. Immediately after digging, they are planted in grooves, placing them horizontally and placing them at a depth of about 7-8 centimeters.
Creeping blackberries are much easier to propagate by rooting the tops, horizontal layering, and, of course, root cuttings. The creeping blackberry also succeeds well when propagated by green cuttings.
In amateur gardening, a simple method of rooting the tops is preferred; this option resembles reproduction by arcuate layering. The essence of the method is simple and consists in the inclination and arcuate bending of the tops. This operation is performed around the end of August. To do this, it is better to choose a cloudy day, you can do this after a little rain. Shoots are placed in dug holes about 15-20 cm deep and fixed in this position with wooden corners. After this, the pits must be filled up, but it is better to use not ordinary soil for this, but a mixture of fertile soil and humus, it is necessary to fill it up so that the tip of the shoot remains on the surface.
Most often, roots and new small growths appear after 20-25 days. So that young growths do not suffer from frost, it is recommended to insulate them with something for the winter, for example, fallen leaves or any covering material. In the spring, the insulation is removed, the layers are separated from the mother plant and planted in a permanent place.
Blackberries and creeping layers reproduce well. To do this, the replacement shoots are pinched off the plant, by that time they should reach a length of about a meter. After that, dormant buds awaken on the shoot, which give powerful lateral growths. Around August, thickenings are formed on these increments, which must be buried in the soil and watered more often. A month later, powerful roots are formed on these thickenings, and the next year a strong shoot will stretch upward. After that, the shoot with roots must be separated from the mother plant and planted in a permanent place. Used for reproduction of blackberries and the method of horizontal layers, it allows you to get a fairly large number of seedlings, even from one plant.
The essence of the method is to prune the stems within two years at a height of about 15 cm from the soil surface. After that, in the third year, the strongest young growths are laid out radially around the plant and placed in previously prepared grooves with a depth of no more than 5-6 cm, after which they are pinned with wooden staples and sprinkled with soil.
From the buds that are underground, young shoots will begin to grow, and a new root system will also form. In fact, each bud on the shoot will form a new plant on its own. You just have to dig out the layers in the fall and carefully divide it into parts, then planting each in a permanent place.
By the way, if we talk about planting, the technology of cultivation of blackberries is in many ways similar to that of raspberries, although there are also some peculiarities. Do not forget that most of its varieties are weakly winter-hardy and require shelter, therefore, before laying a plot of blackberries, choose a place for it that is reliably protected from the north wind and well warmed up.
It is better to plant blackberry seedlings in spring, in this case you will avoid the risk of freezing of plants in the first winter. Kumanik seedlings must be placed about a meter apart, leaving about two meters between the rows. As for the creeping blackberry, then the distance between the plants should be at least three meters, and between the rows - 2.5 meters.
Blackberries are planted in planting holes, which are dug taking into account the size of the root system of the seedling, but more often their sizes are 40 by 40 cm.It is advisable to add manure or compost to the bottom of the hole, having built a nutritious pillow. It is recommended to cut the aerial part immediately after planting at a height of 25-30 centimeters from the soil level.
Further care of the blackberry consists in loosening the soil, combating weeds, and also in periodic watering. Do not forget to mulch the soil after watering, blackberries love this very much. It is better to use humus, manure or peat as mulch, the layer should not be too thin, but its maximum thickness should not exceed 4-5 cm.
Closer to autumn, mineral fertilizers can also be applied directly on top of the mulch layer, and after that the soil must be dug to a shallow depth, using a garden pitchfork for better mixing. In the spring, nitrogen fertilizers can be added to the fertilizers already applied earlier.
As for the very method of cultivating blackberries, it is better to use a trellis for these purposes, the height of which is about two meters. On the trellis, you can grow both erect blackberries and its creeping forms. In the first season after planting, young shoots must be tied to a trellis with a slope to one side. These shoots will bear fruit next year. New shoots, which will appear in the spring of next year, are tied to a trellis with an inclination to the other side. After harvesting, the shoots that have yielded a crop must be cut shortly and burned, and the young must be removed from the trellis, bent to the soil and covered for the winter.
And now it's time to harvest. They usually start picking fruits at the end of August, and this pleasant period stretches for almost a month. Ready for harvest are those fruits in which a small dimple in the center of each drupe is completely filled. It is not worth delaying the collection of berries, fully ripe fruits very quickly lose their marketable properties, being on the shoots. By the way, even after picking, blackberries are stored for a very short time - no more than a day and a half under normal conditions and no more than a week in the refrigerator. You can eat blackberries both fresh and processed. They are dried and dried, marmalade is prepared from them, compotes and jelly are boiled, juice is squeezed out and used as a filler for cakes and sweets.
