Some gardeners believe that blackberries are not such a tasty berry to waste time and energy on growing them. Whether it's a sweet raspberry ... But with the proper care of a blackberry, in quality and quantity of the crop, it is not inferior to its relative.
Growing blackberries is not difficult, but to get a rich harvest of tasty berries, you need to take into account some of the features of agricultural technology. We will tell about them.
A suitable place to grow
Although blackberry grows well in partial shade, it is better to plant it in a well-lit place. Then the berries will be sweeter and ripen about a week earlier than usual.
Also, when choosing a place, you should not forget that this plant does not like drafts and cold winds
It is not recommended to plant a blackberry on a plot where raspberries or strawberries recently grew, and also next to roses (including wild rose). The fact is that these plants have common diseases and pests, which in the very first year can destroy an immature sapling.
What soil does the blackberry like?
Garden blackberry undemanding to the composition of the soil, but the maximum yield gives a well-drained and fertilized loams with a slightly acidic or neutral reaction. At the same time, groundwater should not lie near the surface of the earth. Otherwise, in late autumn the plant risks frostbite.
Limestone soils are not suitable for growing blackberries, as due to the lack of magnesium and iron, the plant can get chlorosis.
Blackberry seedlings are best planted in early spring. To do this, dig a hole with a diameter of 60 cm and a depth of 70 cm. Then it is filled with the upper fertile soil layer, mixed with 0.5 buckets of rotted manure, 150 g of superphosphate and 50 g of potassium sulfate. In a seedling, branches are shortened by 20–30 cm (to a well-developed bud) and the damaged roots are pruned.
Then the plant is planted in a prepared pit so that its root collar is at ground level. After which the seedling is plentifully watered and mulched with peat or compost.
If you plant blackberries in groups, the distance between plants should be about 1 m in a row, and 2 m between rows.
If the soil in your area is fertile, then for the first 2-3 years the blackberry is fed only with nitrogen fertilizers (at the rate of 10 g of urea or 20 g of ammonium nitrate under 1 bush). Then each year in the spring, 50-55 g of ammonium nitrate are introduced under each bush during soil loosening, and in the autumn, during mulching, 100 g of superphosphate, 25 g of potassium sulphate and a bucket (10 l) of compost are introduced.
Blackberry roots go quite deep into the ground, so the plant easily tolerates drought. But if you do not water it at all, then you should not expect a good harvest. If during the flowering and during the ripening of the berries it does not rain, then the blackberry bushes need to be watered as the soil dries.
Currently, there are quite winter-hardy blackberry varieties, which in central Russia do not require shelter for the winter. it Agavam, Darrow, Eldorado, Ufa local. But in the Urals and in Siberia, even these plants will freeze slightly without shelter, not to mention more whimsical varieties.
For the winter, blackberry bushes are covered with sawdust, nonwoven material (spunbond) or spruce fir branches. In snowless winters and during thaws, it is advisable to put a film over the top. But note that in regions where the air is very humid in winter and there is almost no snow, the film cover can harm the plant: if there is a shortage of fresh air, the shoots will shoot out.
Supports for blackberry
Many varieties of blackberry require support. For upright grades, stakes can be used. They are located in the middle of the bush or on the sides. For creeping varieties, the most suitable option is a trellis about 2 m high with three horizontal wires spaced at the same distance from each other.
Care for blackberries grown on a trellis is almost the same as for an ordinary plant. The only difference is that when preparing for the winter, the stalks of the bush should be removed from the trellis, gently bend down to the ground and covered with a spanbond.
Blackberries can be grown in the greenhouse. Here, too, can not do without supports and trellis
As you can see, it is easy to care for blackberries. This berry is also good because it, as a rule, rarely gets sick and is not afraid of the attack of harmful insects. Only in wet weather, when the berries come into contact with the earth, gray rot can appear on them. But if you take into account these features when growing blackberries, you will probably be able to harvest a good crop.