Irina Guryeva, Junior Researcher, Berry Crops Department, VNIIS named after V.I. I.V. Michurin.
Photo by the author
So, for example, the giant blackberry from Armenia (Rubus armeniacus) shown in the photo, sometimes called the Himalayan, has been massively cultivated in the USA and Europe for a long time. The reason for the popularity of the shrub was simple - large, massively ripening berries with a sweet dessert taste. But the species also had a significant drawback. This culture seemed very thorny, and when the thornless blackberry (Rubus laciniatus) appeared, it was abandoned.
Today, on the plantations of the North American continent and around the world, varieties are grown, created on the basis of bush blackberries and blackberries with dove, as well as cultivated forms without thorns, collectively called Thornless.
In all wild species of blackberries, the berries, as they ripen, change color from green to red or brown, and then to dark purple or almost black. At the same time, the skin of the berries, as can be seen in the photo of the blackberry with glaucous, is covered with a bloom, which determined the name of the species and is absent in other varieties.
There is a difference between the species in the structure of the bush and the appearance of the leaves. It is especially noticeable when looking at the cut blackberry, which is unique in its own way. In this species, leaves are strongly dissected along the edge, consisting of 5–7 parts, multi-berry clusters and creeping flexible shoots.
Bushy and gray blackberries are common species in Russia that can be found on the edges, overgrown clearings, along ravines and on river banks. However, the plants got into the garden only thanks to breeders who created large-fruited and fruitful varieties of blackberries.
Traditional healers have long known about the beneficial properties of blackberries. It contains monosaccharides, polysaccharides, fiber, organic acids, vitamins. The beneficial plant substances that make up the blackberry have biologically active properties, and, accordingly, help slow down the aging process.
Blackberries help relieve fever, inflammation, and signs of fever. Infusion of blackberry leaves gargle with sore throat and stomatitis.
Doctors recommend using ripe fruits for constipation, and not ripe ones for diarrhea. Blackberry tea is indicated for high blood pressure, impaired glucose uptake, neuroses, weak blood vessels.
Berries are needed by women during menopause, to stabilize hormonal levels, accelerate metabolism, and solve skin problems.
Blackberry fruits have diuretic properties, therefore they are indicated for diseases of the genitourinary system, dropsy. Blackberries inhibit pathogens and intestinal parasites.
Fresh blackberry juice saves with anemia, bronchitis and various gynecological problems.
Blackberries are contraindicated in case of an individual allergic reaction. Also, the intake of berries should be reduced for people with high acidity of the stomach and with some kidney diseases.
Thanks to their amazing taste, valuable properties and easy growing, blackberries are a discovery for gardeners. But, alas, this berry has not yet received due recognition and distribution everywhere. And in vain ...
It is impossible to imagine our table without vegetables and potatoes. They are the most important component of the diet of both the academician and the carpenter. Vegetables - a pantry of carbohydrates, protein, organic acids, vitamins, mineral salts, enzymes, and other essential nutrients. Vitamins that are either almost absent or are present in small doses in other products are of particular value. Do not rely solely on grocery stores and markets, start your own vegetable garden. Especially if you want to have fresh vegetables straight from the garden. The secrets of growing vegetables are not that difficult. Diligence, perseverance, curiosity, ingenuity will help you overcome all difficulties and become a real vegetable grower.
So, advice from specialists and experienced gardeners.
To extend the season for the consumption of fresh vegetables, early, medium and late varieties are planted. The earliest harvests in the open field can be obtained from the cultivation of perennial crops (sorrel, rhubarb, perennial types of onions), as well as from winter sowing of carrots, beets, parsley, radishes and planting onions. Early vegetables of annual crops (lettuce, cucumbers, radishes) and onions can be grown in small greenhouses in the garden.
They accelerate the development of shelters made of film or glass without artificial heating in early spring. You can grow radishes under them. They can cover sorrel, rhubarb, onions, winter crops of beets and carrots.
Vegetable plants according to biological, botanical and economic characteristics, they are classified into homogeneous groups.
Cabbage plants. There are several varieties of cabbage: white cabbage, cauliflower, red cabbage, Savoy, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and leafy cabbage. Almost all types of cabbage are biennial plants. Only in the second year, the planted stalks with apical buds give seeds. Plants of this group are cold-resistant, require increased moisture supply, although they do not tolerate excessive moisture (especially long-term), they are demanding on soil fertility. Cauliflower, Chinese cabbage and broccoli under certain conditions form seeds in the first year of life and are annual.
Mid-season cabbage varieties are suitable for pickling, late varieties for pickling and long-term storage. Red cabbage is unsuitable for cooking, it is used fresh for salads. Cauliflower is good for boiling, roasting, and canning.
Roots. This group includes: carrots, parsnips, parsley, celery (umbelliferae family) beetroot (from the haze family) radish, turnips, turnips, rutabagas, radishes (cruciferous family) chicory (from the aster family). All root crops form seeds in the second year of life (when planted with an intact apical bud), with the exception of radishes and summer radishes, which give seeds in the first year. Without exception, all plants of this group are cold-resistant, require high soil fertility, moisture supply (especially in the period after sowing the seeds).
Bulbous plants. In this group, onions, leeks, perennial varieties of onions (multi-tiered shallots, batun onions) coexist. All these plants are cold-resistant. Onions and garlic contain many nutrients and vitamins. Onions are grown by seeds (nigella), sevkom (small onions 1.5-2.5 cm, usually obtained from nigella) and a sample (3-4 cm or more).
Fruit vegetables. Cucumbers, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, watermelons, melons (pumpkin family) tomatoes, peppers, eggplants (nightshade family). All these plants are very thermophilic and require highly fertile soils. Almost every year, in our conditions, to obtain these vegetables, it is necessary to use protective agents against frost and low temperatures.
Peas, beans and beans (legume family) also belong to the group of fruit vegetables. Unlike their neighbors, they can withstand low temperatures. Beans are somewhat more thermophilic than peas and beans.
Green vegetables. These are the familiar salad, dill, parsley, celery, watercress, coriander (do not be confused that we also included some of them in the group of root vegetables - remember the sayings about tops and roots), as well as other cultures that we almost not familiar and not cultivated in the middle lane. All of these crops are cold-resistant annuals, they are mainly sown with seeds.
Perennial vegetables. It is somehow unusual to call sorrel, rhubarb, asparagus, horseradish vegetables - but it is so.All these plants are frost-resistant, in one place they can grow from two to five years. Propagated by seeds and vegetatively.
Potatoes. Among vegetables it takes a special place, it is bred to obtain tubers. Potatoes belong to the nightshade family. Potato bushes are easily damaged by frost. Propagated mainly by tubers, but you can also propagate it by eyes, sprouts, dividing a bush and even seeds (this laborious work does not give the same effect as propagation by tubers).
Part garden plot that you allocate for vegetable crops should not be shaded. If possible, you should choose a free, well-lit area with the most fertile soil (if the soil is not very fertile, you need to patiently start creating it for many years). A common mistake of novice vegetable growers is the desire for a combined arrangement of crops, when vegetables and strawberries are placed among young apple and pear trees. As long as the trees are young, everything seems to be going well: the crowns do not shade the beds too much, there is enough light and food for vegetables. But trees quickly gain strength, grow, and then the intermediate crops fall into the shade, their yield decreases from year to year. Indeed, most vegetable crops and potatoes do not tolerate strong shading and the presence of roots of woody plants in the soil. Therefore, one of the main rules for complex gardening and horticulture - provide a place for each crop and take into account the need to subsequently carry out a competent change (alternation) of vegetables and berries. After all, a certain culture should be returned to its original place not earlier than after three years, and even better - after four or five years. To do this, you need to draw up a clear plan for the placement and rotation of crops.
The timing of the return of crops to their original place is roughly the following: cabbage - 3 - 4 years, carrots - 3, peas - 4 - 5, celery - 3, tomatoes - 3 - 4, cucumbers - 3, lettuce - 1-2, onions - 4 - 5 years.
The yield decreases especially sharply and the quality deteriorates with permanent cultivation of cabbage, beets, peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, and potatoes.
When plants are re-grown on the same soil, a decrease in yield occurs as a result of the release of physiologically active substances into the soil, which subsequently inhibit the same culture.
The most appropriate width of the beds is 1.2 m. Between the beds, paths 0.3 m wide are left. The creation of narrower beds is a waste of the land of the garden plot, wider ones - it makes it difficult to cultivate the soil, care for plants and harvest.
This culture is unpretentious, it is only necessary to regularly water, feed, remove weeds and excess growth.
Blackberries are demanding for watering, they need a lot of water to grow shoots and pour berries. To maintain the required soil moisture level, the bramble is watered once a week with 10 liters of water per bush. Plants especially need moisture during the period of intensive growth and fruit formation. In drought, with insufficient watering, the berries become small and fall off. In October, water-charging watering of plantings is required (20 l / bush).
Blackberries especially need moisture during the period of fruit formation.
Waterlogging is detrimental to the plant: moisture, stagnating in the soil, can cause the development of infections and rot, the formation of new shoots will drag on until late autumn, and the winter hardiness of blackberries will decrease.
During the season, the soil under the bushes and in the aisles must be loosened and weeded. Weeds inhibit shoot development and reduce yields. Loosening is carried out between the rows to a depth of 12 cm, near the bushes - in the surface layer, not deeper than 8 cm, so as not to damage the roots. Such an agricultural technique allows not only to improve soil air exchange and fight weeds, but also to destroy the locations of pests. After watering and loosening, the soil is mulched with straw, sawdust.
Fertilizers are necessary not only to feed the plant with nutrients, but also to eliminate diseases and pests that are inevitable in adverse weather conditions. On well-filled soil for the first 2 years in spring, blackberries are fed only with nitrogen fertilizers (10 g of urea 5 l ). On poor soils, it is recommended to carry out foliar top dressing with Kemira Plus (20 g / 10 l).
The balanced composition of top dressing allows you to get a yield increase of up to 30%.
During the period of fruit formation, the plant needs potassium (30 g of potassium sulfate / 10 liters at the rate of 6 liters of solution per 1 m 2). Mineral fertilizer can be replaced with ash (200 g / 1 m 2). For autumn digging, superphosphate (35 g / 1 m 2), nitrophosphate (30 g / 1 m 2), potassium sulfate (30 g / 1 m 2) are added to the soil.
Agricola - vitamin complex for berry crops
Organics are also used annually as top dressing: in June - aqueous solutions of mullein (1:10), chicken droppings (1:20), in the fall, humus is scattered under the bush.
By the appearance of plants, one can judge the lack of nutrients. Weak shoots, small fruits, yellowing of the foliage indicate a nitrogen deficiency, the veins of the leaves turn yellow, the berries dry out - about a lack of iron, the rim is brown on the leaf blades - there is little potassium, the leaves become red, fall off by the middle of the season - a lack of magnesium.
Redness of blackberry leaves is a sign of magnesium deficiency
Usually, blackberries are grown on a trellis - the garter of the bushes allows you to save part of the crop from contact with the ground, provides uniform sunlight and airflow through the bush, without creating conditions for the development of the fungus. In addition, the bushes laid on a trellis look very decorative during flowering - they create a solid green carpet decorated with large fragrant flowers.
The blackberry on the trellis creates a solid green carpet that beautifies the area
When forming a berry bush, it should be borne in mind that blackberry shoots have a two-year development cycle: in the first year they grow, lay buds, in the second year they bear fruit and die off. Therefore, in the fall, the branches that bear fruit are cut off, the weak and damaged ones are removed. A blackberry bush is formed from 8-10 strong and healthy shoots. Usually they adhere to a fan formation. In the spring, after removing the shelter, the branches are raised on a trellis in an upright position, young growing shoots are placed parallel to the ground. In autumn, the central fruiting stems are removed, leaving 8-10 young strong horizontal shoots.
In the fall, the fruit-bearing shoots of blackberries are cut out at the root
Blackberries give a lot of growth, making the bush thickened and prickly. Therefore, it is imperative that when a zero shoot grows up to 2 m and a garter to the trellis, the top is cut off. Until autumn, 6-10 lateral branches grow, which will yield 3-5 clusters of berries each next year.
Experienced gardeners advise to cut off the lateral shoots by 3-5 buds in the fall or after wintering in order to get fewer brushes, but with larger berries.
Despite the frost resistance, the Giant blackberry needs to be insulated for the winter. After pruning, water-charging irrigation and mulching with humus, the branches are tilted in an arc-like manner to the ground and covered with agrofibre. Unlike roses and grapes, this crop does not vomit. It is advisable to cover young plantings from above with spruce branches, and in winter to rake snow to the bushes. Even severe frosts are not afraid of blackberries under such a blanket.
Before the onset of cold weather, blackberry bushes are covered with non-woven material, in winter they rake snow to them